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HomeEducationWhat Factors Influence the CISSP Certification Cost?

What Factors Influence the CISSP Certification Cost?


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One of the most prominent and internationally recognized qualifications in the cybersecurity industry is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) designation. A person’s strong technical and administrative skill in information security is demonstrated by earning the CISSP certification. But earning the CISSP also necessitates a financial, time, and effort commitment. The ultimate cost of obtaining and earning the CISSP certification depends on several factors.

Exam Charges

Exam fees collected by (ISC)2, the company that offers the CISSP exam, are among the largest upfront costs. The exam costs $699 for those taking it for the first time. If a candidate does not pass on their first try, retake fees are $350. Exam fees are waived for students, government workers, and active duty military people by (ISC)2. Additionally, candidates who are members of (ISC)2 are eligible for a discounted first-time charge of $599. The cost of the exam alone might vary from $350 to $699 based on a person’s membership level and standing with (ISC)2.

Materials for Preparation 

Purchasing official (ISC)2 study resources is necessary to prepare for the CISSP exam to the required level. The official Study Guide for the (ISC)2 CISSP is approximately $150. Practice question sets, flashcards, and online video courses that cost anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars are further suggested resources. In addition, a lot of candidates sign up for review courses that training partners offer; the cissp certification cost of these courses varies based on the style (self-study, online, classroom). For the majority of candidates, allocating $500–$1000 for official study guides and additional preparatory materials is fair.

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Continuous Needs

The long-term cost is increased since CISSPs must fulfill continuing professional education (CPE) requirements to keep their certification. Holders are required to pay an annual membership renewal fee of $85 to (ISC)2 and accumulate 20 CPE credits annually. The $125 renewal price is slightly higher for non-members. The CISSP certificate may become “lapsed” unless requirements are fulfilled once more if CPE requirements are not completed. Renewal fees and continuous CPE accrue over time and must be included in the overall cost of certification.

Experience Level Requirements  

At least five years of paid, full-time security job experience in at least two of the eight areas of the (ISC)2 CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) are required to obtain the CISSP certification. The exam will cost more and take longer for those without the necessary experience because they will need to either wait until their eligibility requirements are met before taking the test or obtain experience through further schooling or an authorized apprenticeship program. This may result in additional costs and a few years to the certification procedure.

Place of Geographical Origin

The price of earning CISSP certification also varies based on a person’s home country or location. Exam costs are essentially the same throughout the world, but local variations might be substantial for study materials, review courses, and living expenses such as exam-related travel and lodging. Candidates from remote or undeveloped countries might have more indirect costs than those from large cities. Geographical location has a significant impact on the overall cost of earning CISSP certification.

Personal Learning Approach

The speed and effectiveness of preparation also affect the cost of the CISSP. Those who are good self-learners and learn by reading might spend less on courses than those who require in-person training or practical labs. The longer it takes someone to feel exam-ready, the more expensive their preparation will be as the months of preparation stretch out. Individual learning styles, aptitudes, and schedules dictate how effective preparation is and, thus, how much money is needed overall.

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Assistance for Employment 

Employers may pay all or part of the cost of the CISSP for those seeking to improve in their careers. As an investment in their cybersecurity personnel, several companies offer training and exam reimbursement. Those who work for employers without appropriate benefits or who are self-sponsored, however, are solely responsible for their financial obligations. The cost of obtaining CISSP certification out of pocket can be greatly decreased with company help.

Options for Training to Cut Costs

Candidates have a few alternatives to choose from to lower the total cost of earning the CISSP certification. Whenever possible, use free or inexpensive training resources as one strategy. CISSP review classes are available for little to no cost at several universities, community colleges, and government organizations. To complement the premium resources, some training partners also offer free sample questions, video lectures, and study groups. Using these free or low-cost resources early on in the planning process can save hundreds of dollars as opposed to depending just on expensive courses and guides.

Methods of Independent Study for Maximum Savings

Using as much of your learning style as possible for self-study is another way to save money. Even though many people benefit from classroom teaching, self-motivated learners can pass the CISSP with just independent reading, practice questions, and online video lectures. Comparatively speaking, traditional training can cost up to $1000, however, websites like Cybrary, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy offer thorough CISSP courses for less than $20. The need for pricey review courses can be eliminated with self-paced study using inexpensive digital resources and disciplined time management. 

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Discounts and Scholarships

Looking into scholarship opportunities can help people who are struggling financially get CISSP training at a lower cost. Need-based scholarships are offered by groups such as the (ISC)2 Foundation to assist with exam and renewal costs. Furthermore, a lot of training providers give discounts to people who are in the armed forces, just graduated, belong to underrepresented groups, or were recommended by existing students. For eligible candidates, thoroughly researching all of the scholarship programs and special incentives on offer might help drastically reduce certification fees.

Peer Assistance Systems

Making connections with regional professional associations and information security meetups is another approach to collaborating with peers and lowering CISSP costs. There are no out-of-pocket expenses for candidates to learn from one another through study groups, mock tests, and experience exchange. Free webinars and seminars are also offered by numerous regional (ISC)2 chapters to aid in the certification preparation process. Making use of community support networks offers structured mentoring at a potential cost savings over paid training options.

Even for individuals on a tight budget, there are ways to make the CISSP certification achievable with a little imagination and study. Determinate applicants can overcome significant costs to obtain this esteemed certification by utilizing peer networks, self-studying persistently, pursuing scholarships, and exhausting free resources.


In conclusion, even though the CISSP certificate is well-regarded in the field, candidates must budget for exam costs, study guides, continuing education requirements, and occasionally indirect costs that vary depending on experience, geography, and learning requirements. But for many, the CISSP’s long-term career and pay advantages exceed the initial expenses by a wide margin. The cost for cissp certification is affordable for motivated individuals hoping to progress their cybersecurity careers with careful preparation and budgeting.

Bellie Brown
Bellie Brown
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