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Last Updated On: May 15, 2024

Taking the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam isn’t just about gauging if you have the grit to tackle its rigorous content—it’s also peeking into your wallet and asking if you can afford it right now.

It's a two-pronged decision: commitment in terms of time and money. We all know that when it comes to big career moves, understanding the financial side is crucial.

In this article, we’ll discuss the cost of getting CISSP-certified—from the examination fee to training materials and other expenses that you should be aware of.

Breaking down the CISSP certification cost

The cost of getting a CISSP certification involves several components, and it goes beyond the exam fee that many initially consider. From training classes to books and even those supplementary resources that give you an edge, every expense counts.

After all, investing wisely means giving yourself the best shot at acing that exam on your very first attempt.

Let's break down the different expenses you’ll incur:

CISSP Exam fee

It’s precisely what its name suggests–the cost to take the CISSP exam. Think of it as buying a ticket to a show. Only in this case, the show is an opportunity for you to strut your stuff and prove that you've got what it takes to earn that coveted CISSP certification. Before you even get to the actual content of the exam, this fee is your gateway, your admission ticket.

Here’s how much you’ll pay for the test:

  • U.S. $749 - Americas, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa
  • EUR 665 - Europe
  • GBP 585 - United Kingdom

A quick heads-up: pricing and taxes will vary based on your exam location. The specifics will be provided by Pearson VUE when you sign up for the big day.

And a pro tip before you pay for the exam: ensure you meet the CISSP experience requirements and familiarize yourself with what's expected in the CISSP exam. You don't want any surprises after making that investment!

CISSP Preparation and training materials

Let’s get one thing straight: the exam fee isn't your only investment in this journey. While it's your gateway to flaunting your cybersecurity prowess, the right preparation and comprehensive training materials are equally critical. Often, obtaining these resources might mean parting with some cash.

While there's no shortage of free training and resources, they can sometimes be superficial or overlook key subjects. Relying on them feels like navigating with a map that omits vital routes when you're already behind schedule. So, how do you ensure you're fully equipped? The answer lies in investing in in-depth training materials.

For example, in-person classes are perfect for those who thrive on face-to-face learning and appreciate a structured environment. However, it's vital to note that these sessions run on a set schedule. Missing a class can be as disruptive as skipping a pivotal chapter right before a major test.

Alternatively, online CISSP training can be a better option for many. Especially those courses crafted to align seamlessly with your current proficiency level. Think of them as dedicated tutors right on your screen, adapting to your learning pace and preferences. This flexibility means that whether you prefer burning the midnight oil or dedicating your weekends, your training molds around your availability.

In short, while your exam fee gets you in the game, your preparation and training decide how well you play. So, while considering the costs, ensure you factor in quality training to truly make your investment count!

Additional Study resources

So, you’ve factored in the exam fee and allocated funds for comprehensive training materials. You're on the right track, but hold up; there’s more to the CISSP certification cost. Beyond your primary investments, there are tons of supplementary tools that can help you prepare better for your exam. And as you might have guessed, these, too, can also add up to your total bill.

These aren't just fancy extras; they’re essential. For example, investing in different CISSP books depending on your study phase can help streamline your preparation. New to the CISSP journey? An official study guide might be your go-to. For those in the final sprint, a concise CISSP guidebook can help tighten loose ends.

Then, there are practice tests. Think of them as trial runs before the big day. If you're feeling confident about the exam, these tests can either bolster that confidence or give you a reality check on areas needing more attention.

In short, while sketching out your CISSP budget, don’t just stop at the basics. These additional resources, although an added expense, can be the difference between a pass or a retake, and no one wants the latter.

CISSP maintenance costs

Think you’re done with expenses after getting CISSP-certified? Not quite. It's not only the upfront CISSP certification costs that should be on your radar. After you've celebrated passing that challenging exam, there's the business of maintaining your certification. And yes, that comes with its own set of costs.

Annual membership fees

For your CISSP renewal, you need an annual fee of $125. This ensures that your CISSP certification remains active and, more importantly, gives you entry into the ISC2 community.

With this membership, you're in for some serious perks like opportunities for professional growth, networking with the industry’s finest, exclusive invites to the ISC2 Security Congress, discounts, and much more.

Costs associated with acquiring CPE credits

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is a pivotal element for CISSP holders. CPE credits represent the effort and initiative taken by professionals to keep their knowledge sharp and up-to-date. It is also needed to maintain the certification itself.

While you can't exactly pluck CPE credits off a store shelf, gathering these credits might require you to dip into your pockets. The ways to earn CPE credits are diverse: from attending training and seminars, enrolling in courses, to even volunteering.

Let's say you opt to earn them via seminars–that ticket price? Yes, that's going to be part of your CPE credits cost. In essence, while the path to acquiring CPEs can be flexible, it's essential to factor in potential expenses as you map out your CISSP journey.

However, when you stack these maintenance costs against the avalanche of CISSP career benefits, they seem like a drop in the ocean. After all, investing in oneself always pays the best interest, right?

Other hidden costs

When it comes to getting your CISSP, the costs aren’t just limited to what meets the eye. Some sneaky expenses tend to fly under the radar, but trust us; they’re there!

Travel and miscellaneous expenses

We’re not implying you’re setting out for a tropical escapade, but think about it: the to-and-fros to the exam center, the food you might grab en route, and if you've opted for in-person training sessions, there's a decent chance your commute and lunch aren't on the house. Those seemingly minor expenditures? Yes, they add up.

Retakes and cancellations

Life’s unpredictable. Maybe you weren’t feeling 100% on the day of the exam, or some unavoidable circumstances popped up. If you need to reschedule your CISSP test, there’s a fee attached: $50 / 35£ / 40€. Decided to cancel? That’ll be $100 / 70£ / 80€. These aren’t astronomical sums, but they’re significant enough to make one take pause.

So, when mapping out your CISSP budget, it pays to think of these not-so-obvious costs. It's always better to have a holistic view of the financial landscape ahead, ensuring no unexpected hitches along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does CISSP cost?

The cost of the CISSP exam is $749 in the United States. Additional costs may include preparation materials, courses, and potentially retake fees, should you need them.

Is the initial CISSP certification cost inclusive of training and study materials?

No, the initial CISSP certification cost only covers the examination fee. Training and study materials are separate expenses

How often do I need to pay to maintain my CISSP certification?

You need to pay an annual membership fee to keep your CISSP certification active. Additionally, there might be costs associated with acquiring CPE credits, which are required to maintain the certification.

Are there any discounts or sponsorships available to reduce the CISSP certification cost?

ISC2 might offer discounts or early-bird pricing on occasion. Here at Destination Certification, we offer as much as $385 off when you avail of our CISSP MasterClass. The best part? You’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not entirely happy with our online course.

Invest in your cybersecurity career now!

Getting that CISSP certification isn’t just about flashing cash. It's about believing in yourself and understanding the long game. By now, you've seen the myriad of costs associated with it, from the exam fee to those sneaky hidden costs. But every penny spent is a step forward in your cybersecurity career.

So, while the initial and ongoing investments might give you a bit of sticker shock, the returns–in terms of career advancement, salary boosts, and respect in the industry–are monumental.

If you're ready to start your CISSP journey, let Destination Certification be your guide. From our online training course to our numerous supplementary resources like our Flashcard app and Practice Questions app, we ensure that you’re well-equipped to pass the test on your first attempt.

With us, you're not just prepping for an exam; you're embracing a brighter, more secure future in your cybersecurity career.

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