How I Earned my Certified in Cybersecurity Certificate for Free

In my company, someone posted about (ISC)2 giving away certifications. (ISC)2 is the same company that provides the CISSP and other certifications that are well-recognized by companies throughout the world. This One Million Certified in Cybersecurity initiative started at the end of August 2022 with a press release on their website.

I was intrigued and signed up. It is free, there is nothing to lose but time. Even if you fail, you still learn something. The certificate they are helping people receive is called Certified in Cybersecurity (CC). It is a beginner certification and you need no experience to start. Step by step instructions are here, but I want to share my own experience.

The free training is split into 5 sections/domains/chapters. I took one a week. After taking the training I signed up for the test which was two weeks out. I took that time to study, going through the terms and making sure I understood the ideas behind the terms.

You have to take this test at a Pearson VUE center. This was my first time taking a test at Pearson and I found this video very helpful.

I can’t say anything about the test, other than with the studying I did and the (ISC)2 training I was well prepared. You have to sign an NDA before taking the test.

I really enjoyed this program as it helped validate my feelings that I understand cybersecurity fundamentals. I highly recommend it. There is one small catch… After you pass the exam you need to pay your first $50 annual maintenance fee in order to obtain your certification. For me, this was a very small ask for getting free training and a free exam. The exam is usually $199. It is a great deal.