(ISC)2 Provides Additional Value to Members with Professional Development Institute

ISC2 has new opportunities for certified (and non-certified) cybersecurity professionals to get training.

Getting a certification is the end of a long road for many individuals, and reaching that point sometimes means a parting of the ways between the newly certified individual and the certification provider, in a "now I have what I came here for" sort of way. Just like in almost every other educational transaction, however, there is often a strong desire on the part of certification programs to keep their clients coming back to the well.


There are some obvious and time-honored mechanisms already in place at most organizations to preserve and extend the relationship. Recertification keeps many certified professionals in at least periodic contact with certification programs. And most, if not all, companies or associations that offer certification also have membership programs that provide various stick-around incentives.


Information security professional association (ISC)2 already incorporates both systems — credentials must be renewed after three years and there is a strong membership program — and recently introduced a third approach to maintaining the long-term involvement of its credential holders. The new Professional Development Institute (PDI) is a great resource for (ISC)2 members, and could even bring newcomers into the fold.


The stated purpose of PDI, which is managed directly by (ISC)2, is to provide a "go-to resource for timely and relevant continuing education opportunities to help keep your skills sharp and curiosity piqued." You may have noted the magic words "continuing education" — PDI is a great place for (ISC)2-certified individuals to pile up the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits required for certification renewal.


PDI courses are available free of charge to anyone who holds (ISC)2 membership, but course enrollment is not limited to members. PDI course and labs (there's only one of these so far) can also be purchased by non-members, with price tags ranging from $400 up to $720. The monetary benefit to members is obvious, but the courses are reasonably priced and could eventually be a gateway that draws in both new members and new certification candidates.


The (to-date) six "immersive" courses offered by PDI are delivered online and are self-paced. The six courses cover a range of cybersecurity topics:

  • Building a Strong Security Culture
  • CISO's Guide to Success
  • Creating Your Path to CISO
  • DevSecOps: Integrating Security into DevOps
  • GDPR for Security Professionals: A Framework for Success
  • Responding to a Breach

There's also a "hands-on" lab, Assessing Application Security, which walks learners through the thorny problem of securing applications. (ISC)2 has its own learning platform to deliver all courses and labs.


In a mid-April press release announcing the launch of new PDI courses, (ISC)2 education director Mirth Collin said that (ISC)2 members are always on the lookout for means of updating and improving their skills.


"The Professional Development Institute is one way we provide value to members," Collin said, "by harnessing the collective expertise of our association in order to deliver world-class learning opportunities that keep them up to speed on areas that will help them advance in their careers and better protect the organizations they support."


Now in its 30th year, (ISC)2 is one of the premier cybersecurity certification providers. In additional to its flagship Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential, (ISC)2 offers five additional cybersecurity credentials, a program for CISSP holders that lets them enhance their credential with "concentrations," and an entry-level Associate of (ISC)2 program to help newcomers to the profession gain cybersecurity work experience.


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
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GoCertify's mission is to help both students and working professionals get IT certifications. GoCertify was founded in 1998 by Anne Martinez.