When pursuing professional certifications, it is important to understand the difference between vendor-neutral and vendor-specific certifications. Identity Management Institute offers the leading vendor-neutral certifications in identity and access management which we will cover in this article.
As business applications continue to move out of closed networks into the cloud and decentralized platforms, and devices become smarter, interconnected, and loaded with data, identity and access management (IAM) certifications have gained popularity in recent years. The cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve with blockchain and IoT adoption across many industries bringing identity and access management to center stage. IAM Certifications by Identity Management Institute allow identity practitioners and identity risk management professionals to set themselves apart in the marketplace.
It is obvious to most hiring managers that education alone and certifications do not replace on-the-job training, especially in a technical field such as cyber security and identity management careers, however, experts agree that educated and knowledgeable staff learn faster on the job and can be much more productive sooner.
A survey of professionals across the globe found that after completing a professional certification, as much as 76 percent reported a salary increase of up to 13% or a promotion. And when compared with professionals who are not certified, the certified professionals reported easier and faster hiring as well as higher levels of confidence and satisfaction at work.
Identity and Access Management Certification Options
When it comes to professional IAM certifications, many members of the Identity Management Institute (IMI) ask themselves which IAM certification they must pursue for career growth and learning. Another important question that they pose themselves is what are the differences and benefits of vendor-neutral versus vendor-specific certification?
To answer the first question, IMI created an IAM certification chart to illustrate various identity and access management professional career options offered by Identity Management Institute. Take a look at the chart below and click the image to learn more about each certification.
Vendor-Neutral and Vendor-Specific Certifications
The main difference between vendor-neutral and vendor-specific certifications is that vendor-specific training and certification offer insight into the product features. The skills learned can only be applied to that specific product for the most part. A vendor-specific certification establishes credibility and expertise for the use of the product whereas the vendor-neutral certification offers broader options and high-level knowledge of the IAM best practices and frameworks that can be applied to all IAM-related jobs and products.
For new entrants to the IAM field whether you are a new graduate or someone with related cybersecurity experience who wants to switch to an IAM-specific job, getting a vendor-neutral certification is always a great first step to get into the door and then reinforcing that credential with a product specific certification to display specialty. Once a job is secured, you can learn about the tools that your company is using or planning to procure so you can target the product that you plan to become an expert in. Otherwise, what is the point of spending time and money to learn a product that your company is not using. Also, if you earn a product certification and fail to work on that product for a while, you will forget all that you have learned.
In conclusion, both vendor-neutral and vendor-specific certifications are valuable depending on your employment status, needs, and interest. If you are new to the IAM job market and don’t know which products you will be working with, it is better to pursue a vendor-neutral certification. On the other hand, if you are targeting a particular product vendor for employment or if your company uses a particular product, then it is better to pursue product-specific training first. Regardless of when you pursue a product certification, having a vendor-neutral IAM certification is extremely beneficial because the credential and knowledge earned during the certification process can be applied to all industries and products.
IAM professionals are encouraged to assess their options carefully when it comes to vendor-specific certification as there are many competing IAM products with changing market demand which determines job opportunities.