Unlocking the Worth and Market Demand of SANS GSEC Certification: A Gateway to Rewarding Cybersecurity Career

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It’s no surprise that you’re thinking about getting GSEC certified and starting a career in cybersecurity. Every year, many students graduate in information technology with the major goal of establishing a career in cybersecurity due to the monetary benefits that come with it. Well, it’s true, with so many safety hazards occurring regularly around the world, from data breaches to malware, there is always a demand for cybersecurity jobs. So, pursuing a career in cybersecurity is a wise call. However, the competition in the IT industry is getting tougher and tougher, and earning a credential alongside your degree is considered a plus. SANS GSEC or GIAC GSEC is one of the future-proof cybersecurity certifications to get at the beginner level. 

Are you wondering if the GSEC certification exam is worthwhile? Learn about the benefits of GSEC certification, whom it is intended for, and the exam criteria.

GIAC GSEC Certification

The Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) is a worldwide recognized organization that focuses on information security certifications for individuals who require specific skills and knowledge to tackle the challenges: internal and external threats. By this goal, the GSEC is a “good foundation certification” that has swiftly established itself as one of the qualifications frequently sought by companies wishing to supplement their security teams or find cybersecurity expertise to fill IT security job roles. The GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) certification verifies an information security practitioner’s understanding beyond simple terminology and ideas. Holders of the GSEC certification demonstrate that they are qualified for hands-on IT system positions involving security tasks.

Why it is called SANS GSEC or GIAC GSEC certification?

To provide some context, the SANS Institute founded the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) in 1999 as an organization specializing in information technology certifications, and it is the GIAC that administers and awards the GSEC certification.

Who can take the GSEC certification? Is it right for you?

There are many popular cybersecurity certifications available but which certification is right for you depend on your experience level and your previous knowledge. If you’re a beginner and just starting your career in cybersecurity, GIAC Security Essential Certification is the best option you can avail. Moreover, this certification is designed for professionals or employees working in the following job positions:

  • Anyone new to information security who has some background in information systems & networking
  • Security professionals
  • Security managers
  • Operations personnel
  • IT engineers and supervisors
  • Security administrators
  • Forensic analysts
  • Penetration testers
  • Auditors

Note: It is recommended to have a minimum of 6-12 months’ security experience. However, it is not a requirement for taking the exam.

What should you learn for the exam? Exam Study Points and Objectives

The GSEC exam will cover the following study points and learning outcomes:

  • Defense in depth, access control and password management
  • Cryptography: basic concepts, algorithms and deployment, and application
  • Cloud: AWS fundamentals, Microsoft cloud
  • Defensible network architecture, networking and protocols, and network security
  • Incident handling and response, data loss prevention, mobile device security, vulnerability scanning and penetration testing
  • Linux: Fundamentals, hardening and securing
  • SIEM, critical controls, and exploit mitigation
  • Web communication security, virtualization and cloud security, and endpoint security
  • Windows: access controls, automation, auditing, forensics, security infrastructure, and services

Read more: GCIH Certification Exam Guide

Exam Format and Other Relevant Information

No of Questions: 106-180 questions

Time Limit: 4-5 hours

Passing Criteria: 73%

Exam Delivery: Pearson VUE

GSEC Exam Cost

GIAC offers the same cost for all practitioner certification.

Exam Category Cost
GIAC Certification Attempt $949
Certification Attempt Retakes $849
Certification Attempt Extension $459
Certification Renewal $469

GSEC Certification Renewal

The GSEC requires recertification every four years, in addition to the $469 certification renewal fee. There are no annual maintenance fees. Moreover, you also have to earn CPEs for maintaining the GSEC certification. You must log at least 36 continuing professional education (CPE) units per year.

Is the GIAC GSEC Certification Worth the Cost? Market Demand and Benefits

Till now you understand everything about the GSEC certification, its exam, format, cost, and whom it is designed for. It is really important to know all these things before choosing a certification, but there is also one thing that candidates want to know eagerly before getting any certification and that is: it’s worth and market demand. We have covered everything about GSEC certification worth. To find out, read below:

One of the Most Demanded Certification

Out of many requested cybersecurity certifications like CompTIA Security+, CISSP, and CISM, GIAH GSEC is one of the most acquired certifications. It is noteworthy that this certification stands at number third out of many cybersecurity certifications. Below are some stats that will show the total holders of various cybersecurity certifications.

Certifications Certification Holders
CompTIA Security+ 213,775
Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) 94,807
Global Information Security Assurance Certification (GIAC) 80,063
Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) 37,653
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) 19,110
Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) 7,351

Provides Necessary Skills Sets to Start a Career

Why do people get certified? To get advanced skills, to become more qualified, to get high-salary jobs or all of these? All these are good reasons for achieving certification. SANS GSEC certification endorses some basic advanced-level security skills that are important for entry-level jobs. This certification gives you a career breakthrough in the cybersecurity industry.

Extended Job Opportunities and Roles

Obtaining the GSEC certifies that you have gained a highly practical and valuable set of cybersecurity skills that will not go ignored. The valuable skill set will lead you to gain many entry-level job positions in cyber security. And, because you have this certification on your resume, you’re showing technical recruiters and hiring managers that you have the expertise required to complete the requirements of that highly technical job. In any case, obtaining a GSEC Certification can qualify you for entry-level cybersecurity positions such as:

  • Junior Network Administrator
  • Junior System Administrator
  • Junior Information Security Analyst
  • Help Desk Specialist
  • Junior Cyber Security Analyst
  • Junior Forensic Analyst
  • Junior Penetration Tester
  • Junior IT Auditor
  • Junior Security Engineer

Handsome Salary at Just Entry-level

Certification surely helps you get better job roles with a good salary. Whether you’re starting your career or advancing it, certification has a clear impact. Getting GSEC certification will increase your salary prospects at the very start of your career. According to a recent statistics report, the yearly earnings of GSEC certification are as high as $138,000 and as low as $72,000, the majority of GSEC salaries now range from $77,000 to $130,000, with top earners earning $136,000 in the United States.

Read more: Are GIAC Certification Worth It?

How to crack the SANS GSEC Certification? Proven Resources and Expert Tips

Obtaining even an entry-level cybersecurity certification is a hard nut to crack. You cannot pass the certification exam with just some days of preparation. If you’re thinking of passing the GSEC exam, it is important to have a full grasp on the curriculum and it is possible only with the right resources. We outlined some tips and strategies from the experts that will help you to crack the exam.

Get Useful Study Resources

Before starting preparation, it is important to arrange useful and authentic study resources. The right resources will help you get each concept comprehensively, allowing you to ace the exam while unauthentic exam material will, unfortunately, lead you to failure. SANS provide training courses for the GSEC certification exam. 

SANS Training Courses: SANS training courses are among the greatest GIAC GSEC exam preparation tools. SANS training courses can help you effectively prepare for any GSEC certification by teaching you the fundamental security skills associated with that certification. SANS courses are available in three formats: OnDemand, Live Online, and In-Person.

Utilize Maximum Study Hours

You must devote proper study hours. It is not a matter of one day or two. The GSEC exam requires proper dedication and effort to achieve. You must put in 2-3 hours each day for learning and preparing thoroughly for the exam. According to some stats, the average test taker devotes 55 hours to preparation for the GSEC exam.

Get Practical Experience

Work experience might help you demonstrate that you have mastered the abilities required for certification.

Practice with Dumpsgate Exam Dumps

After taking online courses and preparing with other exam material, it is recommended to practice exam dumps. Dumpsgate GSEC exam dumps will provide you with complete real exam exposure. The exact exam questions will help you familiarize yourself with the exam format and find the learning gap. Using these inclusive dumps to remove exam anxiety and perform confidently in the exam is better.


The GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) certification verifies an information security practitioner’s understanding beyond simple terminologies and concepts. Holders of the GSEC certification demonstrate that they are qualified for hands-on IT system positions involving security tasks.

While both are renowned cybersecurity certifications, GSEC focuses on entry-level practitioner security practices and knowledge while CISSP validates your ability to design, implement, and manage a world-class cybersecurity program. GSEC is designed for beginners while CISSP is for experienced professionals. The GSEC demonstrates technical expertise in a more limited domain specified by 33 topic areas. The CISSP takes a much broader view of information security, which is described in eight areas.

The time allowed to complete the SANS GSEC exam is 4-5 hours

SANS stands for SysAdmin, Audit, Network and Security.

Unlike other cybersecurity certifications, you can appear directly for the GSEC exam. There are no prerequisites for appearing in the exam. However, it is recommended to have 12 months experience in security practices.

The GSEC certification is valid for 4 years.

 The certification maintenance cost is $469 and is due every four years at the time of registration.



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