Getting certified in an information technology, networking, cybersecurity, or other professional credential is hard work. Nobody wants to have to do them over. Hopefully you are earning the Continuing Education Units (CEU or CPE) you need to maintain your certification status. Industry certifications are typically good for three years. To keep them in force, every certificate you achieve comes with continuing education requirements, typically from 20 hours to 50 CEUs per year. For the CISSP, it is 40 credits per year.
This year, with the impacts of the pandemic, many of the usual activities that qualify for CEUs, such as attending local meetings of cybersecurity chapters such as the (ISC)2, ISSA, Infragard, OWASP have had to transition from live meetings to online session via Zoom and other conferencing solutions. This has been true of the larger one, two, or three day cybersecurity conferences that can be worth 6 to 18 CEU credits. I have been seeing lower attendance rates at these events, which may mean that professionals are falling behind earning the CEUs they need to keep their certifications in force.
Many local chapters are still hosting online events, and these usually qualify for 1 CEU per training hour. Also, the big certifications such as the (ISC)2 and CompTIA are hosting online training events that also qualify. Check the websites of your certification authorities to see what they have to offer. An added benefit is that these events will be automatically credited to your account, and will not need to be manually added later.
But there are many other ways to earn CEUs, and some of them earn as many as five CEUs. Some of these activities include:
- Authoring or co-authoring a book – 10 to 40 points
- Writing a magazine article that is published – 5 to 20 points
- Writing an article for a web blog – 2 to 10 points
- Teaching a certification class, or providing cybersecurity awareness training – 2 to 20 points
- Teaching or leading a webinar – 2 to 20 points
- Curriculum development activities – 2 to 20 points
Don’t let the impacts of COVID-19 slow down your professional career development. Keep those hard won certifications in place.