Business & Technology

Fortinet Issues More than 1 Million NSE Certifications, Addressing the Need for Cybersecurity Upskilling

By Rob Rashotte | October 03, 2022

Another Cybersecurity Awareness Month kicks off, reminding us that cybersecurity affects everyone and it is everyone’s responsibility to follow best practices. This month also serves as a reminder that the skills gap remains a top-of-mind issue for cybersecurity leaders as it increases risk and can lead to financial consequences.

The Fortinet Training Institute is tackling the skills gap on multiple fronts, including by providing technical training to upskill and expand the knowledge and skills of security professionals. Recently, Fortinet achieved a milestone by surpassing more than 1 million Network Security Expert (NSE) certifications issued to date, further advancing our commitment to address the talent shortage. Just as cyber threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, security professionals need to keep evolving their skills. This not only helps them stay ahead of cyber criminals but also expands their skill sets to help them progress in their career trajectory and fill critical security roles.

Whether you are a security professional or considering a career pivot into cybersecurity, below are reasons why certifications are valuable to pursue and how Fortinet’s NSE certifications provide options for every level from technical to expert.  

Value of Certifications and Continued Learning   

Fortinet’s 2022 Global Skills Gap report revealed that 95 percent of leaders believe technology-focused certifications positively impact their role and their team and 81 percent of leaders prefer to hire people with certifications. The research suggests that employers and hiring managers greatly value technology-focused certifications. Certifications provide professionals with opportunities to validate their skill sets, but also to continue learning and keeping their knowledge about the threat landscape and cyber technology relevant.  

In the dynamic and rapidly changing field of cybersecurity, the knowledge gained during collegiate studies or earlier in one’s career can often become obsolete after only a few years. Certifications can complement academic studies and hands-on experience by enabling professionals to update their knowledge and skills every time they renew their certifications.

Certifications are also a great tool for enabling workers in other professions to add to their skill sets relatively quickly, providing opportunities to transition into careers in cybersecurity, all while also helping bring more people into the field helping to close the skills gap. The Fortinet Training Institute is increasing access to cybersecurity training and certifications so that more people, regardless of their educational background, current career, or life experience, can access cyber courses and help kickstart a career in cybersecurity. Fortinet is also empowering untapped talent pools, including women, students, veterans, and more, to reskill or expand their skills for a career in cyber, helping to address the industry talent shortage.

Fortinet’s Cornerstone NSE Certification Program

Whether you are a security professional or considering a career pivot into cybersecurity, there is an NSE certification level for you. The NSE Certification program offers eight levels, ranging from technical, advanced, and expert, designed to provide interested technical professionals with independent validation of their network security skills and experience, as well as build cyber awareness through its NSE level 1-3. 

The NSE Certification program offers users and professionals a structured pathway designed to teach the necessary real-world skills for both fundamental cyber awareness and a successful career in cybersecurity. The course structure is as follows:

  • Levels 1–3 focus on cybersecurity awareness and are suitable for anyone interested in learning some basics. 
  • Levels 4–6 dive deeper into technical aspects and provide Cybersecurity Technical Certification on specific products and technologies. 
  • NSE 7 identifies advanced skills in deploying, administering, and troubleshooting complete security solutions. 
  • NSE 8 is the Cybersecurity Expert Certification designation that identifies comprehensive and expert knowledge of network security design, configuration, and troubleshooting for complex networks.

Completing all levels and achieving NSE 8 requires time and dedication, but the benefits reaped and achievement of joining an elite group of cyber professionals make the hard work worthwhile.

Making a Dent to Solve the Skills Gap

Certifications through continued learning are one facet of solving the cyber skills gap. With this in mind, Fortinet made a commitment in September of 2021 to train 1 million people in cybersecurity over 5 years between 2022-2026 and is on track to meet this goal through various initiatives. The Fortinet Training Institute – including the NSE Certification programAcademic Partner program, and Education Outreach program – is helping us make strides in addressing one of the biggest challenges facing our industry today.


Find out more about how Fortinet's Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and Training Institute programs—including the NSE Certification programAcademic Partner program, and Education Outreach program—are helping to solve the cyber skills gap and prepare the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow.