CIPT for Non-Technical Professionals

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As a lawyer or other non-technical privacy professional, you may have some hesitation around obtaining the Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT), offered by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

We’re here to tell you that you can obtain the CIPT certification as a non-technical professional.

Though the certification has “technologist” in its name, you don’t need to have a technology background to get certified. In fact, there are many benefits to obtaining your CIPT as a non-technical professional, which we’re going to discuss. As for any hesitation or intimidation you may be feeling—we’re going to help you beat that, too.

About the CIPT Certification

The IAPP introduced its globally recognized CIPT certification in 2014. It was the first association to offer a designation with a focus on privacy technology.

Unlike other certifications offered by the IAPP, the CIPT exam won’t drill you on laws. Instead, the concentration will be on building privacy into products and services. For that reason, you’ll find more technically inclined professionals, like software engineers and systems engineers with the CIPT designation.

But non-technical professionals should not be scared away. While the new terminology may be intimidating at first, topics covered on the CIPT exam are firmly entrenched in policy decisions; a deep understanding about the technical concepts, such as how to write software code, is helpful but not necessary to successfully pass the CIPT exam.

Privacy professionals who aren’t in the weeds (or wires) with technology can greatly benefit from obtaining the CIPT certification.

Benefits to CIPT Certification as a Non-Technical Professional

Many privacy professionals have a non-technical background. Think about it—lawyers, digital marketers, project managers, and sales representatives—you’re all in the same boat. Your jobs are largely focused on communication and analytical skills versus technical knowledge.

But with the field of privacy protection growing more competitive, and taking into account how many technical professionals are employed across the industry, obtaining a CIPT certification is worth considering.

Remain Competitive

Certified privacy professionals have demonstrated their depth of knowledge and skills in the field through hours of study, practice, and successful completion of rigorous exams. This provides confidence to employers that certified professionals are able to contribute a higher quality of work and better outcomes for the organization.

More and more you’ll find privacy professionals holding multiple IAPP qualifications. In fact, based on a 2023 IAPP Privacy Professionals Salary Survey with nearly 1,500 respondents, about a third of participants employed as an internal or external privacy lawyer hold multiple IAPP qualifications.

An organization is also going to consider the time and money it will save on an employee holding multiple certifications. Your level of expertise requires less training and supervision, which translates to a lower training cost for your employer.

And more money in their pocket means more money in yours, right? In this case, it often does.

Better Compensation

Revisiting the aforementioned 2023 IAPP Privacy Professionals Salary Survey, it was found that on average, survey respondents with one IAPP certification earned a salary more than 13% higher than those with no IAPP qualifications.

Now, compare that to the survey respondents with multiple IAPP certifications, earning a salary more than 27% higher than those with no IAPP qualifications. That’s a considerable jump for those privacy professionals with more than one designation.

Better Collaboration

As with most industries, technology has its own language. Obtaining the CIPT certification can help someone with a non-technical background gain fluency, leading to better collaboration.

For example, as a project manager, establishing a common language with your privacy engineers is critical to understanding project plans and statuses, and articulating that information to employees with varying levels of expertise across the company.

As a lawyer, understanding the minutiae of the technologies that enhance privacy protection can be helpful in advising how to comply with applicable privacy laws and regulations.

Essentially, any non-technical privacy professional with dual literacy in both privacy and technology can work more efficiently and seamlessly with their tech-focused colleagues to produce better solutions while mitigating risks.

IAPP Privacy Law Specialist Designation

Another benefit for lawyers considering CIPT certification is the opportunity to earn the IAPP’s Privacy Law Specialist (PLS) designation.

Accredited by the American Bar Association, this prestigious designation requires lawyers to obtain the Certified Information Privacy Professional / United States (CIPP/US) certification and either the Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) certification or CIPT certification.

How to Prepare for the CIPT as a Non-Technical Professional

Now that you understand the benefits of obtaining the CIPT certification, let’s discuss how you can prepare for the exam.

As someone with a non-technical background, you’ll want to take advantage of supplemental tools and resources to guide you in your studies. Consider services offered by trusted experts in the field of privacy, like your friends here at Privacy Bootcamp.

At Privacy Bootcamp, we have comprehensive CIPT test preparation. We have designed this course with the non-technical professional in mind. We break down topics with simple easy-to-grasp explanations, while also introducing background concepts. We do so, not because those background concepts will be tested, but because this context helps our students better grasp the topics that will be tested.

Our self-guided, all-in-one online CIPT course includes:

Practice makes perfect. Through proper preparation for the exam, you can obtain your CIPT certification as a lawyer or other non-technical professional, and be well on your way to taking advantage of the many benefits of CIPT certification.

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