I am new to the IT industry but would like to pursue a career in internet security. Would it be better to study for a Cisco qualification or should I study for a more general basic networking qualification?
The solution: Get a broad grasp of IT before specialising
Your interest is certainly well-founded. Internet security remains one of the most vibrant and fastest-moving sectors in theIT industry and it is a high priority for every business using the internet as a means of communication.
Organisations must ensure their corporate data is well protected, and most want to carry out transactions online without compromising security.
Employers look for applicants with a good understanding of the whole IT sector. They should possess a range of skills, including IT skills and more generic, professional skills such as people and project management.
First, it would be advisable for you to build a good understanding of the IT sector before moving on to familiarise yourself with the intricacies of the security industry.
Furthermore, if you are going to learn how to build firewalls, install virtual private networks or protect a network from intrusion from hackers, it is imperative that you have some basic networking knowledge.
There is a danger that if you focus too much on one product to begin with, you will limit your future prospects. I suggest you start by going on some training courses to give you a broad perspective of internet security.
From there you can decide whether you want to specialise, and if you do, there are a wealth of companies offering more specialised courses.
Solution by Terry Watts, chief operating officer, E-Skills UK
The panel: MSB International, Best International, BritishComputer Society, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, E-Skills UK
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