BT develops formal career plan for security staff

BT is creating formal career development programmes for more than 400 full-time IT security professionals as it gears up to...

BT is creating formal career development programmes for more than 400 full-time IT security professionals as it gears up to create an integrated cross-company security practice.

The company plans to invest in training and mentoring programmes to help its IT security staff develop "rounded" technology and business skills needed by the practice, which will offer security services to BT and external clients.

At the heart of the programme is a skills framework developed by BT that will lay down minimum competencies for security staff, help them to identify their training needs and provide them with a career development path.

The lowest level of the framework will ensure that all staff understand basic security principles, policies and strategies, networks, and BT's own security strategies and business objectives.

Staff can build on this basic knowledge by taking technical qualifications from Microsoft, Novell and other suppliers, recognised security qualifications from industry bodies including (ISC)2 and the Business Continuity Institute, and university qualifications including MScs or MBAs.

"The skills profile will allow people to grow as they build their career path," said Ray Stanton, global head of security services and solutions at BT.

The company plans to kick off the programme by carrying out an audit of the skills of the 400 full-time and 800 half-time security staff in the new unit.

The audit will help BT identify gaps in staff training and experience and to prioritise training and hiring programmes.

BT is also planning a mentoring programme, which will pair candidates who show exceptional promise with senior BT managers and external consultants to help them develop their careers.

Stanton plans to encourage staff to develop operational experience by going on secondment to other parts of BT and to external organisations.

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