How do I get started in IT security?
I graduated with a masters degree in internet computing last year from the University of Surrey. I am interested to know how someone like me is able to get a job in IT security. Where and how do I start?
The solution: Build on MSc with industry certification
A masters degree in internet computing is a great start for a career in the rapidly expanding market of IT security. The growth of IT security is predicted to be about 8% year on year over the next five years, which means that it is a buoyant area for you to get into.
Your next step should be to get industry certification, as a large number of hiring managers are expressing requirements for new staff to be certified in a security discipline.
Certification acts as a safeguard for your competency and quality of work in the eyes of future employers. An MSc in internet computing, for example, can be complemented with certifications such as the Cisco suite or the MCSE (security).
You should also consider the increased role that codes of practice may play within this area of the industry in the future. The ISO/IEC 17799 (Code of Practice For Information Security Management) is a standard that will become more widely used. GIAC (global information assurance certification) is the certification relevant to this standard, and I would recommend establishing an understanding of this code.
In terms of finding work, register with IT security-focused recruiters. You should search all the relevant job sites and companies that focus particularly on the skills you have learnt and wish to exploit. You should also look out for graduate programmes within the large IT consultancies, as their security practices will be growing during the coming years.
Solution by Jason D'Silva Williams, manager, commercial IT recruitment, Hudson
The panel: Plan-Net Services, Hudson, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp
E-mail your career questions to