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The question: How do I retrain for a role in security?

The question: How do I retrain for a role in security?

I feel my broad infrastructure experience developed from eight years of support experience should put me in good stead as an IT risk analyst or security analyst. However, all of the roles I have seen advertised require at least two years of information security experience. How do I gain this experience if I am new to this area of IT? Would obtaining a certification provide a substitute for this experience?

The solution: Try for a niche skill and get certification

Looking at making major changes in your career and the technology area you work in always seems a daunting task. Garnering information purely from job ads can be very misleading as they are pitched to attract the "perfect fit", who rarely exists. Because the client is paying the agency a fee for securing an applicant, they will often give a long wish list of skills to justify using an agent to recruit. In reality, these skills can often not impact on the role itself, but are nice to have as additional skills.

In the case of a specialist area, such as risk analysis or security, this is not always the case but few clients would pay a fee to recruit someone they need to train. There are courses you can go on that would definitely give you a huge advantage and although nothing is guaranteed, there are a few that, should you gain the qualification, would put you in an excellent position to secure a choice of roles.

One of the more niche skills we see in demand in this area is the certified information systems security professional (CISSP) qualification.

Candidates with this qualification are commanding excellent salaries on both the contract and permanent front. There are a large number of companies running certification courses on CISSP, but getting a place can be highly competitive.

l Solution by Tracey Abbot , divisional director of the Zarak Group and Atsco board member

The panel: Plan-Net Services, Hudson, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp

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