Career advice: Making your way around the security certification maze

What should I study to move into IT security?

What should I study to move into IT security?

I want a career in IT security and need to know what qualifications I should study for. I have a background in IT, but it has all been general work, and I have no current IT qualifications. Should I start a lengthy course or do several shorter, more specific courses?

Get experience to put you on path to CISSP

In my experience, the best-paid and most interesting roles in IT security are open to candidates holding a CISSP (certified information systems security professional) qualification. Several surveys have placed people with this qualification in the top 5% of IT earners.

Unfortunately, getting CISSP qualified is a Catch-22: before sitting the exam, the board usually likes candidates to have four years' experience in security, or three years plus a degree.

To get experience, one route would be to apply for an in-house role at your current employer. Research the cost of training needed for such a role, and prepare a business case for the company to fund you. Talk it through with your manager before going any higher, as their buy-in will be vital.

Also, have a look at companies that produce security software the packages you have on the PCs at work will give you a starting point. Look at their websites for vacancies and apply directly.

In general, you need to research the roles you would like to apply for. Match the skills needed against the ones you have and study to plug the gaps.

The panel: Computer People, Hudson, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group

Risk and reward as a data defender >>

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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