Thursday, February 13, 2014

Free technical education

I keep saying this, because it's true: if you're looking to get into a growth industry, the Internet Security field needs you.  Bad:
ESG [Research] is about to publish its 2014 IT spending intentions research as it does each year.  In reviewing this data, I found continuing bad news about the IT security skills shortage.  ESG research found that:
  • Of those organizations planning on adding new IT staff positions in 2014, 42% say they will increase headcount in information security.  This is the highest percentage of all IT skill sets (note:  the #2 choice was IT architects at 35%).
  • Twenty-five percent of all organizations surveyed claim that they have "problematic shortage" of information security skills at their organizations.  Once again, this was a higher percentage than any other individual IT category (note:  the #2 choice was IT architects again at 24%).
RTWT for the list of industries that cannot get and retain security talent.  This means that wages will be rising for the foreseeable time, as will job security.  In this economy, that's not a bad thing.

"But Borepatch", I hear you say, "that's easy for you to say having been in that industry since like 1066 A.D. or whatever.  But how do I break in?"  Easy - Cisco certifications.

Start with the entry level CCNA, which will open some doors just by itself.  This series of Youtube videos is very high caliber, and walks you through the entire curriculum.  You can also look at the slides here.  Spend a month or two of evenings and you'll have the material down - it's not landing a man on the moon, it's just basic blocking and tackling.  Then you take the Cisco certification test for a few hundred bucks.  Quite frankly, that might be enough to score an entry level IT networking job.

Next, take the CCIE, and then the CCIE Security specialization.  Again, high caliber online classes are available for a few hundred bucksOr free.  Followed by a few hundred for the test.  So for your time and a grand or two, you can make yourself into someone who can ride the desperate shortage of security talent into a lucrative career.

And a word to the wise: SecureWorks is looking for security guys for their Myrtle Beach Security Operations Center.  That's right - good pay, no State income tax, and living on the beach.

And nobody in the industry cares what college you went to, or if you went at all.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

It's a 'challenging' career for sure!!! Trying to stay one step ahead of the hackers makes for interesting work days!!!