ISACA Touts Cybersecurity Career Pathways
Companies and organizations are increasingly eager to find and hire skilled cybersecurity professionals, yet the supply of such workers remains critically low. That means potential employers will often take a look at almost anyone who claims to have the needed degree of cybersecurity expertise. Recent research by cybersecurity and governance association ISACA reveals that one counterproductive outgrowth of these circumstances is that many employers spent time and money sifting through a high percentage of applicants who aren't actually qualified. ISACA has a solution to this problem, at least for those on the "potential employee" side of the of the equation. In continuing to build up it CSX cybersecurity certification program, ISACA has created three Cybersecurity Career Pathways to help guide prospective cybersec workers through a series of education and certification hoops that will prepare them to work in the industry. Learner can choose between career pathways designed to help them become a Cybersecurity Specialist, a Cybersecurity Analyst, or a Penetration and Vulnerability Tester. All three pathways are designed to prepare newcomers to enter the job market and tackle real cybersecurity jobs.
Cybersecurity Certification Isn't Just for Cybersecurity Workers
Speaking of cybersecurity certification, it would seem that there are good and sufficient reasons to get certified in cybersecurity even if you don't have a cybersecurity job – and aren't planning to get one, either. A new post this week to the IT Career News blog of tech industry association CompTIA drives home the oft-underlined yet still important point that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility that belongs to everyone at the company where you work. Blogger Steven Harper makes the argument even more personal by pointing out that it's not just large firms and organizations that are at risk of a hack or breach: everyone, individually, has skin in the game. If you want to protect not just your job and employer, but also protect yourself, Harper argues, then learning more about cybersecurity is just good sense. Cybersecurity certification, Harper argues, makes any IT professional think and act differently, acting with more caution and greater care. As Harper puts it, "A good IT pro is always striving to be the best they can be and bring as much to the team as possible. By obtaining cybersecurity certifications, I believe that I have accomplished both."
Certification a Key Means of Retaining Top Tech Talent
Speaking of getting certified, if you do, for whatever reason, find yourself going down that road, then don't overlook a key source of funding and support: your employer. It's no secret that firms and organizations, both within the IT industry and elsewhere, often have various programs to help employees further their educational aims. IT employment facilitator Dice, which issues an annual Tech Salary Report, says that direct employer support for certification can be a difference maker when it comes to top IT employees making a decision about whether to stay put or look for greener pastures. Dice's own research shows that nearly half of all tech professionals have at least one IT certification. Further, among those who don't have a certification, lack of employer support is often pointed to as being the most impactful reason why. If your employer isn't willing to make time and funds available to support your certification goals, then there's an increasingly good chance you can find a different organization out there that will.
You're Never Too Old to Work in IT
Surveys frequently indicate that employers, including IT employers, value work-sharpened IT experience above any other qualification when it comes to hiring IT personnel. There's an ironic flipside to that durable truth, however, which is that work-honed IT experience is well and good, but only up to a point. In many cases, especially in the IT industry, it's only well and good up to a surprisingly youthful point. A new article posted to CertMag.com, the official Certification Magazine website, discusses the persistent problem of ageism in IT. If you truly want to find and keep a high-paying full-time job in IT, but you're older then 35, then it may be in your best interest to obfuscate your age. In the United States, employer can't actively discriminate against you because you're "too old" to do your job, but passive discrimination is alive and well, and even keeping your skills current won't always protect you. The article is worth reading, even if you can't imagine anything in it applying to your situation – you're only going to be another day older tomorrow.
That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the GoCertify News Editor.