Skills and Qualifications
All jobs in information security require a combination of education and experience. Entry level jobs require a degree or diploma in Information Technology, computer science, or a related discipline and a good conceptual acumen on system administration and how networks operate.
Information systems security jobs require specific certifications besides a degree or diploma. The certifications most in demand are:
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Red Had Certified Engineer (RHCE)
- Microsoft certifications such as Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialists (MCTS)
- Security certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Check Point Certified Salary Administrator (CCSA), and Check Point Certified Security Expert (CCSE)
Interviewers test candidate’s theoretical knowledge on topics such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), VPN, data recovery, network authentication, encryption, and more, besides the basics of networking. Employers also look at the extent to which the candidate is aware of the latest developments in the field, such as the latest and emerging threats and vulnerabilities, legal requirements, and more.
The success of the job hunt however would depend largely on practical exposure. Internships and paid or unpaid work experience on anything to do with computer networks are invaluable for people seeking entry-level jobs.
Apart from technical qualifications and exposure, success in the profession requires good communication skills, the ability to handle pressure, the ability to remain focused on the task at hand and work patiently for long hours, and good logical thinking.