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How to Become a Very Good Computer Security Consultant
Today, there are several information-technology jobs including Computer Security experts who help to protect organizations against malware, hackers, employee-mistakes and natural-disasters. In fact, getting into this field will require you to possess hands-on experience through extensive-training and management-prowess. Additionally, you will need to acquire education related to computer-security and also start applying for an entry-level job as you work your way up.
How To Get The Necessary Training And Qualifications:
- Go for technology-related classes: While at school, take classes that focus on technology and computer-science. These may include; computer-programming, physics and chemistry classes but also take as many math classes as possible. In fact, taking these subjects is a helpful step especially if you’re still in high-school and wish to pursue a career in computer-security in future. On top of that, you can also go for Advanced Placement (AP) courses to help put you ahead when you reach the college-level.
- Join a computer-club at your school: Most high-school and even junior-highs have computer-clubs that students can join and participate. Computer-clubs can actually be a great way to start developing your computer-skills and will also adds value to your college application. On the other hand, you may even consider joining the robotics club at school in-order to get more experience with how technology and machinery work in the real-world.
- Take an information technology degree: Today, most computer security experts are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer-science or IT-related major. So, you should also consider choosing a high-quality degree-program with most up-to-date information on computer-programming, networking, information-systems, penetration-testing, and systems-analysis. Additionally, choose a degree-program that values innovation and aims to teach you the most relevant and useful information.
- Go for a Master’s degree in computer-science, IT, or computer-engineering: Getting a getting a Master’s degree in any of these courses will be of great help if you already have an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field and it will also set you aside from other job-hunters who only have a bachelor’s degree or lower qualifications. Lastly, a Master’s degree in computer-science will give you the conceptual and theoretical background necessary to qualify to work as a computer security consultant.
- Go for professional certifications: Companies like; Microsoft (MCSE), Cisco (CCIE) and others actually provide training and certification programs that every consultant should acquire. In fact, any consultant should be able to show a high-level of certified training because it will improve on his chances of getting contracts/jobs in the technology field. On the other hand, these you can get many of these certifications through online training modules with accompanying exams. Lastly, some certifications are free while others can cost anywhere between $200-to-$2000. Examples of Information Systems Security courses include; Certified-Information-Systems-Security-Professional (CISSP), Certified-Ethical-Hacker (CEH), ITIL, Certified-Information-Security-Manager (CISM), SANS-GIAC, Certified-Information-Systems-Auditor (CISA), Project-Management-Professional (PMP), Certified-Business-Continuity-Professional (CBCP), Certified-Protection-Professional (CPP) and Certified-Information-Privacy-Professional (CIPP).
- Consider joining a professional computer security organization: Professional organizations can help you gain experience, join study groups, forums and conferences. In fact, they will help you enhance your résumé and expertise in computer security which is great for your future career. On the other hand, professional organizations are usually located in larger cities but function on a regional/national level which implies that members in these organizations can live anywhere and still participate. Lastly, most organizations cost about $200 to join for an annual membership fee but they also offer discounts for students and retirees.
- Seek a computer security internship: you should consider seeking a computer security internship while still in college because this will help you build your work-experience as soon as possible. In fact, internship is very important that even graduates with excellent grades are expected to have some experience in the field before employers hire them. On the other hand, most IT-schools will have connections to internship-programs or you can even search for internship online.
- Apply for an entry-level IT job: Joining an IT department for about 2-to-5 years will give you excellent knowledge about security-threats and business-structure. In fact, a well-trained graduate will be able to break into the field fairly easily and some of the entry-level IT jobs he/she can get include; IT-Assistant, IT-Specialist, IT-Engineer-Intern, Information-Security-Engineer, and Junior-System-Administrator. So, you don’t need to get a job in IT-security right away because you can use other jobs as stepping stones for a computer security career.