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How do I pursue a career in teaching or research?

I am coming to the end of a military career. I have a master's degree in IT and have MCSE and CISSP certifications. I have moved to upper management, but still like to work hands on from time-to-time. I would like to teach, research or work at the corporate mid-level in security. Should I train for more certifications or should I pursue more college-based work to remain viable for this career change?

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Before you invest in any more certifications or schooling, try your luck in the workplace. The MCSE/CISSP is already a pretty potent combination, especially if you (a) have worked in infosec already and (b) have any kind of DoD security clearance (as you surely must have). If both of these conditions are true, and you have no objections to working in the DC metro area (or around other large military installations where security jobs involve DoD civilians) you can bet on finding a job with one of the so-called "Beltway Bandits" who work with the military, or other branches of the government, in the information security area (this includes the rather formidable collection of former independent agencies now part of Homeland Security, as well as NSA, FBI and so forth).

If you look into the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), you'll see they have chapters in many parts of the country, including Northern Virginia, Baltimore, and DC itself (see the US Chapter map for more info). In addition to providing ongoing education and information delivery at monthly meetings, they also have a great people networking opportunity (one good way to find work) as well as job postings (another, more obvious way to do the same). You should probably also investigate postings available through the ISC-squared Web site only to CISSPs as well.

Only if this initial search doesn't land you in a job (and frankly, given your background and experience, I'll be surprised if it doesn't), you should consider more training or certification. If that does happen, please post again and I'll be happy to advise further and to answer any follow-up questions you might have.

This was first published in January 2006

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