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I'm interested in security - what certifications should I obtain?

I am certified as MCSE with designing security as one paper along with SQL server 2000 as optional ones. I am interested in security areas. Which certifications will be good for me? My background of education is in commerce and I am from India and have a year of experience in programming in a CMM level 4 company.

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If you take a look at my most recent "security certification landscape" articles at, you'll get a good sense of what's available and what's worthwhile. I'd also urge you to look into the new "security specialization" for the MCSE which Microsoft announced just last month, given your current MCSE status. You'd probably be able to qualify for that with at most one or two more MCP exams. Were you to obtain the Security+ as one of those exams, you'd be starting down the trail to general infosec security certification.

After that, I'd recommend you look into the offerings from SANS ( and from ISC-squared (, especially the intermediate GIAC specializations and the CISSP from ISC-squared.

Thanks for writing and good luck with your future career efforts.

This was first published in July 2003

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