You'll need certain basic background in networking: topologies, technologies, protocols, and so forth, is essential to understanding computer and network security. Thus, if you don't already have a networking background, I strongly urge you to obtain the CompTIA Network+ certification (you don't indicate how much networking you had in your Chesapeake bay computer science program). After that, I recommend a pseudo-"ladder" of security certifications as follows:
1. Start with the BrainBench network and internet security exams, to get yourself up and running (www.brainbench.com)
2. Tackle the CIW Security Professional exam next (www.ciwcertified.com); some colleagues of mine wrote a pretty good book on it called "CIW Security Professional Certification Bible," Hungry Minds, 2001.
3. Tackle the TruSecure ICSA (TICSA) certification next, or some other entry-level "serious" certification credential: (SANS GSEC, ISC-squared SSCP, etc.). You'll start seeing books on most of these certs at mid-year, right after you polish off items 1 and 2.
4. From there, let your budget, availability, and interest dictate some mid-level security cert to you (most require 3 years of on the job experience, and take a fair amount of study, so expect to take a hiatus between the previous step and this one): CISSP, ICSE, SANS GIAC Level II, and so forth.
5. If you plan to work in environments where specific products or hardware are in use, you should also investigate vendor-specific security certs from companies like Cisco, CheckPoint, ISS, and so forth. Combined with the preceding elements and 3-plus years of experience you should be able to get a pretty good job.
Dig deeper on Networking Certs and Careers
Related Q&A from Ed Tittel
You don't have to break the bank when it comes to finding resources for managing Windows Server.continue reading
Disconnected VDI means remote users can access their desktops from anywhere, but there are some downsides.continue reading
VDI requires new hardware and software, so make sure you get some VDI training and certifications under your belt before you deploy virtual desktops.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.