Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

What is more important in the information security profession - experience, degrees or certs?

What is more important in the information security profession?
  1. Real world experience,
  2. Degrees (BA, BS, Masters in computing, data security or networking)
  3. Or lastly industry certifications?

How does this vary if the position is in industry or academia?

Also are there any value in older certifications in legacy technology?

Please don't think I'm being flippant when I answer your question as follows: most employers want option 4): "All of the above." Without real-world experience, certifications and/or degrees don't do much for employers. Without degrees, many employers aren't interested in talking to job candidates who've avoided completing this often-important "checkbox item" in meeting hiring criteria. And without current certifications, it's often difficult for hiring managers to be really sure about how much a candidate knows in the technical areas that a certification purports to cover.

That said, if you held a gun to my head and said "Stop the BS, pick one!"

I'd report to you that when equally pressed, hiring managers will pick somebody with recent, relevant, and well-documented experience every time.

This was last published in March 2004

Dig Deeper on Networking careers and certifications

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.