Qualified IT Security Professionals Needed – IT Security Certifications can help

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Qualified IT Security Professionals Needed – IT Security Certifications can help

With IT security threats increasing and the number of qualified IT security personnel decreasing, organizations, both public and private, are facing a serious problem. Countless organizations are realizing they need more IT security man power to handle the growing number of threats that can harm their business and their valued customers. The small number of IT security staff is just not cutting it these days, and because of this, IT security is the fastest growing field in IT. Data from Indeed, a popular job site, showed help ads for security professionals increased by 100% during the past five years.  So do you think investing in IT security education is a good idea right now? I would think yes! Not only would a career in IT security provide job security, but the pay isn’t too shabby either. The average salary of a Security Specialist or Network Administrator is almost $94,000. Be the solution organizations are looking for by getting qualified in IT security.

Getting qualified for an IT Security Career

Pursuing a career in IT security is an excellent path to travel down, when deciding how you want to create job and financial stability. So where should you begin? There are several ways that you can build your resume to showcase your IT security skills. What can you do to land the security job you are looking for? What will help you stand out from the group?

1)      Know IT Security – Be knowledgeable on the subject. Read about IT security news and events both historical and current. Follow the trending topics. There are plenty out there, as you can’t turn on the TV without hearing about some IT security threat. These threats are even making great story plots for Hollywood.

2)      Obtain Security Certifications – Having a solid foundation, understanding, and skillset is also crucial to successful deployment of IT security practices. It’s these skills that save organizations money and hassles, and also give them peace of mind. Certification and specialized training are excellent ways to get those skills and build the knowledge of a highly respected IT security professional. There are various certifications you can get, which we will discuss in more detail.

3)      Hands-On Experience – Set-up your own “working lab”. Take things apart, and put them back together. Hack into your system, and then create security features to prevent those break ins. Hands-on experience is always best. Experience allows you to put your skills and knowledge to use. Get in an entry-level position as soon as possible, or volunteer. Experience is developed by working through the problems.

Security Certifications

When it comes to IT security there are several certifications that are worth looking into and obtaining. Depending on your level of IT experience, you will want to start with more entry-level certifications, and build up to the more advanced ones as you feel more comfortable, gain more experience, and are ready to advance your IT security career.

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ is an international, vendor-neutral certification. It is an entry/foundation –level certification that demonstrates competency in:

  • Network security
  • Compliance and operational security
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Application, data and host security
  • Access control and identity management
  • Cryptography

CompTIA Security+ not only ensures that candidates will apply knowledge of security concepts, tools, and procedures to react to security incidents; it       ensures that security personnel are anticipating security risks and guarding against them. Candidate job roles include security architect, security engineer, security consultant/specialist, information assurance technician, security administrator, systems administrator, and network administrator. Kick start your IT security career – start training for your CompTIA Security+ certification.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Certified ethical hackers aka “Whitehats” are those highly skilled IT professionals that have the ability to beat hackers at their own game by uncovering systems’ weaknesses and vulnerabilities. By revealing these vulnerabilities and identifying the access points, these can be addressed before the “bad guys” have the opportunity to penetrate the system and create havoc on the company as well as its customers. The CEH credential is an intermediate certification, and demonstrates competency in:

  • foot-printing and reconnaissance,
  • scanning networks, enumeration
  • system hacking
  • Trojans
  • worms and viruses
  • sniffers
  • denial of service attacks
  • social engineering
  • session hijacking
  • hacking webservers, wireless networks and web applications
  • SQL injection
  • Cryptography
  • penetration testing
  • and evading IDS, firewalls, and honeypots

Those with a CEH certification are good candidates for the following positions: Network Testing, Systems Analyst Specialist, Information Technology Security Specialist, IT Vulnerability Specialist, and Tester/Ethical Hacker. To kick-off your IT security career, and start training for your Certified Ethical Hacker certification click here.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

For those IT professionals that are serious about a career in IT security the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a must. These IT professionals possess expert knowledge and technical skills necessary to develop, guide, and then manage security standards, policies, and procedures within their organizations. This is an advanced vendor-neutral IT security credential that is recognized world-wide, and demonstrates competency in:

  • Access Control
  • Application Development Security
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning
  • Cryptography
  • Information Security Governance and Risk Management
  • Legal Regulations
  • Compliance and Investigations
  • Operations Security
  • Physical Environmental Security
  • Security Architecture and Design and Telecommunications and Network Security

The CISSP certification is meant for experienced IT professionals and offers three concentrations for targeted areas:

  • CISSP Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Management

Those with a CISSP certification are good candidates for the following positions: Senior Analyst, IT Security Threat & Vulnerability Director, Principal Security Strategist, and Network Engineer. To advance your career in IT security, start training for your Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (CPTE)

Another certification based around ethical hacking, Certified Penetration Engineer (CPTE) specializes in penetrating systems – they learn how to locate a system’s vulnerabilities and exploit a system’s weakness, which allows them to create safeguards against the real threats. The CPTE certification demonstrates competence in several area of penetration testing:

  • Information Gathering
  • Scanning
  • Enumeration
  • Exploitation
  • Reporting

Through utilizing and mastering these important techniques, penetration engineers are able to discover the latest vulnerabilities, threats, and techniques blackhat hackers are using today. To build a career with a focus penetration testing, start training for your Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (CPTE) certification..

Job Security through IT Security

IT Security threats are everyday occurrences that organizations world-wide, both private and public, need to be aware of and face head-on. They need to be pro-active in preventing breaches and penetration of their valuable and confidential systems. These are real threats that can be devastating to any organization, big or small. This is the reason the need for IT security professionals is increasing on a daily basis, with no sign of slowing. The world needs more, many more, qualified IT professionals to handle the growing threat. Get knowledgeable in the IT security world. Know the threats that are out there. Even better, get certified! Contact TechSherpas to start your journey of a successful career in IT security.

Vendor-Neutral Certifications create a solid foundation to build upon – Get CompTIA Certified

It should no longer be a surprise that certifications hold weight, and can be the deciding factor in selecting the best candidate for the job or promotion. IT certifications continue to be key indicators of knowledge and skills sets required by the IT staff of successful organizations. Among the certifying IT entities, is CompTIA who strives to be the voice of thecomptia world’s information technology (IT) industry. CompTIA is the world’s largest provider of technology-neutral and vendor-neutral certifications, and the education and certification programs prepare individuals for a successful career in the IT field. These neutral certifications create a solid foundation for higher-level, and vendor –specific, and multi-vendor environments they will encounter on the job.

There are four different CompTIA IT certification series that test different knowledge standards, from entry-level to expert. Here, we will focus on four specific certifications within the Professional & Specialty series that are quite popular within the job market at this time:

CompTIA A+

This is the perfect certification for those who are looking to start a career in the IT field, and will help land you an entry level IT position. The A+ certification demonstrates your knowledge of the fundamentals of hardware, software and operating systems; system troubleshooting and repair; networking; security and operational procedures including communication skills that a helpdesk or remote support employee should have. Good candidates for this certification are:

  • Network Support Technicians
  • Field Service Technicians
  • PC or Support technicians
  • IT Administrators

CompTIA A+ is supported by top technology companies and organizations. In fact, CompTIA A+ is part of the certification track for corporations such as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, and Cisco. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires CompTIA.

CompTIA Security+

The Security+ certification demonstrates proven knowledge of security concepts, tools, and procedures to proactively guard against IT security risks and quickly react to security breaches. It helps ensure competency in:

  • Network security
  • Compliance and operational security
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Application, data and host security
  • Access control and identity management
  • Cryptography

Good candidates for CompTIA Security+ certification include:

  • Security Architect
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Consultant/Specialist
  • Information Assurance Technician
  • Security Administrator
  • Systems Administrator
  • Network Administrator

CompTIA Security+ is regularly required in organizations such as Hitachi Information Systems, Trendmicro, Lockhead Martin, the U.S. State Department, and U.S. government contractors such as EDS, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman.

 CompTIA Cloud Essentials

The CompTIA Cloud Essentials specialty certification demonstrates that an individual knows what cloud computingmeans from a business and technical perspective, as well as, at a high level, what is involved in moving to and governing the cloud .The CompTIA Cloud Essentials certification will target candidates in IT and non-IT job roles who could benefit from cloud education and testing on the high level business and technical concepts that make up the cloud computing landscape. The certification can also credential the ‘cloud brokers’—those who sell cloud services or whose strategic business plans include cloud technologies for their organization.

Target candidates include:

  • Business analysts and business process owners
  • Managed Service Providers
  • New data center staff
  • Sales/marketing staff in cloud product or service environments

“By 2015, public cloud services will make up 46% of net new growth in overall IT spending” – eWeek 2011.

CompTIA Network+

The Network+ certification proves a technicians competency in managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, operating and configuring basic network infrastructure. Certified professionals have proven knowledge of networking features and functions, including wiring standards and how to use testing tools. CompTIA

Network+ certification is the first step toward a job as a network engineer or manager, and maps to vendor-specific certifications such as Cisco’s CCNA. Candidates for CompTIA Network+ certification:

  • Network Administrator
  • Network Support Technician
  • Wireless Network Installer/Specialist
  • Help Desk Technician
  • Network Solutions Architect
  • Network Engineer, Managed Services

Network+ is recognized by Microsoft as part of their MS program. Other corporations, such as Novell, Cisco and HP also recognize CompTIA Network+ as part of their certification tracks. Department of Defense (DoD) approves CompTIA Network+ to fulfill certification requirements for Technical Level 1 positions. The average starting salary of network engineers can be up to $70,000.

CompTIA Linux+

CompTIA Linux+ is a great first certification to develop your educational and career path in Linux administration. Linux platforms are becoming a popular alternative to commercial operating systems. Government agencies, corporations and academic institutions are turning to Linux to manage their IT needs, primarily in server support and storage. CompTIA Linux+ proves you have the knowledge and skills to work at the Linux command line, perform maintenance tasks, assist users, and install and configure workstations.

Certified professionals have a proven knowledge of Linux system architecture; Linux installation and package management; GNU and Unix commands; Linux file systems, and the Filesystems Hierarchy Standard. Candidates for CompTIA Linux+:

  • Junior Network Administrator
  • Systems Administrator
  • IT Helpdesk Support
  • Linux Database Administrator
  • Web Administrator

The U.S. Navy recognizes CompTIA Linux+ as an option to fulfill the DoD Operating System certification requirement.

CompTIA Certifications will prepare you for any IT career path 


Any of these vendor-neutral certifications will prepare you for a successful career in IT, regardless of which path, technology, vendor, or organization you chose to work for or specialize in. These certifications provide a solid foundation in which you can build upon, and can serve as a stepping stone to more advanced and vendor-specific certifications such as Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, and VMware. To begin your path to the IT career of your choice, get the competitive edge businesses are looking for. Get certified today. TechSherpas is a CompTIA Authorized Partner. Follow the links to view the courses, dates available, and register to prepare for the certification exams: