With an evolving technology-driven landscape, cybersecurity has gained new ground. As organizations and companies continue to use and store data, vulnerabilities and threats are on the rise. In the words of Ian Mick, an Information Systems Security Professional graduate, “Cybersecurity is the future and is here to stay.”
Ian has more than 20 years of experience in Information Technology, working in multiple areas such as banking, retail and accounting. His accolades include leading successful mergers for one of America’s largest banks, delivering new technology for a large retailer and implementing key security technology in his current role at Tata Consulting Services, part of Ernst & Young Global, where he manages a team of security testers in the U.S. and overseas in India, Mexico and Hungary.
Ian’s decision to pursue professional education was a result of his transition from Information Technology to cybersecurity. He recalls attempting to study for the ISSP certification on his own, but after several unsuccessful attempts, he turned to CCPE.
“I needed a dedicated and structured environment to learn,” Ian said. “I believed the ISSP program would give me the structure I needed.”
The comprehensive 13-week course taught Ian the essentials of information systems security while preparing him to take the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) exam.
“My experience with the program was very pleasant and enjoyable,” Ian said. “It provided the structure I needed for someone like me that has been out of school for so many years. One of the biggest things for me that I got from the program was a restored passion for learning and more importantly, it made me re-learn how to learn.”
After completing the certificate program, Ian continued to study the CISSP official guide, completing practice tests and watching instructional videos online. To gauge his preparedness for the CISSP exam, Ian took the CompTIA Security+ certification exam first. Today, as a result of his hard work and dedication, Ian has added two certifications to his resume: the CompTIA Security+ certification and the CISSP certification.
For students with little experience in Information Technology, Ian recommends starting with the CompTIA certifications followed by the ISSP Certificate program. Lastly, he recommends connecting with those who are already part of the cybersecurity community.
“Networking is key,” Ian said. “There are thousands of security jobs out there but they are not easy to land. Join Meetup groups, start attending meetings, and engage with others in the industry. You have definitely made the right decision to enter this field; the sky is the limit.”