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Reader feedback on Ed's Certification in Homeland Security response

With respect to your answer to the Certification in Homeland Security (CHS) question and to paraphrase Gilbert and Sullivan, "if everybody is somebody, then nobody is anybody." Today many people have their CISSP, and there are lots of competing courses to help you gain your certification. However, the CISSP didn't always enjoy its current level of prestige and demand.

When the CISSP came out, no one cared at first. It was not a part of the job requirement for any position in security -- it was too new. I know, because I hired security folks at that time. The same is true today for CHS, so your response is a non-answer. If you had applied the same logic (using job market "demands" to gauge the value of certifications) to the CISSP when it first debuted, then no one would have ever gone through the trouble of getting it -- after all it had no value. CHS may have value, but to base a decision only on its current job market demand is folly.

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Thanks for your input on my response to the CHS question. While I understand your point of view and freely acknowledge that it makes me a "market follower" rather than a "market leader" or "certification pioneer," this approach is in the best interest of anybody who's asking me, "How risky is this investment?" Also, I hope you can understand that without being able to determine if others find value in any particular certification or if employers are actively seeking people who possess such skills, I am compelled to make the kinds of observations I did in my initial CHS response.

As I've written in the past, "if you do decide to pursue a certification that hiring managers or others may not recognize easily or readily, you must be prepared to explain what you learned in the course of earning that credential, what kinds of skills and abilities it allows you to exercise, and in general, to explain the 'value proposition' of the credential, especially as it relates to your suitability for some specific job or job role."

I agree that it would have been a good idea for me to include the above quote in my original CHS reply. Thank you for bringing the subject back up and for giving me the opportunity to add that information to what I provided therein.


For more info on this topic, please visit these SearchSecurity.com resources:
  • Ask the Expert: Has your opinion changed regarding the Certification in Homeland Security?
  • Ask the Expert: What is your opinion of the Certification in Homeland Security?

    This was first published in May 2004

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