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Career advantages of security professional certifications and advanced degrees

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Another key component of a career investment strategy is the branding associated with the career investment. Considering the achievement will be on your resume and discussed during an interview or promotion process, you should feel comfortable with the external image it enforces and impression it portrays to others. One of the best examples of this could pertain to the perceived quality of an advanced degree, such as an MBA. The fact is: You can receive an MBA from many different schools; but top-tiered MBA programs carry a better brand than MBAs from distance-learning programs. If your career goal is to become a CISO of a Fortune 500 firm, chances are that someone on the interview team will hold an MBA from a top-rated school. By carrying a similar brandinto the interview process, you should give yourself a competitive advantage over others vying for the same role. In addition, if you have an MBA from a school that is not viewed upon favorably, the career investment could have an opposite effect, and could possibly eliminate you from consideration.

Probably one of the most overlooked factors in selecting a career investment is the value of knowledge and personal growth. Generally speaking, if you select to pursue a career investment for personal satisfaction, you are able to do so at your direction and without advanced expectation. Making yourself smarter, more effective and more complete has benefits in the workplace and beyond. As security

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professionals working in diverse environments, dealing with global issues, and multicultural workforces, gaining a broader understanding of relevant topics that have a personal interest can only be helpful. Although nothing is for certain, but if you decide to let this principle guide the direction of some of your career investments, you may be pleasantly surprised by the future impact it may have on your career development.

As the information security profession continues to mature and competition for information security leadership roles increases, it will become more important for information security pros to differentiate themselves from their peers. Developing a consistent pattern of logical career investments is one of the better ways to accomplish this. Information security professionals who are able to effectively map their personal career investments to their long term career goals, should have a much better chance of achieving them.

About the authors:

Lee Kushner's and Mike Murray's blog can be found at www.infosecleaders.com where they answer your career questions every Tuesday, or you can contact them via email.

Lee Kushner is the president of LJ Kushner and Associates an information security recruitment firm and co-founder of InfoSecLeaders.com, an information security career content website.

Mike Murray has spent his entire career in information security and currently leads the delivery arm of MAD Security. He is co-founder of InfoSecLeaders.com where he writes and talks about the skills and strategies for building a long-term career in information security.

Send comments on this column to feedback@infosecuritymag.com.

This was first published in December 2010

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