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Got your MBA study guide yet? More infosecurity pros are going back to school and chasing down a graduate business degree.

Jesse Horowitz is a techie at heart, someone who five years ago said no to business school for a BA in math with a concentration in scientific computing.

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The 27-year-old Kenyon College graduate parlayed his technical tendencies into a management job with Wells Fargo Services' security operations center in Minneapolis. There he has led security remediation and policy compliance teams, and currently manages security monitoring and architecture for the financial services giant.

Techie stuff, no doubt. So why is the famous Kaplan GMAT book prominent on his desk? He's going back to school.

Horowitz understands what many security professionals are starting to realize. Technology chops aren't enough to succeed in the information security profession. Those with an MBA have a wider pathway to the CISO's office and higher up the corporate ladder.

"It is a trend. You can't be an effective career infosecurity person without business knowledge," Horowitz says. "You have hardcore techies--engineers and analysts--those guys are gear heads, and we need them. They make the ship run. On the other hand, people in leadership positions have to have [business] ability. We try not to stick an engineer in front of an executive on an all-night call, for example. Get a manager in there to interpret what's going on so that everyone is on the same page."

This was first published in September 2006

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