Moving into a Cyber Security role
For a long time I’ve mulled over the pros and cons of specialisation or generalisation within IT. I’ve written before about the professional advantages of being a general purpose network and system administrator with a broad skill set, particularly when living in a small country, but also of the frustration I felt at not being deeply knowledgeable in a single field.
This week I accepted the position of Information Security Officer within the healthcare provider I work for, and in doing so have for the first time set my focus on one single area of IT: cyber security.
Cyber security is of course a huge field in itself, so “specialising” may be an overstatement, but this is the first time I feel my career has turned to pursue one particular direction within IT.
One thing about maintaining a blog, for better or worse, is the ability to look back through your thought process over the years. At the end of 2019, as part of stating my career goals for 2020, I wrote:
In 2020…I want to decide on my specialisation, and work towards that solely, as I do still believe that specialisation and continual up-skilling within your chosen field is the best career path to higher paid and more senior positions.
Covid-19 put a delay on these plans, but I’m very happy to have now made the (very natural) pivot from network/system engineer into cyber security.
It’s something I’ve always had a strong interest in, and having found myself responsible for my company’s network security over the last few years anyway, it’s nice to finally have that recognised with a title, and to be given the authority to pursue it with focus in the organisation.
I’m in the middle of studying for the Red Hat Certified System Administrator certification, which I always knew was going to be my last “general purpose” certification, having felt that I had achieved some form of certification in all major areas of IT (virtualisation, Windows Server, networking, cloud etc.). I haven’t thought much yet about which cyber security training/certification I want to pursue, but I’m looking forward to mapping out my learning and professional growth over the next few years with a much finer focus.