A lot of Information Security Career Advice



careerchoiceFor the past few months I’ve received tons of advice from a lot of established Information Security professionals on how I could get my foot in the door and start on my career path. I thought it would be useful to compile a list of links from all the different sources I’ve been sent to for such advice. I think you’ll see a few motifs throughout ;)

One of the very firsts I read on this and I think me badgering him for help inspired him to write it comes from Kees Leune:
Tips for getting started

From here on out I’m just going to post as I think of them so this is no particular chronological order.
James Arlen (myrcurial) has also been of more help to me than I can emphasize and his talk at Last Hope was one of the earlier proverbial fires under my ass. Here is a link to his follow up to that talk at Notacon 6: BlackHat to BlackSuit – Econopocalypse Now:
Vimeo – BlackHat to BlackSuit

A more recent post was by a security professional named Bill Pennington over at the Security Catalyst blog. A two part post directly from a hiring manager is invaluable advice:

Career Advice part 1
Career Advice part 2

An absolutely awesome resource that is very young but is unbelievable for the community is DojoSec. Marcus J Carey has set up monthly briefings in the DC area that are for all intensive purposes mini-cons. If your not from the area make sure you pay attention to when they are because there are some live streams on their website where you can watch all of these amazing presentations free of charge.
I’m bringing this up mostly because of a presentation a month of so ago by Rob Fuller (mubix) titled How to go from the couch to a job in 80 hours. I was lucky enough to catch this streaming online and even got to ask Rob a question via Twitter at the end of the preso:
Vimeo – Mubix

Update:Another great listen is a recent Exotic Liability podcast that talks about a ton of great advice about starting on different paths while talking on the phone with a college student who called in:
Exotic Liability Podcast – Advice
(Thanks for the reminder Chris!)

Another recent post comes from Paul at Pauldotcom and does a really good job at summing up some of the key topics and common themes through out all of these posts:
Getting started in Information Security

Some other interesting links you might be interested in checking out would be anything in the area of expanding your knowledge. Here in no particular order are some links that I have used to help polish up my skill set and soak up other useful information along the way.

This post was floating around recently and is 100 different open courses useful in information security. I’m going to go ahead and equate it to the 77 books in the personal MBA list but for Information Security professionals:
100 open courses

These next group are just tips on free online college level education courses that we all can find use out of:
LifeHacker – Get a free college education
TeachMate
Academic Earth

I’m going to finish up with some advice of my own. Even though I’m still very young and just starting on this long and glorious path I know that I would be miles behind where I am now without following all of the advice I have been given. I’m not somebody who “settles” for whatever falls in my lap and if that is what you are then stick to the job boards.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to be involved in the community as much as you can. There are a ton of people in the community who are very passionate about it and are more than willing to help in whatever ways they can. The easiest ways to get to know all of them is through Twitter and going to cons. Security Twits list is the one of the most valuable resources on the net for infosec people and I don’t know where I’d be without the friends that I’ve made through it.

Update:I know I’m forgetting resources, these are just the ones that stuck out off the top of my head so please feel free to leave any additional resources as comments.

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  • mattjay

    Another source I forgot to mention is http://www.infosecleaders.com
    Thanks to Mike Murray for that one.

    And http://hypatia.ca/2009/03/career-talk-at-spoofit/ via @hypatiadotca

    Thanks guys and feel free to comment any others! :)

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  • mattjay

    @timmedin pointed me to another great addition to this post! Thanks!

    “Don from EthicalHacker.net has audio from a fantastic speech he gave about DIY career in InfoSec here

  • http://www.room362.com/archives/564-couch-to-career-follow-up.html Couch to Career – Follow up | Room362.com

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    [...] applies to getting a job. That, and Matt Johansen beat me to it with his blog post titled: “A lot of Information Security Career Advice“, which I highly recommend you check out and add to your RSS reader.  So instead of [...]

  • Jim

    Tons of videos on security and hacking – http://www.securitytube.net

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  • Tek (Bobby)

    Hey man. Great job on all of the links. I've been searching around the past week for information just like this. It's nice to have it all in one location. I'm also starting out on the long journey; I hope to be an Information Security Manager one day. Good luck on your journey and God bless.

  • Tek (Bobby)

    Hey man. Great job on all of the links. I've been searching around the past week for information just like this. It's nice to have it all in one location. I'm also starting out on the long journey; I hope to be an Information Security Manager one day. Good luck on your journey and God bless.

  • http://cmdline.tv/blog/2009/06/couch-to-career-%e2%80%93-follow-up/ cmdline » Blog Archive » Couch to Career – Follow up

    [...] applies to getting a job. That, and Matt Johansen beat me to it with his blog post titled: “A lot of Information Security Career Advice“, which I highly recommend you check out and add to your RSS reader.  So instead of [...]

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  • Amit Btechit2007

    thnx man….gr8 info at one place…..

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  • Cristian Dordea

    I need an opinion from someone that’s been in the IT
    security field for a while or an IT Security manager.

    I’m going for a Business Information System degree that has
    a specialization in IT Assurance including a class for Security+ (total of
    about 4 classes for the specialization). I’m currently working in the IT Service
    Desk (first level IT) department of a corporation and I will have about 2-3
    years experience by the time I finish my school. Will this type of bachelor
    degree and the experience be enough to get me my first IT Security job?