Credentials could ease hiring for IT security jobs

Certification requirements for information security professionals would help agencies smooth the hiring process, representatives from professional certification organizations said at a conference earlier this week.

"As someone who hires individuals, I look for the certifications because it shows a dedication to the profession and giving back to the company, as well as your own personal growth," said Linda Kostic, director of enterprise risk management at E*Trade Financial and a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.

"I think for a young professional, certifications are a good way to validate a skill set," said Tara Dean, government business development manager for CompTIA.

The discussion took place Tuesday as part of the Federal Information Assurance Conference held at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The Defense Department already requires information security professionals to obtain credentials and complete ongoing training to keep those certifications current. The requirements are spelled out in 2004 Directive 8570.1.

"This model is being looked at across the federal spectrum as a grand experiment to determine whether this is the appropriate thing," said Rosey Greer, the former information assurance program manager for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. "[The National Institute of Standards and Technology] has an effort under way to examine that requirement and determine whether that can fit the entire federal workforce."

Greer cautioned that federal agencies should be careful when crafting requirements, but stressed that credentials are a good way to test skills and to inculcate new employees into a professional culture.

"We're trying to keep people away from the dark side," Greer said. "They're going to be out there on the Internet, and we want to train them to be responsible, and to help us."

Lynn McNulty, director of government affairs for (ISC)2, an information assurance credentialing organization, said a credential should not be taken in lieu of experience, but academic programs increasingly ensure that the two go hand in hand.

"We have an associate program where people can come from an academic background, sit the test, and then get put in a pool until they have the required number of years of experience," McNulty said. "One of the changes in the academic environment [is that] you have people who are very, very knowledgeable, who are working in the summer or working part time, and may be able to demonstrate that they have enough experience to attain the credential."

In a best-case scenario, Kostic said, a certification can give an employee a long-term sense of membership in a professional community.

"We have chapters; they're all around the world," Kostic said. "We provide an awful lot of training."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.