CCNA Security Job Market

Well our time together this month is nearly over. I hope you have enjoyed the postings and that they have in some way either inspired or assisted you with your CCNA Security studies. Given the end goal of obtaining a new certification for many is to either gain employment or advancement, I thought I would focus this final post on the CCNA Security “job market”, if you will. First, I am no career counselor but I know my way around Dice.com and Monster.com, and a quick search of these major job posting sites revealed that the skills possessed by one holding the CCNA Security are certainly in demand. On Dice.com, a search for CCNA Security positions revealed over 400 job posting. Salaries, titles, and geographies ranged broadly, still most were in the solid 5 digit range ($70,000+)- not bad for an entry level certification title. Of course, it is not the certification alone that will get you the job, you have to combine this with experience. The experience though does not necessarily have to be in the IT field, depending on the job. That might sound a little odd at first, but stay with me for a moment as I explore this. For instance, some of the postings I came across were for “pre-sales engineers”. If you are new to IT and not sure what this entails, this job is one that blends technical knowledge with strong interpersonal and sales skills. Perhaps you are a CCNA Security candidate making a job change from a field where you have gained sales or management experience. If that happens to be the case, you might want to explore a role such as this. That is not to say you don’t also have to be technically savvy, just that it is not a role that focuses singularly on your technical acumen. Of course, there were plenty of “hard core” technical jobs listed as well. Among these were such job titles as Security Analysts, Security Engineer, etc. Many of these roles require not just an understanding of basic Cisco Security technologies; they also require a good understanding of Cisco Networking in general. To compete for these jobs you will want to dust of your basic CCNA knowledge and remind potential employers that you first passed the rather challenging CCNA hurdle before preparing for and achieving the CCNA Security designation. Having broad, basic networking knowledge, along with a degree of depth in Cisco security principles can be quite attractive to many employers. Perhaps you have heard the phrase “never stop learning” and that is certainly true in the world of IT. In fact, that is one of the things that drew me to this profession so many years ago. Technologies change, security threats change, and you, as well, have to change to stay competitive. So my final piece of advice, as you ponder the job market for a CCNA Security candidate, is to emphasize your desire to advance your knowledge. If you are planning to tackle the CCSP as soon as the ink dries on your new CCNA Security certificate, mention this! It has been my experience that employers look favorably on those with a vision for their own future and the motivation to pursue career advancement, such as certification, without a manager sitting over them and pushing them every step of the way. So with these final words of wisdom, I am going to sign off. I hope you have enjoyed this series of posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them. If you ever wish to reach out to me personally regarding issues with your CCNA Security pursuit, or certification in general, feel free to contact me at mwatkins@toolwire.com. Take care and best of luck on your certification journey!!

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.