You’re certified, Now what?

Congratulation! You’ve passed your IT certification exam. Here are three considerations for your journey as a certified IT professional.

Increased Responsibilities

Your first time seeing your credentials after your last name is a rewarding feeling. You endured the nights and weekends of studying and challenged yourself learn something new. You also took a test that is administered around the world, granting you the same baseline knowledge as other certified professionals around the world. This world-renowned credibility also holds you accountable for promoting ethical standards around your workplace and personal life. Unethical acts committed by a certified professional can be reported to his or her IT certification vendor. This can result in the vendor voiding all earned certifications and restricting the abuser from attaining future IT certifications. Being on a certification blacklist can greatly impede your career progression and limit future opportunities.

Continual Education

IT Certifications expire every three years and must be renewed by either re-taking the current version of the certification exam or by completing its required amount of continual education credits. These credited can be attained by completing university courses, attending IT security conferences, or by attaining an equal or higher-level IT certification. Companies that mandate certifications also require its maintenance as a term of employment. Cyber security professionals must be adaptable to changes and be knowledgeable of recent threats and emerging technologies. Some organizations set aside a budget to cover the continual education requirements for their cyber security professionals. This budget can cover the costs of attending security conferences or attaining new IT certifications, which ultimately improves your organization’s security posture.

Community of Professionals

Attaining an IT certification grants access to a community of professionals that can increase your visibility and grow your network. IT Certification vendors usually has a chapter group established in major cities. These groups usually meet once a month to discuss cyber-related topics and its members share similar IT credentials. These groups are also good opportunities to earn continual education credits. If you are not yet in a cyber security career field once you’re certified, involving yourself in these groups can increase your marketability and create opportunities.

Conclusion

Becoming a certified IT professional speaks to your dedication to learning new skills and having those skills assessed against a global standard. Once your are certified, be familiar with the Code of Ethics that you signed as a term of certification, be aware of your continual education requirements, and take advantage of the networking opportunities that are available.

 

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About the Author

Victor Nzeata is the Chief Executive Officer of Cyber Brain Academy and has held previous roles such as electrical engineer, software engineer, cyber threat emulation lead, and information systems security manager. In 2016, he became the US Army Reserve’s first graduate from the US Army Cyber School of Excellence and is the first Army Cyber Operations Officer with experience leading electronic warfare missions and combined arms operations in the United States, Asia and the Middle East. Victor is also an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego, where teaches Secure Systems Architecture to its graduate-level students.

Victor received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering technology from Purdue University, a master’s degree in cyber security operations and leadership from the University of San Diego and is a Ph.D. candidate in information security. Victor holds active CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Systems Professional, Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer, and Navy Qualified Validator Lvl 3 certifications.

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