Going back to work after some time at home

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This question is from SearchSecurity.com user: I am 36-years-old. I was downsized five years back from a Fortune 500 company. Since then, I've been home with my two small children. However, now I want to go back to part or full-time work. I used to work in performance testing and enhancements of workstations. (I have an MS in computer science from the U.S.) Since I have this huge gap in my work experience, what is my general outlook? I was looking at the security field because it seems like a robust area. I am also getting some training as an Oracle DBA as an alternative. Am I taking the right steps? Can you make any suggestions?
ASKED: November 1, 2004  2:55 PM
UPDATED: November 16, 2004  2:54 PM

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A – Do you want to get your hands dirty or want a ‘admin’ job?
B – You find yourself in the same boat as someone with NO experience. Five years was three generations in computer science.
Dirty – Cisco routing cert and Security cert they can get you in the door. Make sure your system at home has the latest OS version and no matter which OS learn the other two.
Clean – Oracle and Business Accounting.

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  • Etittel
    Dear NotMia: The outlook for security professionals is indeed pretty robust, but unless you can claim (and demonstrate) some prior experience, most of the good jobs in infosec aren't really entry-level positions per se. That said, most people who move into full- or part-time infosec positions tend to come from netadmin or sysadmin type positions (where some degree of security smarts is a routine part of that job, too). Look your experience over closely and decide how well you can position yourself as a "security person" in light of what I've just said. If you can make the cut, it's probably a good idea to head in that direction and to consider pursuing Security+ to start with, followed by your choice of either SANS intermediate level certs or possibly the CISSP. With those credentials in hand, you will have little trouble finding work--provided, of course, you can convince prospective employers you've leapt the hurdle I pose for you in the preceding paragraph. OTOH, if Oracle is really what interests you more, there's a lot to be said for pursuing one's interests in the workplace. Liking what you do for a living goes on paying psychic dividends long after the rush of a bigger paycheck or a better job fades with time. Oracle opportunities are also reasonably good, but better if you're flexible on location or live in a major metro area. Either way, good luck with your return to the workforce. My wife is a physician not licensed in the US who's planning to return to school to bone up for her medical boards, then repeat her residency once our kids get into elementary school, so yours is a situation to which I can definitely relate. For that reason do feel free to e-mail me directly at etittel@techtarget.com if you have further comments, questions, or concerns. Best of luck to you, too! --Ed--
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  • Fireblazer
    I think, the best option would be to optimize and leverage on what you already know, as far as I know, if you know about workstations, it will help you more if you get to know more about desktop security and endpoint security. Endpoint security is a hot option and it requires knowledge about how a workstation behaves, when connected to a central facility. Try to Google it. And CISSP is definitely a good option. Regards
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  • Tsmitty
    Have you given any thought to the field of Project Management? The reason I ask is that with five years as a full-time parent, you've likely built up some very strong soft-skills: leadership, negotiation, organization, budgeting, multi-tasking, etc. These, combined with a proven ability to understand and communicate complex technical concepts, are highly desirable in the world of IT Project Management. The field is arguably not as intelluctually stimulating as infosec (not many are), and likely more frustrating - but it does have its own rewards. Without much experience, you'll need a PMP to break in. See http://www.pmi.org for more info - good luck!
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