Hey guys, I was laid off from BofA. I have been there for 17 years and obviously a lot has changed. Last certification I got was an MCSE NT4, well I got the 2k but that was straight braindumps and passed before I ever logged into a Win2K machine. I am a very good test taker but seems that may not help me on this one! I have been kind of narrowly focused with Secure Email Engineering and got very comfortable and have not done much training in the last 10 years and would like to expand my possibilities with a CISSP, I have been wading through a mountain of options and would like any suggestions in the Dallas area. I know will do better in a classroom setting in order to keep myself focused but I can do the live online but I know I wont do well picking up a book and reading. Is ISC training advised or is infosec a good alternative? They were the most responsive and seem like a good choice and have a class next week. The pricing is all over the place and not sure I need the certified training but i do see some have price matching. I am more concerned about getting good training and keeping myself engaged but obviously do not want to waste money. I also see the content is changing in April so would it be wise to get the training and testing prior to then? My severance runs out soon so I am looking for the fastest path to certification. Thank in advance for any suggestions.
Patience. It may take you a bit to acclimate to the entire classroom and testing regimen again. I suspect if you learn well enough in the classroom to pursue that option instead of isolating yourself in an online class. The opportunity here is to also introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Much like sales in the traditional sense, you miss every shot you don't take. Put yourself into the game. This being just one such opportunity to do so.
Hit up the local security and IT meetups as you can. Often people who are hiring will attend (at least we do in Chicago) as well as folks who know other folks who may be hiring. Keep in mind most recruiters and organizations of any size often pay for placements. Again, its about the number of shots in the game take that leads to the final score.
As far taking tests. These get easier as you take more tests. Even if you have to do a pre-course or two. Brushing up on a Microsoft test or two, Wireshark or Security+ to get yourself a bit more current may be of real benefit before stressing about a longer test like the CISSP. Though admittedly much shorter than it used to be.
Good luck and let us know how you progress.
Fastest path might me a CISCO cert (CCNA or CCDA). Cisco is also doing a cyber security course/cert that could very well lead you into the direction of a CISSP. I only hesitate to say go for the CISSP because time is an issue and that cert requires a lot of time. I've seen very few people (only one actually) that studied and passed it in less than 3 months and he had some time in the field of security for experience. Brocade is also doing a cert and that could help increase the routing. I've focused on routing for years before I got into security, it was actually more fun (but paid less).
If you were an avid learner while you were at work, then your learning curve will be shorter - even though your MCSE is stale and you didn't learn it in an ideal way. If you did not continue to learn for those 17 years, you'll find pursuing the CISSP somewhat troubling. You have to be honest with yourself about that. Depending on which one is you would determine rather I'd recommend pursuing the CISSP right away, or if I'd suggest some other steps along the path.