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Requesting info for a paper

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g00d_4sh

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Post Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:25 pm

Requesting info for a paper

First of all, it's good to have some time to actually pop in and say hello!  I hope things have been going well for you all, this last year has been insanely busy for me.  Secondly, thanks in advance to anyone who chooses to take the time to read this and post any helpful information.

Long story short, I am doing a nice little 30 page report for college.  (Yeah, back in school getting 2 degrees.)  This one is kind of fun though, I'm doing a comparison of five different cyber security career paths on 5 different comparison criteria.

Jobs:

*  Penetration Tester
*  CISO
*  Computer Forensics Investigator
*  Auditing/Analyst Lead
*  Cyber Warfare job in the Fed Sphere.

Criteria:

>  What is the average Wage?
>  What are the Education/Certification requirements?
>  Is the career one that allows for easy transition of experience to another country?  (IE, easy to move about and still find work in the same field and be able to use past experience easily)
>  Does the career have job security?
>  Is clearance required?

Thus far I'm having fun doing a bit of digging, and at the end of the paper I will have a better idea hopefully of what path I'm going to focus on.  So, I am posting here to try and gather some opinions on the various criteria for each career path from those currently in the career field.  The best way to find out about a job is by asking those doing it.  Once again, thank you to any/all who choose to post, or send a PM either discussing personal experience in said fields, or helping with fleshing out the criteria for each.  Or... any links to sites I may not have looked at that might contain relevant information on said career paths.
"Bad.. Good?  I'm the guy with the gun"
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Ketchup

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Post Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: Requesting info for a paper

I can chime in on a couple of these:

* Computer Forensics Investigator:

Experience counts for more then anything.  Ex-Fed and Ex-Cops are in high demand.  My company has ex FBI, Customs / ICE, Local Cops.  Their prior employment is almost an instant marketing tactic.  We also have some non-fed employees, myself included. 

CFCE is the the most sought-after certification, but is only available to law enforcement.  CCE and EnCE are also valuable and are accessible to everyone.  Some states will require a CCE and a PI license for investigative work.  Texas and one of the Carolinas currently require this. 

Wages vary greatly.  A junior investigator can make anywhere from $35,000 to $50,000 depending on location and skill.  A senior investigator can make anywhere form $70,000 to $150,000 due to various factors.  These are private sector numbers.  If you are an agent, you are subject to various government payscales. 

Forensics skills are pretty universal, especially among North America and Europe.  Job Security is quite good, even in this economy.    Clearance is not require unless you are doing government work. 

* Pen Tester:

In my experience CISSP is a good cert to have.  It's famous and opens doors.  The SANS certs are also fairly well known and can get you in the door.  Obviously, experience counts here as well.

There are many folks doing that simply run a Qualys or Retina scan and call it a pen test.  This market is fairly competitive and consulting hourly rates are much lower than in forensics.  I am guessing that the job security here is not a good as in forensics.  Very often, you don't have a choice but to hire a forensic investigator.  Courts require a 3rd party neutral investigator in most cases.  Forensics is responsive and often mandatory.  Pen Testing is preventative and in many execs' view quite optional. 

Salaries vary gain.  I am not sure what the average numbers are, since I haven't participated in hiring a pen tester.  My company primarily focuses on forensics and we do pen testing and audit much more rarely. 

Clearance is again subject to who you are working for.  Since computer systems are quite uniform and similar tools are used throughout, I can't imagine that it wouldn't be fairly easy to relocate to another country.

* Auditing / Analyst Lead:

CISA certification is pretty valuable here, as well as some accounting experience.  You are often working for internal audit departments.  Financial institutions have these guys on staff.  Financial institutions are struggling now and I can't imagine that the Audit Industry is not hit as well.

I am not sure of the salaries here as well.  I know too many people that have gotten laid off and have taken much lesser salaries here. 

I believe this is one area where transitioning to another country would be more difficult since the regulatory requirements vary from country to country.  The EU has standardized some of it, but you would have to still play catch up if you relocate. 

~~~~~

I can't comment on CISO, since I am not at that stage of my career :D 

Cyber Warefare job sounds quite sexy and should make you popular with the ladies.  Ok maybe not.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ketchup
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g00d_4sh

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Post Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:26 am

Re: Requesting info for a paper

Thanks for the reply Ketchup.  Good information, and I hope any other folks with input who have a minute can post a little.  Makes for a better resource list at the end heh.  Anyway, hope everyone had a good weekend.
"Bad.. Good?  I'm the guy with the gun"
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Chan

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Post Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:17 am

Re: Requesting info for a paper

>  What is the average Wage?
>  What are the Education/Certification requirements?


I don't know if you've seen this, or if it's of any help:
http://sans.org/info/38448 <--SANS Salary survey 2008
CCNA, 100m Swimming cert.
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timmedin

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Post Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:03 pm

Re: Requesting info for a paper

Chan wrote:I don't know if you've seen this, or if it's of any help:
http://sans.org/info/38448 <--SANS Salary survey 2008


Nice! I hadn't seen that.
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