With the kid's schooling slowly gaining momentum, my attention is turning to balancing that with my own career development. As I mentioned in my About Me section, I'm not only a stay at home parent, I'm also transitioning careers. It's taken me a long time to find a couple of areas outside of vocational Christian ministry, that I'm passionate about. Cyber security is one. I recently finished a 10 month program in Cyber security at a local university here in Calgary. This program wasn't technical but rather followed the CISSP domains as set out by (ISC)². I really enjoyed the program. The other area is cloud engineering and orchestration (such as Kubernetes). In this area, I have decided to do the Linux Foundation's Cloud Engineer Bootcamp.
It's been hard to work out the best plan of attack to enter these industries, especially given my lack of work experience in each area and how the current global pandemic has shifted things from what it was 6 months ago. With that being said, I have decided to go down the certification route as a means to enter the industry. Not ideal. I would prefer hands-on experience but there isn't much in the way of entry level positions at the moment. At least with certifications, I can show some level of proficiency.
What am I looking at doing? The Linux Foundation Cloud Engineer Bootcamp has packaged some good online courses with the Linux Foundation's Certified Systems Administrator (LFCS) and the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) certifications. Provided I pass the certification exams. Both give a solid foundation in the area of cloud engineering.
For Cyber security, my university program gave me a good understanding of the core cyber security concepts. However, I'm planing to complement this in gaining my Network+, Security+ and CySA+ from CompTIA . As I have observed from my job hunt, these are some of the industry standards that are being asked for by employers.
As I'm the type that needs to plan and set goals, I decided to give myself deadlines in achieving each of these 5 certifications. So yesterday, I registered for each exam: 5 certifications in 5 months. Perhaps too lofty a goal, but I know I can do it with some discipline and hard-work. (It also helps that the exams come with a free retake in case something goes wrong).
Yup 5 certs in 5 months. I must be crazy.
There is a 6 certification that I would like to aim towards – actually 2 but I still haven't decided between the two – the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or the Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT). These are the gold standard in cyber security and information privacy. Both would be a 'real feather in the cap'; I just need to decide which one to go for and be able to devote the necessary time after completing the other certifications.
Then there is the added incentive to doing all of this: there are a lot of jobs back home in Australia. A lot more compared to what is currently being offered here in Canada. That, along with the desire of our family to move to Australia, makes it seem very appealing and motivating. Yes, it is very much a long shot; but it might just be the opportunity that we need to seize to do so.