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At the end of the recent security round table webinar we hosted HERE, we discussed qualified talent. I had a few interesting twists in that conversation.

I spend part of my time in the academic community and am all about continuing education and being a life learner. And perhaps no where is this more important than the technology security field. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say income for life if you go down this pathway.

Let’s start from a few years ago and get to current.

If you looked at my LinkedIn profile HERE, you’ll see that I proudly served on the advisory committee for the now defunct for profit college called ITT. It’s core offering at the four year level in the technology field was security. I liked that it was focused on doing one thing well in my professional area. My recollection is the ITT system had 25,000 students across its US campuses and about half of those were studying technology. That meant each year, it was graduating 5,000 plus security IT Pros (when you account for drop outs, incompletes, deferrals, etc.). Interestingly it also used the same curriculum at each location. That meant if you terminated school in Friday in Seattle and moved to Dallas over the weekend, you could start class again and be on the same page. It was brilliant.

I’ve since looked around and what forms of education and certifications security MSPs and IT Pros could pursue. For me the answer was simple. I vote you run and complete your CompTIA Security+ certification as its widely known and accepted. It’s an earned title, not an honorary title.

And you might peek at the Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) program HERE. The dets are this:

The Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) is an eight-level certification program designed for technical professionals interested in independent validation of their network security skills and experience. The program includes a wide range of self-paced and instructor-led courses, as well as practical, experiential exercises that demonstrate mastery of complex network security concepts.

The NSE Program enables participants to make the most of the power of Fortinet’s network security platform and be recognized in the industry among an elite group of security professionals.

NSE certification will help candidates:

  • Validate their network security skills and experience.
  • Demonstrate value to current and future employers.
  • Leverage Fortinet’s full range of network security products, consolidate solutions, and reduce risks.
  • As a partner, accelerate sales and offer new services.

To earn certification at each of the levels, candidates must pass a series of tests or an exam. For NSE 1-3, the tests are incorporated into the self-paced learning packages that are hosted in the NSE Institute. A third-party vendor, Pearson VUE, proctors the exams for NSE 4-8. Candidates can register for these exams online. To become NSE 8 certified, candidates must pass the written exam hosted by Pearson VUE, plus a practical exam hosted by Fortinet.

The program is open to Fortinet customers, partners, employees and to students enrolled in the Fortinet Network Security Academy (FNSA).

To wrap on the security talent matter, Dana Epp and Michael Fraser, in the security roundtable webinar gave shout outs to SANS Institute and attending shows like RSA and DevCon to further your security skills.