Women In Cybersecurity introduces KITT content expert Robin Abernathy

March 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Careers, Certification Paths, CISSP, CompTIA, cybersecurity, Knowledge | Leave a comment
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Women In Cybersecurity is a quarterly IT blog feature that addresses news and information for women who wish to find out more about careers in cybersecurity.

If you were asked to picture a noted cybersecurity educator and author, you might not imagine a tiny woman with bright red hair and a thick Alabama drawl—that is, until you saw one of her CISSP instructional videos or tried to fit into her standing-room only panel at the recent (ISC)2 conference. And if you were interested in earning one of those security certifications that routinely make top ten lists—certifications like CISA, CISM, and CISSP—you’d find that she wrote not only the practice test, but frequently wrote or co-wrote the textbook as well.

Robin is no stranger to challenge. Her career journey has been a noteworthy progression, as IT in general and cybersecurity in particular are still fields primarily populated with males. Like many IT specialists, she followed a non-traditional career path, starting behind the counter in a strip-mall PC shop in the 80s. She taught herself PC repair, moved from sales to desktop administration, and then took a variety of jobs in network administration and database administration. Robin honed her skills at the primary IT support specialist at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, where she was responsible for many of the institution’s computer security initiatives, including software updates and documentation, culminating in a coordinated response to the Y2K crisis.

Robin’s strength as a writer and her ability to organize information enabled her to move forward in her career, and eventually led her to a job at a training provider called SelfTest Software. She’s now the shortest and the most senior member (four foot ten and 18 years, respectively) of the content development team at Kaplan IT Training (formerly Transcender and SelfTest Software).  Her twin specialties are project management and cybersecurity, particularly information security and auditing. Her many certifications include CISSP, CASP, Security+, Network+, Project+, A+, PMI’s PMP and CAPM, and ITIL Foundations. Her latest textbook is the CompTIA Project+ Cert Guide: Exam PK0-004 (Certification Guide) published by Pearson IT Certification. Two forthcoming titles are the 2nd Edition CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) CAS-003 Cert Guide (with coauthor Troy McMillan) and the 3rd Edition CISSP Cert Guide (with coauthors Sari Greene and Troy McMillan), also from Pearson IT Certification.

Robin was willing to share her experience with me for this blog post, which we hope will help students who are curious about cybersecurity careers.

Shahara: What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

Robin: I have an affinity for constant change. I thrive on it. And the world of cybersecurity has real-world direct connections. What I like are the real-world stories. There’s always something new. There are new attacks, so I have to stay abreast of the here-and-now versus the used-to-be. The knowledge you need to know is always building and changing. It’s never static.

Shahara: What do you think about certification as an enhancement to the traditional college path?

Robin: I facilitated a recent discussion at a conference where I explained why the certification route is necessary. Attendees asked me the same question, and as I told them, 15 different colleges may have 15 different curricula. I cannot truly measure your job skillset because the requirements and class emphasis will probably be different for each college. Certification standardizes what the industry expects. For instance, CISSP has a blueprint. Employers can see that you have mastered what companies are looking for once you have passed the certification. With a certification, I can assess your knowledge.

Shahara: What would you suggest that colleges and universities do to help their students?

Robin: In the future, colleges and universities might want to consider adding a practicum component to their requirements along with basic certifications.

Shahara: So what are your thoughts on the roles and possibilities for women who want to go into cybersecurity?

Robin: When I was presenting at a recent conference, I noticed that there weren’t many women in attendance, and most of the ones I did see were in support and administrative roles. I presented to about seventy participants, out of which about five were women. Let me tell you: women are needed. I want to see more women in the field. We don’t have enough people in cybersecurity in general, and we’ll only be adding more jobs as more advanced persistent threats. Everyone doesn’t have to be a programmer. There are many other opportunities that require different abilities. I say, investigate and find out where you fit best.

 

If you have questions, she can be reached by email: robin.abernathy@kaplan.com.

See you soon with more great stories about women in cybersecurity!

–Shahara Ruth

 

 

 

Last Chance to Save (NO EXCLUSIONS)

December 15, 2017 at 11:06 am | Posted in Careers, Certification Paths, LPI, Microsoft, Oracle, PMI | Leave a comment
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After a long 2017, it’s now that time of year to think about what you should give up or do differently for 2018. Are you planning on losing or gaining more weight? Exercising more, watching more streaming shows,  or curling up with more good books? Perhaps picking up a new hobby or going back to a project you once abandoned?

We have a better idea. One that could translate into a higher salary or better career. Why not make getting an IT or project management certification as one of your New Year’s Resolutions? From the highly sought-after certifications like CISSP, CEH, and Security+ (just released the new version last month) to the latest Microsoft Azure, Windows, and security certifications, Transcender has got you covered!

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And this time, it’s no exclusions – opening up the discount to our up-to-date eLearning (now including Juniper to Amazon Web Services) to get started and cloud-based labs to help you hone your new skills . Hurry now. This deal is too good to last into 2018, so you better act now!

Get counted! Take the Global Knowledge IT salary survey today.

December 8, 2017 at 10:30 am | Posted in Careers, Knowledge | Leave a comment
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Global Knowledge’s annual IT Skills and Salary Survey is one of the industry’s largest and most valuable tallies of IT salaries across industries. Now in its 11th year, the survey gathers insight on industry salaries and in-demand certifications, and attempts to identify skill gaps in the career landscape that can help you plan future career paths.

Your contribution is confidential, and participants can opt in to receive the report by email when it is released in Spring 2018.

Interested? Click here to take the survey before it closes on December 11, 2017.


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