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Molly describes two ways to change from a networking career to IT security. Hed: Feeling secure Dek: Molly describes two ways to change from a networking career to IT security.

Dear Molly: I read your article about IT security careers in the March issue of Computer User. How do you get into the field if you don’t already have experience? I have been in the networking field for quite some time now and am thinking of a career change.

Molly says: How to get a job when you have no experience? In your case, two ways are good bets: Find a company that will take you on with your networking experience and that is also looking for someone to help with security needs. Then you stay a few years while learning on the job. Or, you keep your current job and get some training/certification in security, and then get some experience by doing volunteer work.

I recommend both–start working along the second path while you prepare to move along the first. Working in parallel means you’ll be able to get some valuable training while finding out if IT security is really a good fit for you. You’ll also be able to go on some job interviews and get some idea of what the market is really looking for.

Check out the Web sites of the organizations that offer security certifications. I mentioned them in the article, but here they are again: the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2) and Information Systems Audit and Control Association.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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