Christopher Porter is the CEO of Training Camp. Porter has over 15 years experience in both business and management and graduated from LaSalle University with a Bachelor of Science in biology. Training Camp is the leading provider of information technology and security training courses.

(Photo Courtesy of Christopher Porter)

(Photo Courtesy of Christopher Porter)

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What kind of degree is needed to secure a job in your field?

“The HR people like to see a degree because it shows that the applicant can set and achieve a long-range goal. A major in one of the IT related fields such as programming or even applied math is a plus, but I’ve had great success with people who come from an analytic major such as philosophy or a major that is pattern based, such as music. Additionally, I should say that I’m seeing a lot of master’s in infosec people.”

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

“The most challenging aspect of my job is promoting security as necessary. Programming courses teach syntax and test on whether the student’s assignment yields the expected results. Security and security testing is briefly mentioned, if at all, in the workplace; people say they want security, but then they won’t pay for it, and they bypass it if it seems to get in their way.”

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After graduation, how hard was it to transition into the working world?

“Very difficult. As with many fields, employers want experience. Some classic paths into the field involve employers who will train first, such as the military, or those that bring on interns for little or no money in exchange for experience. One of the advantages of the military path is that it usually requires a clearance which the military will obtain for the candidates it selects. In the working world, a clearance is required for some jobs, making companies more willing to take a chance on a candidate with little or no direct experience.”

What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in cyber security?

“Get one of the entry certifications, such as those from CompTia (Net+, A+), and then get a job that requires interaction with non-IT professionals, such as help desk or computer repair. That exposure to the needs of people who see the computer as just another appliance will help immeasurably when it comes time to design programs or systems or later in their career, to set policies or manage operations.”

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