Here is my prescription for creating a cyber security VoTech, extracted from a proposal I helped put together for the State of Michigan.
“In addition to working with the various certificate organizations we will work with security vendors to teach and award certifications in major security tools. This is the fastest road to creating a work force that will have immediate marketability.”
The top cyber security professionals I have worked with take one of two paths: hacking, or security operations. The hacking route involves researching malware, reverse engineering, and coding. Typically these security researchers are self taught, but there are opportunities to start at the bottom at the new breed of security intelligence vendors that is cropping up.
The other path, operational security, began with learning tools and applying them on the job. This is the path that will generate the quickest results. Just becoming proficient in configuring and maintaining a single tool can lead to marketability in cybersecurity. Hiring managers I talk to are interested in finding people that can be productive on day one. If a candidate has experience with one of the tools in use at a company they can jump right in.