If you are looking to get into the cybersecurity career field, there are three qualifications that can better position you to break into that field and possibly get that job of your dreams.

  • Security-Related Certifications
  • Targeted Military Experience
  • Knowing SAML

Security-Related Certifications

While there are several different types of security certifications, two are valued the most by many cybersecurity companies: ISC2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and GIAC Certified Incident Handler.


This is the global standard in Information Security. Businesses and defense agencies hiring management positons in cybersecurity like this certification because by having it, they can be assured that you understand the new threats, technologies, regulations, standards and practices that keep their networks safe and secure, and that you can talk the language used in the cybersecurity world. If you are looking for a management job in IT or IS and you can only have one certification, this is the one to get.

GIAC Certified Incident Handler

The incident handler certification is more focused for positions that actually manage networks. By having this certification, you know how to respond to a network breach, using such techniques as freezing the environment, containing the breach and preserving the crime scene.

Note that there are numerous other industry IT certifications you may want to consider, based on the specific type of position you’re looking for.

Targeted Military Experience

Law Enforcement

One aspect used in cybersecurity, but taught in the military more readily in LE than in IT, is interviewing. Because it is a process, it easily carries over to cybersecurity where military interviewing training and experience can be used to gather data. The process is basically the same regardless of the data being captured.

Intelligence Analyst

Some systems in used cybersecurity are more closely aligned with the military intelligence community. Training on security information, event management and the ability to track down persistent threats are better found in intelligence than in IT. If you did supervisory intel analyst work in the military, you may already have training and experience needed for doing these tasks.

Keep in mind that having experience and training in LE or Intelligence by itself won’t be nearly as advantageous as if you also have other skills desired for cybersecurity work. Think of them as one unique aspect of your skill set inventory.

Knowing SAML

The Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) used in cloud-based applications is easy to learn and can quickly move you to the shortlist when applying for cloud-based type application jobs. As more companies use this language to create SAML interfaces in secure environments, the need for this skill will continue to rise.

Having any (or all) of these qualifications on your resume will certainly help you get to the next step – an interview. Once there sell yourself by expounding on how these qualifications (and others) well suit you for the job.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.