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Is this a step back?

My ultimate goal is CISO or director equivalent of a fairly large organization.

I am currently an Information Systems Security Manager (ISSM) for the Defense sector and deal with mostly policies and program management.

I received a job offer from the NSA in a technical role and I am wondering if this will help or hinder my ability to eventually get into a CISO role eventually in the civilian sector.

What are your thoughts?

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    lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    I would scrub the 3 letter acronym...chances are they already know you're here icon_twisted.gif

    CISO's typically have advanced degrees and from what I've found of C-level execs...if they have any technical experience at all (CIO, CTO, CSO/CISO) it's typically early on in their careers. But, it never hurts to have an alphabet soup of government agencies on your resume and if you have a technical lean then your underlings will be much more supportive IMO.
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    5502george5502george Member Posts: 264
    Lol, why would I scrub the acronym? It is not a secret...

    I will be attending a master’s program in Jan (MBA), I just don’t want to take a step back in the scheme of things going into a tech role.

    Although the name might help on a resume, I already work for an agency with high accolades so I am torn.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    lsud00d wrote: »
    I would scrub the 3 letter acronym...chances are they already know you're here icon_twisted.gif

    CISO's typically have advanced degrees and from what I've found of C-level execs...if they have any technical experience at all (CIO, CTO, CSO/CISO) it's typically early on in their careers. But, it never hurts to have an alphabet soup of government agencies on your resume and if you have a technical lean then your underlings will be much more supportive IMO.

    Very early in their careers like year 1 - 3 :) Most of them from what I have seen spend most of their work experience delivering on projects and managing operations.
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    5502george5502george Member Posts: 264
    N2IT wrote: »
    Very early in their careers like year 1 - 3 :) Most of them from what I have seen spend most of their work experience delivering on projects and managing operations.

    Thats what I have seen. I am in a program manager/ops manager role right now and the future is bright where I am at.....This is why I think it might be a step in the wrong direction.

    Although the work would be fun, I might get stuck at the GS-12/13 level in a tech role.
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    MSP-ITMSP-IT Member Posts: 752 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In short, yes. I think it would be a step back. Management is a niche you'll want to stay in if you want to hit the director or C-level.
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    JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 Mod Posts: 2,835 Mod
    I have to agree with MSP-IT, I too have goals of getting either to the Director or CISO level eventually, and have laid the groundwork, but I've been trying to make that first break into a management role period and have not had much luck. I think breaking into management is not easy so if you're already there, I would stick with it and keep building up your resume. Having a resume packed with accomplishments will help tremendously. Also for getting to the CISO level, I would go to the absolute best MBA program that you can afford.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Program manager is knocking on the door of a director / vp role. No need to go backwards, stick with your progress, time is on your side IMO.

    Keep accruing experience at the level you are at and eventually transition into a Director / VP level position.

    I wouldn't limit myself to one specific genre of employment. Service management, PMO, Vendor Management, anything where you can get more pay and more responsibility and title I would go for it.

    I had a friend who worked for HBO has a program manager for ~9 years and transitioned into VP role in product development. It was outside his sweet spot at the time be he adapted and is currently moving up the "food chain".

    You might be able to apply straight to CISO positions since it's so niche.

    Best of luck!
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    5502george5502george Member Posts: 264
    Yeah I figured it would be a great position, just not the direction I want to go. Although I know I would love a more tech role, I like the challenge of dealing with diverse people, technologies and organizations at the management level. Plus in a tech role you get capped out really fast at the GS-13 level with little choice but to go management for career progression.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Your choice I never want to act like what I say is gold. All I can do is share experiences with you and the experience of other co workers and friends.

    Either way sounds like a win / win.
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    5502george5502george Member Posts: 264
    N2IT wrote: »
    Program manager is knocking on the door of a director / vp role. No need to go backwards, stick with your progress, time is on your side IMO.

    Keep accruing experience at the level you are at and eventually transition into a Director / VP level position.

    I wouldn't limit myself to one specific genre of employment. Service management, PMO, Vendor Management, anything where you can get more pay and more responsibility and title I would go for it.

    I had a friend who worked for HBO has a program manager for ~9 years and transitioned into VP role in product development. It was outside his sweet spot at the time be he adapted and is currently moving up the "food chain".

    You might be able to apply straight to CISO positions since it's so niche.

    Best of luck!

    Are you or anyone here familiar with the PMP cert?

    I have a friend who works in IT as a PM and he is constantly telling me to get the PMP with the CISSP. He talks about salaries in the 150k + range with that combo and appropriate work experience. I blow him off but he just got an offer for 135k as a PM for an IT firm so I guess he was in the ballpark ha ha, bastard!
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I have the RMP and CAPM so I can speak to this a little. Honestly I am neutral on it.

    For your space and where you are going I would think a master degree and/or experience would be > than the PMP. If you are aggressive and love paper (I mean that is a good way), then you might consider it. It is a recognized certification even still I think you could forgo it.

    The bottom line for me is this. If you are light on business experience and or don't possess a business centric degree then I would consider it. If you have some managerial accounting and resource management experience I think it looses value. It basically takes management 101, managerial accounting and bits and pieces of some real world experiences and creates a body of knowledge.

    No one is going to care if you have the PMP when applying for a CISO, CTO or CIO position. IMO
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Oh and by title Program is > Project usually. According to the PMBOK a program manager manages a series of related projects and sometimes those projects have project managers you could potentially be managing.
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