Analyst vs Manager

TheFORCETheFORCE Senior MemberMember Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
Ok so lets say you are an Inofsec Analyst and you hold some certificates Sec+, CISSP some Microsoft certs things like that, you have a few years of experience as well, around 10 in IT, around 6 in Infosec roles.

Now your manager holds some of the same certificates plus all the big ISACA certifications and has 20 years of experience managing teams and running medium sized teams and has worked for big Fortune 500 companies.

At this point you decide to go and get CISM and you pass it. Now you are an Analyst with a CISM plus the other certifications. What I am trying to get to is this question, do you now feel like you are competing with your manager or vise versa? To simplify the question, what do you think of someone in an Analyst role with a CISM and CISSP etc. Do you think this person should start moving or should they stay to solidify their certifications and years or experience? Do you see this as a potential "dispute" issue where Analyst now thinks his ideas are worth implementing while the managers are not or from the manager perspective do you think he is still new and I still have the upper hand.

P.S I'm just bringing up this question for conversation, I'm not in this situation.


  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,310 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Very specific question if you're not in this situation, ha, but I'll take a stab at it.

    I think a good manager should want their employees to be good, if not better, than the manager. If an employee is doing their best to improve it shouldn't be seen as competition for the manager, just a more qualified employee. If there are dispute issues over the employee feeling like their ideas are now worth implementing, but they weren't worth looking at before the cert there might be other problems in the relationship. There shouldn't be anything wrong with ideas coming from below the manager, the manager's job should be to look at those ideas so everyone can flesh out the ideas and see if they are worth implementing. If the employee now feels like, "You have to do X because I'm a CISM now", then, well, that's just silly.
  • Russ5813Russ5813 Member Posts: 123 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I get hired into a job with the mindset that I'll someday surpass my boss. I want to learn everything I can from them, BUT I'm not going to gimp my professional development to protect my boss' ego. If they're content with where they are in life, that's perfectly fine-- just as long as they don't try to hold me back in the process. That being said, I also believe in a firm rank structure. A good manager will recognize the strengths of their employees and leverage those skills in the decision-making process. A bad manager will see that analyst as a threat and put them down every chance they get. If you aren't management, understand that your insight may be valuable, but you're not getting paid to call the shots. Give your boss the information they need to make good decisions-- what they do with it is on them.
  • UncleBUncleB Member Posts: 417
    TheFORCE wrote: »
    Now your manager holds some of the same certificates... has 20 years of experience managing teams and running medium sized teams...

    From this line it shows he has experience as a manager and I assume the analyst does not. This puts the analyst at a big disadvantage if he thinks he should be competing with the manger since the analyst is missing these management skills and experience.
    TheFORCE wrote: »
    Do you think this person should start moving or should they stay to solidify their certifications and years or experience? Do you see this as a potential "dispute" issue where Analyst now thinks his ideas are worth implementing while the managers are not or from the manager perspective do you think he is still new and I still have the upper hand.

    The fact that you think this could be a dispute shows your lack of management experience - certifications are only a door opener for interviews and show you can read a book / pass the exam, not that you understand the implications of applying your knowledge to a business environment or how the staff can be best used to implement & support such ideas.

    Conventional wisdom says that a good manager should hire people smarter than they are (look it up if you don't believe me) and they should be open to be challenged so long as it is in a non-confrontation way as that is how good ideas can be banded around and how they can demonstrate their worth to the manager. Confrontation is a sure fire way to be seen as a disruptive influence and is likely to get you penalised or marked for pushing out the company should it continue - I would not tolerate infighting.

    Once you have a few years of management experience under your belt you will grow to appreciate this more, but I hope this input helps.

  • dhay13dhay13 Member Posts: 580 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Here are my thoughts. If I were a manager that oversaw the technical team I would hope they knew more about the technical side than I did. My goal would be to hire the best people for the appropriate roles. It would be difficult, and maybe disadvantageous, to try to be the best manager AND the best firewall guy, or IDS/IPS guy, etc. I would rather devote myself 100% to my managerial responsibilities and leave the technical aspect in the hands of those that deal with it every day. I believe that is what makes a good manger, putting the right people in the right places. Micro-managing rarely works out well.
  • 636-555-3226636-555-3226 Member Posts: 976 ■■■■■□□□□□
    A manager should be striving to be a leader. A leader's role (and, hence, a manager's) is to help his people succeed. This goes for their personal life and professional life. Your manager should be asking you what path you'd like for your life to take. If you have a good relationship with him, you should be able to open and honestly say to him (if this is true), that you don't want to be an analyst forever and would eventually like to develop your career further and be a manager at a good organization one day, too. If he's a good manager (and leader!) he should say that's awesome, let's get you there. Then you both develop a plan together. Maybe that plan includes the CISM.

    As always, it's good to play to their ego and say you're using them as a role model to aspire to. Makes them feel good, makes them want to do better by you, and makes them want to help you out, too.
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,098 ■■■■■■■■□□
    TheFORCE wrote: »
    Do you see this as a potential "dispute" issue where Analyst now thinks his ideas are worth implementing while the managers are not or from the manager perspective do you think he is still new and I still have the upper hand.

    Wow this is a loaded question. So since you have certifications your manager doesn't have, you somehow feel your ideas have merit and your managers do not? I think this line of reasoning is the quickest way to get fired from your current job. You can certainly express your ideas to your manager, but at the end of the day the he makes the decisions, not you. I certainly wouldn't argue with management they are making poor decisions.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • renacidorenacido Member Posts: 387 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Short answer is no, certs do not make anyone more qualified than their boss who has been a manager for 20 years. And yes, maybe you are ready to move into a higher level role with more responsibility. But you aren't going to steal your boss' job anytime soon just because you have the same certs.

    First, you shouldn't be competing with your boss, but providing your input so that he (she) can make the best decision with the information he has available. Now, understand that your input is not necessarily all the relevant information to consider. Your manager gets information from the rest of his team, from his peers in other departments, and from his boss. You don't get all that input. Your recommendations don't consider that input. And it's also important to note that even when you have very solid evidence-based rationale for decision X, there are other interests that are also valid that may be of higher overall priority to the business that drive your manager to make decision Y. You won't know all of this. Your manager is the one responsible for the outcome, so he makes the call. You'll win some, lose some, but your manager is the one who is held accountable for the decisions made so the decisions are rightfully his.

    It's great that you passed CISM and you have your CISSP. That will help you get interviews for infosec management positions. You should have a better understanding of how to build and manage a security program than the typical mid-level techie. Kudos to you. But in no way does that even come close to trumping a 20 year difference in management experience. And those certs you mentioned don't measure competence as a manager, nor in the many leadership/management skills that are required for that role that aren't at all specific to infosec.

    I'm not saying you're not ready to become a manager, maybe you are. But I don't think you and your manager are on the same level just because you have a couple of management-level certs.

    Maybe you should ask your manager to delegate some more responsibility to you. Or maybe you should look for a manager job elsewhere. I knew it was time to find a manager job when I found myself trying to do my manager's job for him. If that's you, maybe it's time to update your resume.
  • abelamoralesabelamorales Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
    My real question is how could you be an analyst with 10 years of experience? That's what I find troubling. A good manager does not need to be a technical person, but should be a good leader and project manager. Certifications is irrelevant to me, what's important is can this individual communicate to all audiences about very technical information, can this person manage a team of 10 people, can this person move projects and get them knocked out?

    I'm also an advocate of doing the job you want before you get it. You need to take same initiatives like introduce new solutions that translate into an ROI for the business.
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■■□□□□
    You are comparing two almost completely different roles. The manager is probably managing policy, staffing, budgets, politics, personalities, etc.

    Compare this to the analyst who is reviewing logs, learning technology, etc.

    Although the analyst might have interesting and useful insight that can help, the manager has experience in real world situations that help formulate a decision. Chances are the analyst can learn a great deal of management perspective and decision making from the manager with so much experience...thus helping the analyst's career.
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