Certifications and C-level Positions.

ClmClm CISSP | CCSP | CCSK | AWS Architect Professional | AWS-Security Speciality | Terraform AssociateMember Posts: 444 ■■■■□□□□□□
This might have been a topic already but I cant find it anymore.

My end goal is to be a executive I want to reach the C- level but I wont be disappointed as a VP. I'm constantly researching people in those positions and I noticed most don't have any type of certifications. I find most directors and above only have degrees and most of them are not even technical. Are there any directors or above here with certs? have they helped you out at all?
I find your lack of Cloud Security Disturbing!!!!!!!!!
Connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/myerscraig

Comments

  • SweenMachineSweenMachine MCSA: Office 365, MCSA: Windows 7 (I am old), ITIL Foundations V3 Chicago areaMember Posts: 300 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Clm wrote: »
    This might have been a topic already but I cant find it anymore.

    My end goal is to be a executive I want to reach the C- level but I wont be disappointed as a VP. I'm constantly researching people in those positions and I noticed most don't have any type of certifications. I find most directors and above only have degrees and most of them are not even technical. Are there any directors or above here with certs? have they helped you out at all?

    Hmmm... interesting question. I am an executive and Director for a mid-sized managed service partner. Do I feel the certifications have helped me? Possibly but they really helped me in the EARLIER stages of my career. Now? Not so much. ITIL has had some benefit since my role is providing support services and I run an ITSM based shop.

    We have an executive team of 8, I think I am the only one with a technical certification. There are many more masters degrees than certifications. Ideally, your C-levels are running strategy. That is my main function personally, and I don't know if my MCSA in Win 7 helps that much.

    -scott
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,263 Mod
    Maybe CISSP/CISM as far as certs go

    But aim for MBA
    Certs: GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE
    In Progress: MBA
  • ClmClm CISSP | CCSP | CCSK | AWS Architect Professional | AWS-Security Speciality | Terraform Associate Member Posts: 444 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hmmm... interesting question. I am an executive and Director for a mid-sized managed service partner. Do I feel the certifications have helped me? Possibly but they really helped me in the EARLIER stages of my career. Now? Not so much. ITIL has had some benefit since my role is providing support services and I run an ITSM based shop.

    We have an executive team of 8, I think I am the only one with a technical certification. There are many more masters degrees than certifications. Ideally, your C-levels are running strategy. That is my main function personally, and I don't know if my MCSA in Win 7 helps that much.

    -scott


    Thank you for your input
    I find your lack of Cloud Security Disturbing!!!!!!!!!
    Connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/myerscraig

  • ClmClm CISSP | CCSP | CCSK | AWS Architect Professional | AWS-Security Speciality | Terraform Associate Member Posts: 444 ■■■■□□□□□□
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    Maybe CISSP/CISM as far as certs go

    But aim for MBA

    I have CISSP now , Im studying for CISM as we speak and hopefully il be done with my MBA Next year.
    I find your lack of Cloud Security Disturbing!!!!!!!!!
    Connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/myerscraig

  • UncleBUncleB Member Posts: 417
    Technical certs are not much use at this level - you need to go to a different level and look at big picture stuff like TOGAF or an MBA.

    Remember that at this level you have layers of senior management below you and layers of technical management below these managers, so you need to focus on a mix of getting the right services delivered to let the business go in the direction the other directors want and getting the best value for money from your department.

    Technical certs help you climb the ladder but from senior manager upwards, these are not so relevant. Senior managers probably benefit more from a wider range of experience and knowledge plus good people management skills to get those below them to do the right thing in the right way.

    Senior managers will also benefit from the likes of
    • ITIL intermediary exams,
    • Six Sigma/Cobit depending on the sector
    • CGEIT for governance (ie making decisions in the right way)
    • etc.

    Plus management skills are for dealing with minions, peers, suppliers, unions, HR processes, budgets, staff compensation, discipline etc etc - these are all things you need to learn how to do right in an ideal world.

    With all this you can see it is a good thing that you don't need to stay technical as you move up the ladder.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,829 Mod
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    But aim for MBA

    I second this. A few years back I did a ton of research on this using LinkedIn. I had a premium membership and could search and look at a ton of profiles. I don't know how many, hundreds or more, of people in high level technology and InfoSec positions, Director, CIO, etc, and the common factor for a large majority was an MBA. As you noticed, even a lot that never came up through the technical ranks. For those that didn't have an MBA they had another MS like an MSIA, MSIT, etc.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, 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
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I've known a number of executives, all had at least a Bachelors and most had a Masters. All had extensive experience with financials in an IT environment. All knew politics and how to play the game at that level. Notice that none of this revolves around passing IT exams.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    I don't know what you guys are talking about EC-Council has Certified Chief Information Security Officer.

    More seriously, there are many paths to executive level, and a path from a technical person to a strategic person is possible. But once you are in that corner office, you aren't doing as much hands on technical things, so those technical certifications are less relevant. My guess is that C-level people with technical backgrounds don't find the need to advertise their MCSE or CCNP or ITIL:F.

    As others say, MBA is probably the big thing to get, although in certain fields a doctorate (PhD or professional) can help a lot. I guess what you really need to consider is what is the path for you going to look like? Technical, to Senior tech, to team lead, to manager, to senior management and maybe C level? The Senior tech is the person with good technical skills, who is still engaged with tech certifications. The team lead probably has tech certs with more of a design/architect bent and is looking at things like ITIL and project management. The manager is probably not as engaged technically and might be letting some certifications expire while looking deeper at Project Management, Cobit, ITIL, six sigma, lean, TOGAF, ISO 20000, ISO 27000, and maybe things like CISM (depending on their field), and they will probably also be starting an MBA or at least seriously considering. The senior manager probably has an MBA, a lot of experience, maybe some of the higher level training in Program Management, Cobit, ISO 38500 etc, and can talk about tech in breadth at a high level, but maybe not detail.

    But there's ways other ways forward. You could step into Project Management, which gives you experience managing people and money. You could run a service desk (and become an ITIL Expert) and get "technical" with processes and IT management. You could become an IT Security officer, writing policies, working with IT engineers/architects, and getting more governance experience.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+ CCNA R&S CCNP R&S/Enterprise/Collab Member Posts: 976 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I believe there is a financial certification you can take that costs a couple of grand per attempt and is really hard. Apparently in the financial world if you tell someone you are studying for this test it would be like telling someone that you are studying for a CCIE. I had one college professor say that if you managed to pass the test it could lead to a job as an executive since not a lot of people have a solid understanding of finance when it comes to business.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Clm wrote: »
    Are there any directors or above here with certs? have they helped you out at all?
    It's really going to depend on that person's career path. I do know of execs with certs but they generally don't advertise it. The exception that I've noticed would be execs with security background but you generally will only see CISSP or maybe CISM listed on their LinkedIn. My own background is more in software engineering so certs tend to be less common. I was a VP at a public company long before I ever even thought about getting my first cert. And I've held C-level positions in smaller companies. Certs generally aren't useful in the day-to-day job of most senior technical managers. But that doesn't mean that to get to those positions - the individual didn't do a cert here or there.

    @OctalDump - I remember when EC-council released that cert - imho - that cert didn't seem particularly useful nor it's content serious.
  • SecChiSecChi Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Had the opportunity to ask this same question of a former high level exec at lunch a couple of weeks ago. He advised me to look into PMP, Six Sigma, SAP, Digital Transformation and Agile. I have also been looking on LinkedIn and noticed the TOGAF and CISM are also popular at the Director levels.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,829 Mod
    thomas_ wrote: »
    I believe there is a financial certification you can take that costs a couple of grand per attempt and is really hard. Apparently in the financial world if you tell someone you are studying for this test it would be like telling someone that you are studying for a CCIE. I had one college professor say that if you managed to pass the test it could lead to a job as an executive since not a lot of people have a solid understanding of finance when it comes to business.

    Yea the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). It's THE credential in the financial world. I'd put it's difficulty beyond the CCIE. I had a roommate way back in the day studying for it and got to see his materials and how much prep went into it. He was financial advisory center lead at Merrill Lynch. The reason I say it's more difficult than the CCIE is that there is 3 or 4 stages of exams and while I would say each individual stage is not on the same level of the CCIE lab, it's probably not too far behind in difficulty and theres multiple stages.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, 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
  • SweenMachineSweenMachine MCSA: Office 365, MCSA: Windows 7 (I am old), ITIL Foundations V3 Chicago areaMember Posts: 300 ■■■■□□□□□□
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    Yea the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). It's THE credential in the financial world. I'd put it's difficulty beyond the CCIE. I had a roommate way back in the day studying for it and got to see his materials and how much prep went into it. He was financial advisory center lead at Merrill Lynch. The reason I say it's more difficult than the CCIE is that there is 3 or 4 stages of exams and while I would say each individual stage is not on the same level of the CCIE lab, it's probably not too far behind in difficulty and theres multiple stages.

    I think it's just a different muscle. The financial end of business is just so different than the technology end. I struggle more with that part of my job than any other; I have a few industry friends with the CFA, and I would be willing to bet anything they would consider a CCIE much more difficult. If you asked me, I would struggle to even open the first chapter of a book relating to finance (although I really should start focusing on that more ha)

    -scott
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    The CFA isn't intended for business finance management. It's really for investment management which is different beast.

    @SweenMachine - I don't know if there is an updated edition but you may find this relevant if you haven't found material that you like. 15 years ago - this was a pretty good read and I still peruse it every once in a while - https://www.amazon.com/Portable-MBA-Finance-Accounting/dp/0470481307/
  • SweenMachineSweenMachine MCSA: Office 365, MCSA: Windows 7 (I am old), ITIL Foundations V3 Chicago areaMember Posts: 300 ■■■■□□□□□□
    paul78 wrote: »
    The CFA isn't intended for business finance management. It's really for investment management which is different beast.

    @SweenMachine - I don't know if there is an updated edition but you may find this relevant if you haven't found material that you like. 15 years ago - this was a pretty good read and I still peruse it every once in a while - https://www.amazon.com/Portable-MBA-Finance-Accounting/dp/0470481307/

    Thank you! I will take a look at this

    -scott
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