Me and my job

How do you explain your job to non-technical people?

Ma'am or sir, I am the Morpheus behind the little jack in the wall that gets you to all of your online games and email.

How do you see your job evolving in the next five years?

I see my job evolving into a CTO-type role with a focus on information security.

What skill sets do you think are most important for IT security pros?

I call it the "IT aptitude." You must be able to wrap your mind around the dynamics of IT-esque work. Experience within an IT field for familiarity is also a big plus. And finally, the ability to be patient, to listen, be open-minded and to always be learning.

What are your biggest complaints?

I have none, really.

What trends worry you the most?

Spam, server security issues and site licensing.

What's your IT security dream job?

IT security for a major airline (not in jeopardy of bankruptcy) dealing with aeronautics or on-board airplane computer systems.

If you weren't an information security professional, what would you be doing professionally?

I would be flying airplanes.

Of what are you most proud?

I am very proud of the team of engineers and managers that I have been able to construct through network operations. I am also proud of the administrative staff I have the opportunity to work with on a daily basis. We all have worked together to make many changes that were legion within our campus-wide network infrastructure.

 

Skills in demand

Demand is growing for sales engineers and highly technical business developers.

Shift in tradition

Security vendors are striving to differentiate themselves by providing deeper technical expertise to their customers. This approach is changing traditional sales methods in response to customers who prefer to bypass relationship-based sales professionals often perceived as just "order takers."

Adept and depth

Polished sales engineers who are adept at selling and sales professionals with technical depth are in high demand. Compensation structures are evolving but total compensation packages (base plus goal-driven incentive comp) are in the $150K-$225K range, plus equity with start-ups.

Source: Jeff Combs, Alta Associates, Inc.

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