When old dogs don’t learn new tricks, they get put to sleep. This is probably the best career advice I can give you. Put these words on your t-shirts, bumper stickers, and bum tattoos.
As our careers gracefully mature like a fine wine and French cheese, intoxicating but smelly (the French), we naturally tend to put our emphasis on work experience rather than formal education. If I already have a degree and I’m working, then why do I need to go back to school? Good question.
A few months ago I decided to pursue a certification in CompTIA Security+. For security, there are many kinds of certifications, including CISSP. I know that there are some of you out there who think that these kinds of certifications are big waste of time and money, but I also know of many companies and government agencies that require them for hiring. Let me highlight the advantages:
- It’s a requirement. Your job opportunities have now expanded.
- You will learn something new. How bad can that be?
- It’s a kind of proof to show that you have a least baseline knowledge of security. It doesn’t mean that you’re an expert, but at least it’s a verifiable way that you studied computer security fundamentals or a least that you’re a good test taker.
- You can use your certifications to cover the drunk-punch-holes in the walls of your trailer.
The economy is getting so bad these days that even McDonald’s has downsized its Supersize meals (comedic drum roll). Companies have modified Tuckerman’s stages of group development of forming, storming, and norming to forming, storming, and reorging (comedic drum roll). You feel helpless as management passes you around like a pack of cigarettes in prison. For some, this may not be a bad thing, but for others, think of these certifications as tiny little picks that will help you tunnel your way through the walls of your cubicle to freedom. I will let you know how it goes.
Finally, if you are an old dog and you can’t learn new tricks, then you should retire immediately.