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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #1

    Default CISSP Motivation

    Hey everyone! Been lurking for a few years, but really never had a reason to post. I have been in Information Security Assurance for 10+ years and Network Security for the past 4-5 years. My current company is "recommending" that I obtain the CISSP. However, going through the first few videos from the official material, I just can't seem to find the motivation. Being that I work in the trenches every day and the CISSP is just management type stuff, I find it boring. How do other do other technical focused guys find ways to keep this stuff interesting?
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    Simple....keep your eyes on the prize. If you work in IA that’s means you are government, thus CISSP + Security+ maxes out IAT 1-3, and IAM 1-3, plus some of the other categories are almost maxed out. That lets you be able to get more positions, more money, and if you decide to leave government you will be more desirable.

    If you have that much experience, the technical information won’t take long if you have to review, and a lot of policies and best practices you see everyday are based on the CBK...guaranteed...so even that won’t be too difficult. Look at Cybrary and CBT Nuggets...tbh the books are all pretty dry.

    If you don’t really want to get high up or into Management you don’t have to get the CISSP...but honestly it’s one of the things you really should do no matter what in InfoSec.
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  4. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #3
    Hi TechGuru, thanks for the advice. I will look into the 2 more interesting video sources. I am not government anymore, but I am in a position where I never know who I will be consulting next. I looked at a couple of practice tests and they seem straightforward. I just need to figure out how much of the material is "memorization" from the study material. If it's just high-level stuff I think a few weeks of studying and refresh may work. I never really wanted to take the exam so I never looked at the material until I bought the Sybex book on Amazon.
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    #4
    For me the motivation was to develop and progress my career. My company wanted me to get certified and they paid every cent of the cost. But as my manager said, getting certified isn’t just important for my current position but it’s also important for any position I go for outside of my current company.

    Being a CISSP makes you more valuable to your employer for a whole host of reasons (we’ll it has for me anyway).
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    If you have a lot of background experience, avoid Shon Harris books, I would recommend Eric Conrad's books. Start with his big book then the "11th hour book". They are straight to the point in covering material, no filler story like in Shon Harris. Then do a few practice exam to get a feel of the question and spot your weakest area.

    You should be ok.
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  7. Senior Member E Double U's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RobbyRob View Post
    Being that I work in the trenches every day and the CISSP is just management type stuff, I find it boring. How do other do other technical focused guys find ways to keep this stuff interesting?
    I was motivated by knowing that someday I would want to move out of the trenches. It was a difficult mindset switch going from 5 consecutive technical Cisco exams to an (ISC)2 offering, but it helped me see the bigger picture instead of just focusing on the technologies that I had so much fun with.

    I never found a way to make the material more interesting, but was able to connect the dots when making the material relate to my job so it helped with actually understanding what I was studying. Also helped with making sense of management's decisions.
    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
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  8. Junior Member
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    #7
    Same sentiments here with mattster79.

    In my case, I've been into the information security field for a little over 3 years (as I came from an audit background) and getting certifications made me realize that I've only seen the tip of the iceberg. While it cannot replace actual experience, certifications are a nice way to expand your knowledge.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by E Double U View Post
    I never found a way to make the material more interesting, but was able to connect the dots when making the material relate to my job so it helped with actually understanding what I was studying. Also helped with making sense of management's decisions.
    So true!
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    There's always buckling down and getting it over with once and for all. If your doing consulting and have the years it probably time "to do the paper" and just finish it. Should be less hassle than simply putting it off and thinking about it off and on. Though I have huge respect for those who have "gone paperless" and suffered no consequence.

    Now, I suffer the constant hamster wheel of CEUs/recerts instead of exam anxiety.

    - b/eads
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  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by beads View Post

    Now, I suffer the constant hamster wheel of CEUs/recerts instead of exam anxiety.

    - b/eads
    Before taking this journey to SSCP and CISSP, I was wondering if I would be able to maintain after. I took my SSCP in fev 2017, and since I am over 50 CPE out of 20 required/year and I am sure I skipped some. It is not a problem to maintain if you like IT and IT Security.
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  12. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #11
    Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I will just have to get in the "get it over with" mindset. I'm more of a technical focused person that just needs to really understand the big picture to deploy my company's products more effectively. As a senior level engineer, I don't have much interest in moving into management anytime soon. I also hate doing the certifications. But, I guess for overall security design this certification will provide proof that I know what I am doing to customers.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by RobbyRob View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I will just have to get in the "get it over with" mindset. I'm more of a technical focused person that just needs to really understand the big picture to deploy my company's products more effectively. As a senior level engineer, I don't have much interest in moving into management anytime soon. I also hate doing the certifications. But, I guess for overall security design this certification will provide proof that I know what I am doing to customers.
    Also, remember that management stuff don't change every 2-3 years like technical stuff and look at the CPE guideline to know how you will maintain your certs. It could be a good opportunity to ask for training/conference, it would give you many CPE in a few days. Make sure you understand the difference between Type A CPE and Type B CPE while you are making your maintenance plan.
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  14. Senior Member
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by RobbyRob View Post
    How do other do other technical focused guys find ways to keep this stuff interesting?
    Is this a trick question?
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ITHokie View Post
    Is this a trick question?
    I see this as looking through the darks side
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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLavoie View Post
    I see this as looking through the darks side
    Haha, well said. One would be tempted to think it's fun to look through the dark side. A perusal of Shon Harris' book or the CBK would quickly disabuse one of that notion.
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by beads View Post
    . Though I have huge respect for those who have "gone paperless" and suffered no consequence.
    - b/eads
    A friend of mine has this philosophy and doesn't have a single cert and is never lacking for work.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by ITHokie View Post
    A perusal of Shon Harris' book or the CBK would quickly disabuse one of that notion.
    Very true 😁😁👍
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  19. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #18
    I book the exam for next week 10/23...I pray that I pass it this time.
    I have failed it in 4 different attempt and I scored 684 in my last attempt...it was very painful.
    I have several other certifications but CISSP as they say, "is the Gold standard" for InfoSec,
    HR of Fortune 500 company and multi-billion dollar companies go crazy over it.
    Look at the bigger picture of the doors that it might open for you if you have it.
    The certification is so popular that most Executives know about it and you'll earn a lot of respect if I you have it.
    More so, the pay is good, if you are currently earning below 6 digits, CISSP can bump you way up very quickly beyond your expectation.
    I hope I have motivated you.
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    #19
    OP - You can tackle the exam material through a different variety of ways: CBT, CISSP bootcamps, and reading several study guides. Listening to audio books and utilizing flashcards helps too! Ultimately the motivation for me to get the certification was career advancement (biggest driver). I've been with the same company a little bit over 5 years.


    I am actually in the same boat as you are in, I am in trenches for my current position (consulting) in a MSP environment and was dedicating every evening, weekends, holidays studying for this exam. It eventually paid off. That being said, it almost took me a full year to study with the work that I've been doing - I hope this gives you inspiration to book and pass the exam. Good luck on your CISSP journey!
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  21. Senior Member
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by DZA_ View Post
    OP - You can tackle the exam material through a different variety of ways: CBT, CISSP bootcamps, and reading several study guides. Listening to audio books and utilizing flashcards helps too! Ultimately the motivation for me to get the certification was career advancement (biggest driver). I've been with the same company a little bit over 5 years.


    I am actually in the same boat as you are in, I am in trenches for my current position (consulting) in a MSP environment and was dedicating every evening, weekends, holidays studying for this exam. It eventually paid off. That being said, it almost took me a full year to study with the work that I've been doing - I hope this gives you inspiration to book and pass the exam. Good luck on your CISSP journey!
    I work in the same kind of environment, you said it paid off. In which way it paid off?
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ANGU View Post
    I have several other certifications but CISSP as they say, "is the Gold standard" for InfoSec,
    HR of Fortune 500 company and multi-billion dollar companies go crazy over it.
    Look at the bigger picture of the doors that it might open for you if you have it.
    The certification is so popular that most Executives know about it and you'll earn a lot of respect if I you have it.
    More so, the pay is good, if you are currently earning below 6 digits, CISSP can bump you way up very quickly beyond your expectation.
    I'm not sure I'd go that far, but there is a lot of truth in this statement. It's a sad commentary on the corporate mindset toward hiring for infosec roles.
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLavoie View Post
    I work in the same kind of environment, you said it paid off. In which way it paid off?
    It definitely gives me the opportunity to find new jobs in the security industry as many of the Canadian companies are requesting for a minimum CISSP certification. I have worked at the company for 5 years so the growth is stagnant. If I progressed any further in the organization, I would not have seen much value for the time dedicated vs the results. The number of job requests after you get your CISSP will be overwhelming. This is my experience.
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    #23
    For me it depends on what the reason is that you are certifying. If you don't have to and dont want to then I dont see why you should. If you need to then for me it was making sure that I was focusing on passing - yes some of the material is dull but if you want to pass you just have to knuckle down and do it. On the other hand because it's so broad there may be some things that you learn which are actually useful!
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    Me - somewhere in between
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  25. Senior Member
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by DZA_ View Post
    It definitely gives me the opportunity to find new jobs in the security industry as many of the Canadian companies are requesting for a minimum CISSP certification. I have worked at the company for 5 years so the growth is stagnant. If I progressed any further in the organization, I would not have seen much value for the time dedicated vs the results. The number of job requests after you get your CISSP will be overwhelming. This is my experience.
    Where are you in Canada?
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    #25
    I'm in downtown Toronto - a few of my other colleagues who obtained their CISSPs managed to find work with large private and public organizations. The job opportunity was their biggest motivation as well.
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