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Re: "Skills gap"?
From: John Bambenek <bambenek.infosec () gmail com>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 09:39:03 -0600

Oh, some people try to write a good test and we can have a nice discussion about psychometrics and the lot, but at the end, we haven't even figured out K-12 testing. It's a hard problem with no solution.

In our field, we need to be able to DO things, not be able to recite knowledge. And testing the ability to DO things in an objective way can be kinda hard.

So, until then, resume your regularly scheduled hoop jumping and ransom-pay for your CISSP certs ;)

On 11/29/12 7:31 AM, Rich Kulawiec wrote:
On Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 09:24:29PM -0600, John Bambenek wrote:
That said, I've been helping write/audit SANS certifications for
awhile.  I'm simply ineligible to take them (for what should be
obvious reasons).  I got real tired of submitting resumes and being
told I need a GSEC/GCIH/et al.  I'd respond with I wrote part of the
question bank and some HR bean counter just didn't get it and
insisted I needed the paper.  I ended up taking the CISSP cold one
weekend just to have something and even then I got tired of paying
the annual ransom for letters that meant nothing.
Certifications are, in theory, a good idea.

Certifications are, in practice, crap.

Which isn't surprising really, if one takes Deep Throat's advice and
follows the money.  It rapidly becomes obvious that certification programs
are designed to maximize revenue, not to promote and/or measure expertise.
(Even those that start out with the latter goal and the best of intentions
inevitably gravitate to the former.)

This is a problem particularly in the security arena because, as you
astutely point out, HR bean counters look for them and resumes without
are routinely roundfiled -- never mind that the senders of those resumes
could *easily* be the most qualified applicants by a wide margin.  They
have become a shortcut for the technically illiterate and the impatient,
and unfortunately they're a shortcut that doesn't work.

I don't have any (viable) idea how to fix this.

---rsk
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Note: funsec is a public and open mailing list.


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