There Are Many Paths Into InfoSec And Almost Any Background Is An Asset

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By Selena Templeton

Welcome to a new episode of An InfoSec Life on ITSPmagazine! Today my guest is Sarah Young, Azure Security and Compliance Global Black Belt at Microsoft, to talk about her non-linear journey into InfoSec.

Many people, particularly those who’ve just graduated high school and are told that they need to figure out the whole rest of their life right NOW, can get overwhelmed or confused about getting a job in cybersecurity. That’s not surprising, because there are tons of roles and specialty areas and not every job requires you to be able to code. So anyone who tells you that you need to take a specific path into the security field is not giving you the full story.

“Certifications are a funny one, because they do have value, but [so does] experience and other kinds of work you can do, like, say, having your own GitHub repo or any open-source projects. And some of the best people I know don’t have any certificates at all.”
— Sarah Young

There are plenty of ways into the industry and almost every background – librarian, English major, psychologist, physician, historian – I even heard of one fellow who came from stand-up comedy – can be an asset.

Sarah is one such person. She is a history major who worked as a school helper and wound up doing a lot of IT tasks – and that experience led to an eventual career with Microsoft as a Cloud Security and Compliance Specialist.

She is a fun and compelling speaker, so listen in for lots of entertaining stories and super helpful nuggets of advice, including mentoring, studying, getting hands-on experience, attending or volunteering at security conferences, networking, etc.

Resources mentioned in this podcast: #MentoringMonday and Tanya Janka: @shehackspurple


About Sarah Young

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Sarah is Microsoft’s Azure Security and Compliance Global Black Belt for the APAC region. She is based in Melbourne, Australia and has over a decade of experience in security and technology. Sarah is particularly interested in cloud security, container and orchestrator security and good old fashioned networking and infrastructure security (having previously worked as a network engineer). Sarah is a keen security evangelist and has spoken at both local and international conferences on a variety of technical topics.

Find Sarah on LinkedIn and Twitter

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