Past student Zack Gibbons talks about pursuing a career in cyber security
We chat to past student, Zack Gibbons, about how passing the CEH and Premium Cyber Security Collection has helped to advance his career.
What did your career look like before getting qualified?
I had been working in systems administration since 2002, so I had a bit of IT knowledge but no specific cyber security training. I had always been interested in IT since I was a child but only got into it later in life. The choice after leaving school was either to go to university or work. I didn’t fancy uni, so I went down the working route. I started my career in sales jobs and then got into IT. Since then I’ve worked in IT for SMEs.
What got you interested in the Certified Ethical Hacker training?
I wanted to move up in the world and found that I had a real interest in cyber security. I always loved IT, but I didn’t want to be a programmer or developer and found that I was happiest when working on security issues. I started looking into making the move to London to pursue cyber security and most of the jobs I looked into required the CEH qualification or a degree. As I didn’t have a degree, I went down the CEH route. I completed that pretty quickly and then moved on to the Premium Cyber Security Collection.
How did you find the resources available to you during the course?
There were loads of resources available to me through Learning People and Skillsoft but I did do lots of outside reading too. I think it’s always good to keep learning and I had a lot of time on my hands to go over stuff and do reading outside the course, so it was great to get my knowledge up.
What was the most challenging part of the course?
My memory isn’t great so remembering the dates of certain laws and that side of it was challenging for me. But it was just a case of practising.
Also, people might think the course will be easy and perhaps that you can just sit there and learn the information and regurgitate it, but it’s not as simple as that. There’s so many ways of learning the material and the course really prompts you to take a hands on approach, so that’s a learning curve.
See also: Cyber Security courses
Tell us about what the training was actually like
So, it was a mixture of theory and practical – you have your labs in there as well. The labs are great for giving you a kickstart and the knowledge, but you do need to keep studying in your own time. They suggested Kali Linux to practise on and they give you a Kali Linux to play on within the lab platform so it’s a good way to get familiar with how stuff works. The course gives you great content and the push to keep researching and learning by yourself.
Did you look into any other courses?
I did look at other courses, but the CEH and Premium Cyber Security Collection were always the ones I wanted to go for. They were the most in tune with what I enjoyed doing and essentially gave me a bit of paperwork to prove to employers that I know my stuff.
In my current role, the qualification has given me more opportunities to move into new security roles, which was the main motivation behind doing the training. I knew the qualifications would give me the opportunity to do more security based stuff at work and develop that way. It worked, as I’m now using what I learnt through the CEH training and premium Cyber Security Collection practically in my day to day role.
See also: Ethical Hacker courses
What made you choose Learning People?
I spoke to a couple of other providers and you guys offered better value for money which was a main factor. Also the people I was speaking to at Learning People were really helpful. It was a consultation and the approach was a lot better than with other providers. Some of the other companies I spoke to were calling me two or three times a day really trying to hard sell. It wasn’t like this with Learning People, I felt like you cared about my career, so the overall approach was better. The support was great and although I didn’t need to use StudentCare much, everything I called the StudentCare team for they helped me with.
What’s next for you?
I plan to keep doing what I’m doing in my career and hopefully will do the CCNA next. I feel I am more able to do the job I’m doing and the company that I’m with at the moment understand that I’m looking to keep working in cyber security, so hopefully I will develop in my role. From the experience I’ve had, I’ve been able to implement a lot of stuff within my own company and develop things for them that I wouldn’t have been able to do before.