Best data/ network security cert for a retiree
August 17, 2010 7:58 AM   Subscribe

What technical education or certifications, especially in data or network security, would allow my tech-savvy dad to earn some extra money in retirement?

My dad just sent out an email to the family contemplating getting a certification or degree in network and/or data security, and asking for advice. I don't want to speak for him, but I'd imagine that a job where he serves as manual real-time overseer of a network security would fit him very well. He is in some ways a great candidate, and in others, maybe not. Let's start with the positives:

- He's got an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a masters in artificial intelligence.
- Founder and former CEO of a technology firm.
- Background in programming and hardware design.
- Currently retired, looking for extra income, and should be very flexible in terms of hours and (I'd guess) salary.

And the negatives:

- He retired because of a stroke that left him in a wheelchair. Working from home isn't strictly necessary, but it would make life a lot easier since he can't drive. (He lives in northern Florida.)
- He's in his 60s, and is concerned that his age might make him hard to employ.
- While he's got a great tech background, he doesn't have a background in security as such.
- We would have some difficulty financing education beyond a certain point.

If you had an older acquaintance in a similar position, what recommendations might you make, or what programs would you suggest he look into? Any suggestions will be sincerely appreciated, hugged and cuddled.
posted by Clambone to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd suggest he look at gathering whatever practical knowledge he needs as a penetration tester/web server security guy he needs to get people to hire him. As a consultant, certifications really don't seem to matter at all. He needs to develop contacts among web developers who will refer work to him. This is something he can do entirely from home, and if work is referred by other IT guys, they won't care about actually meeting him as opposed to just saying "three billable hours for pen-testing and config checking this server. Go."

Tell him to look at this and see if he finds that interesting.
posted by fatbird at 8:30 AM on August 17, 2010

Here's a quick rundown of the main certifications in the security field. And here's another list that fills in some of the lesser certifications. Some of them require experience in the field before you take the exam, which would rule them out for your dad. Of the rest I really can't recommend one over another, but it's a starting point for you.
posted by scalefree at 8:34 AM on August 17, 2010

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