I´m going to speak about my Certification path.
I´m currently CCSP (Cisco Certified Security Professional). To achieve this certification, I have been studying around a year. I was working in a small company configuring and installing some routers, switches and another kind of network devices. I started to study the basic Cisco certification that is CCNA(Cisco Certified Network Associate). After that, I thought: “which field you would like to study?” In that moment, I was starting to introduce myself in security. Then, I choose CCSP because the other path, CCNP(Cisco Certified Network Professional) is related with networks and It didn´t have interest for me.
Studying this certification, I have discovered my passion, SECURITY SYSTEMS. Before, let me explain you that “Security” cover lot of fields and if you really love it… you should choose your path. In my case Network Security Systems. That means, routers, switches, firewalls, ips, ids, sniffers, scanners…
Some people, get this certification and then think: “This is the end of my path, from now, I´m a security expert”. I´m so sorry, but it is not true. This is a part of your race. This, can be the start. In IT, you need to study every year if you want to be updated.
I´m currently studying CCNP(Cisco Certified Network Professional) and I think that in no more than 2 months I will get it! 😉
Cisco is not the only way but in my case was my start. In my opinion, if you want to be a Security Expert, you should try with:
* CISSP Certified Information Systems Security Professional
* CISA Certified Information Security Auditor
One of these is the best path because is not focused in a technology, like Cisco, Juniper or another vendor.
There are more certifications but not so technical.
Now is your decision!.