Five Top Tips: Our industry experts provide advice for finding your place in security
1. Study the market and choose your first role or career move
A wide range of roles fall under the umbrella of security. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has produced a careers guide that demonstrates how a role within the industry is no longer ‘just a job’, but a long-term career. You can download the free guide from: www.bsia.co.uk/web_images/publications/148_careers_guide.pdf
2. Get qualified
Dr. Alison Wakefield says, “I would encourage those without a degree to look towards getting a vocational qualification first, such as the Security Institute’s certificate (equivalent to A-Level standard at Level 3), and then consider the longer-term investment in a degree alongside an entry-level job.”
Meeting people already working in the sector and extending your range of contacts can help. If you link people up for their mutual benefit, they will both be grateful to you and more willing to help.
Mike Britnell says, “Speak to someone who is already employed in security. Ask them to explain the extent of security roles, the limitations, the entry points… ask them to explain how it is possible to move up the ladder in a chosen area of security or sideways to a new area of expertise; and which qualifications will help and how to get them.”
4. Apply for an apprenticeship or internship
“An apprenticeship is a good way to start. Think about becoming a security systems installation engineer, a security officer (although you have to be 18 or older), a locksmith, someone employed in security customer service, or business administration – each of these roles will give you insight into the extent of security and the lifetime of interest and opportunity that will follow,” says Mike Britnell.
5. Develop your people skills
Good people and communication skills are a key to success in the security sector. “We look for individuals with the skill and maturity to work in our sector, those who can work in both relaxed and formal environments with ease, people with a broad set of people skills,” says John Roddy.