On the Front Lines – (ISC)² Global Academic Program (GAP) Instructors are Shaping the Workforce of the Future – Introducing Derek A. Smith silentexploitscom, bulletproofwordpresshostingcom

(ISC)2 GAP Instructors bring a wealth of experience, wisdom and inspiration to students worldwide. They are the heartbeat of the program and have helped (ISC)2 become the world leader in cybersecurity education. They are helping us fulfill our mission to enhance the cybersecurity workforce through education and certification, one student at a time.
But what makes them tick? What drives them to give so much back to the profession? What do they do when they’re not teaching? To give you a glimpse into their world and into the impact they’re having on the next generation, we’re going to profile a different instructor every other month this year. Lights! Camera! Action! Introducing Derek A. Smith, CISSP, CAP, CEH, CHFI, CEI, CSSA, CNDA, Security+, DBA, MBA, MS, Actor, Veteran, Federal Agent, and Oh, By the Way, Cyber Security Expert, Speaker, Author and Instructor Derek has been an (ISC)2 member since 2008 and an (ISC)2 GAP Instructor since 2014. He is currently the director of Cyber Security Initiatives for the National Cyber Security Institute (NCI) at Excelsior College , which became a GAP member school in mid-2014. As a GAP Instructor for Excelsior, Derek will be teaching authorized (ISC)2 credential training materials. Derek is responsible for the development and coordination of cybersecurity initiatives at NCI. His mission is to promote Excelsior and NCI as leaders in the cybersecurity discipline and to enhance the visibility of Excelsior’s cybersecurity programs. In addition to his “day job”, Derek has been an actor for over 20 years, starring in several television shows and movies, including “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” (2007) and “The Invasion” (2007). He’s also served in three branches of the military – Army, Navy and Air Force – and as a federal agent for 18 years. Eight is a significant number for Derek right now: it represents the number of certifications and college degrees he holds and the age of his twin daughters. Thoughts from the Field Derek is an accomplished professional, but the road wasn’t easy for him, and his future didn’t always look so bright. He explains, “I grew up on the South side of Chicago, and I was kicked out of high school in 10th grade. It was a real wakeup call for me. Perhaps that’s why I’m so driven. I’m now working on my 9th college degree – a Doctorate in Business Administration.”
Derek believes that education is critical in ANY field. In information security, however, he adds that certification courses alone will not prepare students for cybersecurity careers. “Students need to know what they’re doing, but they need more than skills training; they also need to think critically. Education teaches them how to do that. At the same time, employers need to see a baseline of their abilities, which certifications demonstrate. The (ISC)2 approach of blending education with certification both gives students a baseline knowledge and allows them to demonstrate it. That’s one reason Official (ISC)2 Training Seminars are so valuable. They offer fresh knowledge for novices and continual learning for people with years of security experience.”
Why I Love Teaching Derek has taught many subjects at multiple institutions, but he finds teaching information security especially rewarding. “I love it when students come to me after their certification exam and tell me they’ve passed. I also love knowing they’ve gained knowledge from my class and watching them grow professionally because they’ve learned something new.” GAP schools can utilize (ISC)2 course materials and base their courses upon it. This allows schools to link their curricula to actual concepts and best practices being used in the real world, giving students an immense advantage. Derek has found that (ISC)2 materials have made his job easier. “They are so beneficial for both instructors and students. For example, the instructor resource guide is laid out very well. It provides a solid teaching plan, and I am confident students are getting what they need when I use it. It goes beyond focusing on the exam to give students additional knowledge about the actual concepts. It is a highly workable and successful plan for teaching.”
To become a GAP member, please contact Jo Portillo, manager, (ISC)2 Global Academic Program, at jportillo@isc2.org . For more information on the GAP, please visit https://www.isc2.org/global-academic-program/default.aspx .
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