KEA offers development program to become an independent IAM specialist – IT Pro – .Plans

At KEA, independent entrepreneurship and personal guidance form the basis for the education to become an IAM specialist. By doing this, each student draws on a large network of clients and knowledge from other IAM specialists. How does this route work and why would you choose it?

The increased focus on attacks from cybercriminals and even countries means companies need to pay more attention to how they can protect their systems, data and employees. Compromised user data is often the main target of attackers who use it to access the corporate network through, among other things, malware, phishing and ransomware. It is therefore not surprising that Identity & Access Management (IAM) as a field can count on increasing attention.

Giving the right people the right access, at the right time and for the right reason: an IAM system must facilitate all of this. “We help organizations set this up with the necessary tools, processes and governance,” says IAM specialist Wim van de Heijkant, who works as a freelancer from a partnership (Fortigi). “We do this in such a way that the organization can do it with its own people over time.”

Incentives for improvement

Coach KEA was founded from Fortigi. The initiative is clearly embarking on a path where you can develop broadly as a self-employed person with the guidance and coaching of experienced IAM colleagues. “Many companies offer a short training course, after which someone can immediately call themselves an IAM specialist. It is strange, given the complexity of the field and the development that follows each other quickly, ”says Wim. “The landscape is in motion and you need a model where there are sufficient incentives to continually improve yourself.”

Erik Cheizoo, co-initiator and founder of Fortigi, sees the problem with many young IT people quickly making careers in the consulting world. ‘Those people shoot for four or five years and are often burned out after that. A high hourly rate is charged – for the consulting company at least, not so much for the professional – and a large leasing car is driven, but will you continue to live up to it? Getting time for self-study in the normal way is almost impossible. Maybe you have a young family, and at some point you really run into yourself. ” As a self-employed person, on the other hand, you have more freedom. “We advise you to spend at least one day each week acquiring new knowledge. This is possible if you have control over the entire financial picture. Then your hourly rate can remain high and you can continue to compete with the best. ”

The challenge that everything must be right

Wim has studied Network Infrastructure Design and has worked in various roles and for various companies as an IAM specialist for the last twenty years. As a freelancer, he currently helps, among others, the Port Authority in Rotterdam and HelloFresh. “In the port, we handle millions of identifications a day, for which I am technically and sometimes also organizationally responsible. Probably at the moment (with a view to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, ed.) The port is under digital attack and there is increased dike surveillance. Everything happens. Even if you look at the general trend towards zero trust models, where you have to have the identity part to be able to make contextual choices based on user profiles. Because IAM has so many facets – from technology to functional design and from business processes to infrastructure – you are dealing with enormous complexity. For attackers, only one thing must go right, but on the defensive side, everything must be right. “

In any case, IAM specialists will remain in demand for years to come. “Zero trust is still in its infancy and remains relevant,” says Erik. “In addition, new trends are appearing on the horizon, such as decentralized identity where it is no longer about central databases but about applications in the blockchain. A company like Microsoft is also working on this. It recently made its first project around decentralized identity available for beta testing. Companies are increasingly hiring internal specialists, which shows the growing importance of identity. “If the past is an indicator of the future, it’s also good news for IAM. Wim:” I have never made an acquisition in fifteen years. For companies, specialists are sometimes almost impossible to find. If you study widely, it is always possible later to switch to a field such as information security or even something outside of IT. “

Education model

As self-employed entrepreneurs, Wim and Erik work in a partnership (Fortigi). ‘It turned out to be the best form legally. We work with twelve specialists, all of whom get enough work based on their own reputation. ” With the available knowledge, there is a good opportunity to train new IAM specialists, people who can develop under the wings of a mentor with the clients. Erik: “It is actually the training model of large consulting companies, but upside down. A senior specialist must train six junior specialists, with us it is rather the other way around. We always have room for three active students who end up in a group of twelve experienced IAM staff. so you have “You get to work with the people who have invested in you. Everyone benefits from success.”immediately a lot of knowledge and expertise around you. ”

KEA was founded on the basis of the observation that there are currently no good training courses to guarantee a high level of independent IAM specialists. Erik: “If we look at you, we will create your future BV together, which you can find out by name. From the partnership, we invest in the BV to offer you financial security for at least six months. This way, you immediately get on your ‘own’ payroll. You will then be assigned a mentor from the partnership, with whom you will put together a personal training plan. ” That interaction between junior and senior is important, says Wim. “You get to work with the people who have invested in you. Everyone benefits from success; you’re never just a number, and you can always go somewhere with your questions.”

Learning in practice

Learning takes place largely ‘on the job’ with practical cases with the customers. Wim: “For example, you have to build networks yourself, under the guidance of your mentor. We are therefore specifically looking for places where you can play as a junior and where there is room to guide you properly. The advantage of this is that you immediately make money for your BV and repay your investors. Because these are the people around you, everyone has the motivation to make sure you get it right. The intention is in the long run to transfer the BV to you. Your company will then have three to five years with good numbers in the books, and with many flying hours you have developed into a good IAM specialist who is used to working independently. ” What happens next is mostly up to the student, Erik adds. “The first two students have just graduated and are now independent. With a few years of experience, they could be part of the partnership, but they can also choose to continue with their own BV or to work somewhere in paid employment. ”

However, Wim believes that someone who once smelled as self-employed no longer wants to be employed. “Companies attract a lot to our students; every customer wants them. If a student would rather go into paid employment somewhere: just good friends. Being independent requires something from you, you have to be able to handle it and you have to have a certain personality for it. My experience is that for people with an open mind who want to step into the world of IAM and truly become the best, world “Companies attract a lot to our students; every customer wants them ”is for their feet. They want to be free. Even I still enjoy my choice to go into business. In my own area, I see people starting out with a tech job in salaried employees, and after a few years, they become managers because that is often the only way of promotion in a company. They also do not have time to keep up with technological developments. That’s a big loss. To give an example: Every year I meet my former classmates at a barbecue. But a few of them are still hardcore IT professionals, the rest are now managers. And few of them are happy with their choice. ”

Would you like to know more about KEA and how you can make a difference as an IAM specialist? Discover this

This article is not an editorial, but sponsored and made possible by KEA and Tweakers Partners. This is the department within Tweakers that is responsible for commercial collaborations, giveaways and Tweakers events such as meet-ups, Developers Summit, Testfest and more. See here for an overview of all promotions and events. If you would like to share ideas with us about this type of advertising, we would love to hear from you. You can talk to us about this via [Discussie] Advertising in general].

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