Fueling a Passion for Security
Certification provides more ways to build knowledge—and create opportunities
As a Senior Infrastructure/Systems Analyst, Ajet Ibraimoski works for a company that provides dealership management systems for automobile dealerships across North America. “I’m a jack-of-all-trades, and wear many hats,” says Ajet. From the company’s headquarters in Calgary, Canada, he deploys systems, performs advanced troubleshooting, migrates applications, and provides Layer 3 infrastructure support; all to help 250 employees and thousands of end user customers. He’s also the main escalation point for any security incidents and issues.
Ajet credits his Cisco CyberOps Certification with taking his security capabilities to an even higher level. “I have a passion for security. I didn’t know what to expect when I took the Cisco course, but I was positively surprised. I learned tons of practical material, and gained new skills and knowledge. It helps with vulnerability assessments, security scanning, and other measures for new and existing systems.”
“There’s been more emphasis on security the last few years. With Cisco Certification, you learn all different facets of security. It gives you an edge to design the right solution, right away; a solution that’s more secure, available, and scalable.”
A scholarship that became a career milestone
Ajet attended the University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies, in Skopje, Macedonia. “The first year, I got into programming,” recalls Ajet. “The second year, I got into networks, and was amazed. It was so much cooler than typing code. Right then, I knew what I wanted to do. I fell in love with anything network-related.”
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Informatics and Computer Engineering, and earned his Master’s degree in Computer Networks and E-Technologies. While he was in university, he was first introduced to Cisco equipment, including the Cisco Packet Tracer, and used Cisco simulations to learn networking. “Cisco is the biggest network vendor in the world, so if you want to learn networks, you turn to Cisco.”
In 2017, he applied for a CCNA Cybersecurity scholarship, which covered expenses and provided training to help him become certified. “I took online training, watched pre-recorded videos, and received guidance from two mentors. I also learned from Cisco Press books and other materials. And the labs are amazing; they’re very hands-on and other labs can’t compare. You really learn how the Security Operations Center works. You can play the role of attacker and defender, and can simulate a response and hunt down attackers. You also learn Open Source tools.” He passed the CCNA CyberOps exam later that year.
From Eastern Europe to Western Canada
Ajet was a Senior Database Administrator and Senior Systems Engineer in Macedonia but was offered his current position which required moving his family to Canada. “Everything is bigger in North America, but the company was really nice,” says Ajet. “Technology is the same language everywhere.”
Ajet believes that his Cisco Certification helps him excel in his day-to-day job. “There’s more recognition, it validates your skills, and you’re more marketable. You have an edge over the non-certified when it comes to advancing your career and earning promotions and raises. You’re on top of the latest developments, and can take on more complex projects. And it gives employers more confidence; it’s good for the company, the clients, and your self-esteem. There are many certifications out there, but Cisco CyberOps is the best.”
Looking ahead, Ajet is interested in pursuing his CCNA and CCNP in Security. In his spare time, he plays with systems in his basement, hangs out with his 4-year-old son, and watches the European sport of handball on TV.