TPSO Newsletter Edition 1: An interview with Aaron Barker, Security Manager of the Future

Hi Aaron, thank you for talking to us today and sharing your thoughts and insights with our readers! You have considerable experience in the security industry, and recently started training to obtain qualifications in security management. Before delving into that, what is it that attracted you to the security industry in the first place?

I have been in the security industry for 8 and a half years and over that time I have gained valuable practical experience, which included numerous promotions to various supservisory roles.

I had always thought security was going to be a stepping stone before I moved on to something different. I needed a job when I left the army. I did notice very quickly that I had many good attributes which which gave me numerous advantages, the military obvioulsy instills a security first mindset. When I realised that I was a good fit for the the security industry it wasn’t a difficult decision to deveop a career by working hard, building my knowledge and climbing the promotion ladder on the way.

What kind of research did you do before deciding which training path to follow?

To start with I spoke with a few security managers who told me that experience was sufficient and that I should look to gain more of it. However; when I applied for a particuler promotion I was told that although I did have a lot of experience, I would need academic qualifications as well. That interviewing manager motivated me to start looking into industry related courses. It was an effort as there are many on the market. With so many out there I didn’t know which was best suited for me until I spoke with Silverback Security Academy who gave me solid advice on what steps I should take without attempting to hard sell me to select them as my prefered training supplier.

You’ve decided to pursue a University degree in security management. If you had to narrow it down to the 2 most important reasons for that decision what would they be?

As I discovered you need experience but you also need formal qualifications to succeed within the industry now. I also wanted to be properly informed, knowledge is power which aids your decision process and I wanted to be sure I made the correct ones. A university degree speaks for itself.

I appreciate that you are in the early stages of the training, but how relevant are you finding it so far?

I thought I knew a lot about security but last year opened my eyes to a lot of new things and showed me that I didn’t know as much as I thought. It has been an incredible learning experience and has expanded my knowledge and boosted my confidence! The training so far has also assisted me in gaining valuable insights by direct interaction with the course tutors. The knowledge I’ve gained has been wide ranging and stands me in good stead when speaking about security issues to my peers, employers and anyone else that I come into contact with through my role.

Do you plan to specialise in the future?

I may go into security consultancy at some point. Having a degree will open a lot of doors so I remain opened minded regarding any future specialities.

Where do you think you will be, career wise, in 10 years’ time?

My ambition is to go as far as I can. I’m looking to eventually land a role as head or director of security.

What advice would you give someone considering their move into management?

I would say that you need be to do your research and ask the right questions. I did a lot of reading around the subject. There are security related books, articles and numerous excellent magazines and publications to chose from. Networking is important, you will learn a lot from other people in the industry and there is no shortage of people willing to share their knowledge and experience. After all, we all have the same goal of protecting people first and foremost!

Select a training provider who will challenge you, expand your knowledge and who equips you with the right skills. Don’t just rely solely on experience. The security industry is much more professional now and an academic qualification is starting to become the norm, combined with industry experience, for the top jobs of management.

Aaron Barker