career advice...security or forensics
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Thread: career advice...security or forensics

  1. #1
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    Post career advice...security or forensics

    Hello, I haven't been at AO for while because I was trying possible career options. I was seeing if web design was a possible career option but I finally decided that it wasn't for me. So now I am back into computer security. I will be graduating next December with an MIS degree. I think it was my sophomore year when I saw that some colleges had network security as a degree which was unfortunate for me. My university offers nothing in terms of network security. I have a basic knowledge of network security from reading books like Hacking Exposed 3rd, Counterhack, Hack I.T, text files, and here at AO. I don't have hardly any hands on experience with security programs and practices. Righ now my plan is to finish up with MIS and then either try and find a tech school and get a diploma/certificate, or an associate's in a security or forensics type field. Or the other direction, I could go for certifications. I am confused on which route to take. Also, is experience in the field a must or are there companies out there that will hire and train you in security. It seems like I would still have a couple years of certs and/or training to even think about getting one of these jobs. I really don't want to spend 4 more years of schooling and/or training if I don't have to. Any advice from people in the field or who have a good knowledge of network security and forensics would be greatly appreciated. Just really confused right now. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Well, since no one in with actual experience has replied yet, I'll throw in my 2 bits.

    I recently made a huge career change and am going to college for Computer Science with a criminal justice minor...it's not exactly what I want, but the area universities don't offer anything security or forensics related. Plus a degree in anything to do with computers can't hurt.

    There are technical schools in the area that one can obtain a two year degree in networking security and application security, but only if you have 36 to 45 credit hours already. I have seen online forensic courses (ie. sans institute) and others that also offer degrees, but again, you need 36 - 45 credit hours from college before you can apply.

    My game plan, right or wrong, is to go to school, and get my pre-reqs consisting of every computer course they will let me take, and in 6 months or so start working towards a lower level certification, just to get my feet wet. There was a thread on here that outlined a series of courses starting from networking security, and included ethical hacking certs... I'll be investigating that one more.

    In the meantime, I'm helping the company I work for put together an acceptable use policy for our field offices, a security policy for data transmittal, and a field manager training program. None of it is very difficult, but at least in a future job interview, I can say I did it.

    That's my plan anyway....

  3. #3
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    The National White Collar Crime Center offers classes for free, If I remember right they arefor gov't people, but anyone sponsored by an agency or military (even reserves) can go and they are at no cost.

    Check out www.nw3c.org

    Might work out might not, just a thought.
    \"If you take a starving dog in off the street and make him prosperous he will not bite you, this is the principle difference between a dog and a man\" - Mark Twain

  4. #4
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    I actually know a computer forensics specialist who only graduated highschool, and he makes as much if not more than the ones that did go to college. It takes determination i suppose. I am not saying you should just quit school and hope to end up like my friend, but i am saying dont let that kind of thing bog you down.

    berg

  5. #5
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    That's one appealing aspect of security/forensics... you can still "bootstrap" yourself into a good career if you can prove you know your business. Of course that also depends on your geography...a big city is going to have a ton more opportunities, but a ton more competition also.

    I talked to a lawyer the other day who was handling a divorce case. One of the participants in the divorce case was sending nasty emails to his ex. When they tried to bring it to court for harassment, the judge threw it out... he said there is no way to prove that she didn't send the emails to herself.

    I smell opportunity

  6. #6
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    How about this? find a job with your current knowledge. but don't stop with learning. If you get lucky, your boss could invest in your education.

    I did it, and I didn't regret.
    Ikalo
    ------
    Make your knowledge your deadliest weapon.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Originally posted here by ikalo
    How about this? find a job with your current knowledge. but don't stop with learning. If you get lucky, your boss could invest in your education.

    I did it, and I didn't regret.
    I wholeheartedly agree. My employer is currenty paying for 80% of my school to finish my degree. I took a couple of years off to help advance my career. I am at a point now, where finishing my degree is not only possible, but a very good idea if I plan to continue advancing.
    Tim Potts
    Network Analyst

  8. #8
    I was talking to a friend who's in college. I think you [coVert] want to go into information tech/science. Security and all that branch off of it I believe.

    -Cheers-

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I think I will try and use my current knowledge to land a job and hopefully I might have an employer that will pay for further education. Right now I am so sick of school I just want to get out in the workforce. I just hate having that feeling that I am about to graduate and want to do something different. I feel like I have a good knowledge base but almost no hands on. I have a current topics class right now and we ask our professor why we don't have the opportunity to get hands on, and all he says is we don't have the money. That just pisses me off that we are paying all this money but still don't have the opportunity to get the hands on experience that many companies look for. I feel like all these jobs are gonna go to these ITT tech people who have this hands on experience. Well enough rambling from me. BTW, is it common to find employers who will pay for education or is it a select few mainly in big cities?

  10. #10
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    A lot of jobs will pay for schooling, not mine though. I work the Help Desk for the parks and rec. Been here for 3 years (working for the experiance!), graduated HS, but only taken a few college classes (not enough money). They dont offer any tuition reimbursement here, since it's a non profit organazaiton. But, I have had other jobs that would pay for classes if you could prove they "could relate to your work" and improve your skills. Believe me, you can make computers relevent to ANY job, so dont limit yourself to one field. Best of luck!
    Ron Paul: Hope for America
    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/

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