Qualifications
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Thread: Qualifications

  1. #1
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    Qualifications

    Ok I live in the UK, Im currently 17 and am just entering my second year of A levels. However I need to start thinking about what courses I want to do at university. I am very intrested in security but when i looked through job seeker websites all offers required previous exeperiance in the field and little on what else they would look for. I was just asking if anyone in the security profession could give me guidance on what employers would be looking for. At the moment I have looked into computer science courses and a course about networking (setting up and maintaining). Thanks.

  2. #2
    AO's MMA Fanatic! Computernerd22's Avatar
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    I am very intrested in security but when i looked through job seeker websites all offers required previous exeperiance in the field and little on what else they would look for. I was just asking if anyone in the security profession could give me guidance on what employers would be looking for.
    I live in the United States of America I work for a major ISP. What employers have a tendence to look for is certifications, degrees aswell as job stability and experience. Also, they love resumes. So next time you apply for a job in the (computer field I'm assuming) make sure to add/make a resume to your application. Hope this helps. Computernerd22

  3. #3
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    I myself just landed a great computer consultant job. I had no experiance in the IT except for the fact I was attending Iowa state for computer science. I just happend to be in the right place at the right time though. I was working as a bartender in a cyberbar here in town and one of the regulars, after I got off work, sat down and we had some beers and just BS'd for awhile. We started talking about computers, turns out he was a marketing manager for this computer consultant corp. I impressed him and he hired me. I have met a few security consultants in just the past few months I have been working for Octogon ( thats the name of the computer consulting corp.) and in talking with them they either got the position by previous experiance in one IT position and earned there way into a security position. Or they got a great education. Either way it will take time and persistence. It took me about a year to finally find someone who would look past the fact I don't have a degree. Most universities have internships. That is a great way to get experiance. Might want to check that out. If nothing else start at the bottom and work your way up, get your A+, MCSE or whatever and get a s@#% job of fixin printers and work your way up till you have enough qualifications to the job you want.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with all of the above but even if your experience is creating your own Yahoo Security group and focusing on security issues this helps, also make it a point to join and become active in groups like this.

    Myself I started as a 4GL Programmer, then got into hardware, now I run my own consultancy as well as have several educational clients. ONe Man Band Stuff, I left School at 16 and sort of drifted into the IT community.
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  5. #5
    AO's Mr Grumpy
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    Re: Qualifications

    Originally posted here by hellforgedangel
    Ok I live in the UK, Im currently 17 and am just entering my second year of A levels. However I need to start thinking about what courses I want to do at university. I am very intrested in security but when i looked through job seeker websites all offers required previous exeperiance in the field and little on what else they would look for. I was just asking if anyone in the security profession could give me guidance on what employers would be looking for. At the moment I have looked into computer science courses and a course about networking (setting up and maintaining). Thanks.
    Having just completed my BSc in Comunication Technology at the University of Paisley, my advice would be to consider firstly what University you would want to go to, and what degree you feel would be the most appropriate for your future employment choices.You will require a mimimum 3yrs at University, possibly 5 depending on degree, for example Computer Science. Most UK Universities offer the same course / degrees with options, for example Paisley run an optional Network Security module, but is only done on the second semester of each academic year, and can clash with core degree program classes. The Communications Technology degree includes the 1-4 semesters of CCNA. Please bear in mind any advice offered here from our US members re educational matters , will be totally different to our system here in the UK with regard to qualifications and progression. Search the UK Universities web sites as a starting point, to give you some indication of what is available
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  6. #6
    Also look into interships. My last year of college I got into a cooperative education program working net admin for a financial advising company, and after graduation they just kept me on. Internships are definately a big plus, and great for building contacts.

  7. #7
    The Recidivist
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    Off subject here but I just noticed something that caught my attention.

    I was working as a bartender in a cyberbar

    cyber......bar?

    explain

    /me drools


    hjack
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  8. #8
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    cyberbar cybercafe internetcafe
    All acronyms for clubs gathering lamers around windows boxes and playing counterstrike..
    Also they seem to attract lot's of mugu's and scammers and other people doing shady things (anonymity)

    As for employers, IMHO they are looking for relevant working experience..
    Usualy certs and diploma's don't matter as much as experience, this counts for small firms more then for larger companies..
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  9. #9
    Ninja Code Monkey
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    While degrees and certifications are nice, they aren't always a hard requirement. I started out as a software tester with neither...just alot of hours spent teaching myself code. Being able to market your abilities well goes a looong way.

    When I'm doing interviews I tend to look at their schooling, certs, relevant work experience and skills, the whole deal. Make sure you have checked your resume for grammar/spelling mistakes. I can't believe how many people I've tossed out simply because they couldn't run the spell check on their word doc.

    If you can, grab a whiteboard and a knowledgable friend and have him ask you questions to explain on the board (common interview technique here at least). People tend to ask you to do things like explain the architecture of project 'x' you worked on or explain how you'd implement a linked list in the language of your choosing. Getting used to this ahead of time can save alot of frustration later on and possibly keep your mind from going blank when you're put on the spot. Logic problems can also pop up alot.

    Beyond that, you just need to tailor your skills and resume to be relevant for the position you are going for. Alot of job sites such as monster, hot jobs, dice, techies.com, etc will have job listings and usually tell what the employers are seeking out. There are also alot of job mailing lists where recruiters can get your resume or they send out their latest listings. Sec focus has a good one for security jobs.
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  10. #10
    Also, willingness to learn and trustworthiness are key attributes to display for a prospective employer, and are sometimes more important than certs or degrees. Take me for instance, I'm a net admin wth no certs and just recently got my MIS degree. How'd I get here? It's because the guy that hired me wanted someone that 1) he could teach himself and 2) he could trust with the sensitive data a financial advising company handles. If you can answer a techical question with "I don't know, but just hand me a manual and put me to work", then you just boosted your marketability in the job market significantly.

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