Career Choice
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Thread: Career Choice

  1. #1
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    Career Choice

    I am currently a student at DeVry University studding Network Communications Management. My true concentration is in security forensics.

    In any case the more I looking into vulnerabilities and network flaws the issues come from within the programming of the application/protocol etc. and most assaults use multiple programming languages to execute these attacks.

    I have two questions, the first is should I be learning how to program? My current studies have only one programming language course (Intro to Java). Second, will the Bachelors degree I'm getting help me get into the field Iím looking for or should I change my major to something else such as MIS or CIS?

    Thank You for your time
    Best Regards

  2. #2
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    How did you like the Java course? I ask because if you don't like programming, use the time to study other areas you do like and this will excell.
    West of House
    You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
    There is a small mailbox here.

  3. #3
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    If you want to get into infosec. - it's probably a worthwhile investment on your part if you learn how programs work and how to program.

    you might want to try python as a first step. it's very forgiving of typeo errors compared to the others.

  4. #4
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    I have a feeling your question will warrant a plethora or opinionated answers.
    1. Always diversify.
    2. Always specialize.
    Contradicting, yes, however, it does make sense.
    You could be an all around networking guy that's pretty sharp at programming. As long as your netadmin skills are up to speed, having a programming foundation will make things easier to understand and could even allow you to manage or help manage a development group down the road in your career. A network admin with a good understanding of programming in multiple languages that specializes in network security would be a good title to sling around.
    I am a network admin with a strong foundation as a support analyst, yet I have a degree in networking technology. However, I specialize in Telecommunications Programming. I have 6 different telecom certs and experience on programming 5 different brands of PBX and several different voicemail platforms.
    I never expected to be a Telecom Analyst, however, I said "yes" to a proposition early in my career and I have yet to be able to step away from that. Every interview "soooo.... I see you have extensive knowledge in telecommunicaitons, eh?" ...
    But, I like it.
    Now I work as a Support Analyst/Telecommunications Manager/Domain Admin... Three jobs for a semi-decent wage... But, hey, "I got a J. O. B. "
    To sum up this rambling:
    Infosec, to me, does not seem like something you can start as a job. It's more like something to work towards over the course of a successful career.
    Network administration or helpdesk at best, will likely be a starting point in your career unless you get some good programming skillz under your belt before you graduate. As long as you can code, you can eat. That is my philosophy... ("Gosh, I really need to learn to code")
    Look to see what the market is demanding. If your degree is related to networking, get that degree, but in the meantime, learn some programming languages. Write some code in your free time. When you look for a job, you can search for netadmin, helpdesk, report writer, backup operator, or programmer.
    Now, as far as getting into infosec, I would make that part of your post grad 5 year plan. One thing that I have learned is that no amount of schooling can prepare you for what you will unexpectedly face in the industry. i.e. "Interoffice Politics".... It took a few jobs and a few terminations to learn how to play this game, and the rules change from company to company. Buisness practices are always different as well.
    On occasion you will find officers or managers asking you to do/configure/secure something that goes against what you have been taught as well.
    These are the things that I am talking about.
    To sum this up again,
    Concentrate on your degree and also specializing in something on the side.
    There are many rewarding oppurtunities awaiting composure from like minds and great ideas. It in my objective to interconnect great things.

  5. #5
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    RoadCLosed - yes I enjoyed the class 100% and have ever since been interested in programming, but more so in InfoSec, which know i now tie together.

    fraggin - thank you for you advice and experience

    Anyone else have a different point of view?

  6. #6
    if your true goal is computer forensics - you really should look at some of the law enforement education outlets and not devry. i used to have a bunch of links. i will try to find and post for you.

    ;-)

  7. #7
    Junior Member f1fan's Avatar
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    If you enjoy programming, try an learn an object oriented language like Java or C++... because from there it becomes a lot easier to learn other languages which will only help you in computer forensics. Once you are good at an OOL, then the scripting languages are much easier to learn.

    For fun, I've developed applications/web sites where I can review system logs anywhere on the network. The point is the better you can understand the how the system works (from an application side) the easier the forensics become.

    Remember routers, firewalls, OS's, applications all run on some sort of programming...understaniding how the logic functions is half the battle.

    F1fan

  8. #8
    AO's Mr Grumpy
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    Re: Career Choice

    Originally posted here by BakkAuff
    I am currently a student at DeVry University studding Network Communications
    I have two questions, the first is should I be learning how to program?
    Don't know.Suggest you leave US and come to one of the many excellent Scottish Universities

    Originally posted here by BakkAuff
    Second, will the Bachelors degree I'm getting help me get into the field Iím looking for
    Don't know

    Once again the difference in The US and UK educational system leads to a must know what you are on about as I would imagine the university degrees bear no relationship to each other, except in the field of medicine(doctors,nurses, radiographers etc)
    Computer says no
    (Carol Beer)

  9. #9

    Re: Re: Career Choice

    Originally posted here by jm459
    [B]Don't know.Suggest you leave US and come to one of the many excellent Scottish Universities
    if we are going to talk international excellence in education when it comes to information security - you should really look at some Israeli universities that specialize in it. They tend to have kick butt info sec guys.

    To OP: there is an interesting discussion on education going on on Slashdot if you interested... Ask Slashdot: Best Degree to Pair w/ a B.Sc. in Computer Science?


  10. #10
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    if your true goal is computer forensics - you really should look at some of the law enforement education outlets
    Jebo: This is a great point, I can see where understanding Law can be more than useful, I have been keeping track of current events there always seems to be X suing Y because of some technology related abuse, the T-Mobile hacker being at the top at this time (who is clearly in the wrong), but there are other times when there is a fine line to is it really the fault of the accused...

    If you enjoy programming, try an learn an object oriented language like Java or C++...
    F1fan: I have all the applications for Visual C#, Visual C++, J# (Visual .net) and planned on focusing on C++ for my first language, didn't know that it was an OOL, but looks like I'm heading in the right direction.

    I was also suggested to look into ASP, PHP and Pearl by an Infosec from SecurityFocus.com and to learn how to write a tool, or prototype of some sort. I have always wanted to grab an open source tool and "tare it apart" just to see how it works.

    Any other suggests?

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