My path
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Thread: My path

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    My path

    Ok here's my problem........

    Im 23 soon to be 24 university student who has started a degree in Security Technology in the UK. The problem is that i failed my first yr, due to financial problems at home and im considering wherever i should go back.

    I want to be a security consultant (Ethical Hacker/Penitration Tester) , is there any other way to be one without a uni degree?
    Last edited by Eiji; August 14th, 2008 at 12:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hello Eiji, and welcome to AO.

    I want to be a security consultant (Ethical Hacker/Penitration Tester) , is there any other way to be one without a uni degree?
    I wouldn't have thought so; just look at your potential employers?

    1. The financial sector (banks, insurance, brokers).
    2. IT Consultancies.
    3. Major auditing companies.
    4. Government (including health & education).
    5. Major multinationals.
    6. Major retailers.

    They only take on graduate trainees these days

    (Ethical Hacker/Penetration Tester)
    Why? it is very specialised and becoming less skilled by the minute. A "security consultant" does more, much more.

    Consider it from a "top down" approach?

    1. Is there a security model?
    2. Are there security policies?
    3. Are there security processes?
    4. Are there security procedures to support them?
    5. Are those processes and procedures understood by those who have to apply them?
    6. Are they being adhered to?

    Just look, if you will, at the major security gaffes in the UK in the past two years............ stolen laptops with unencrypted data, that should not even have been allowed off the premises in most cases?

    The HM Customs and Revenue losing 25,000,000 taxpayers' records?

    And so on. In all these cases it is a failure of items 1-6 that I have listed above, and would not be detected by penetration testing or ethical hacking.

    Assuming that you have to retake your first year and that you have a 4 year course (1 year industrial placement?), what will the job market be like then?

    I would suggest that the underlying principles that I have described will still hold good, and that regulatory compliance will have increased. That is where the money will be
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  3. #3
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    Thats some sound advice which i will take to heart, thanks alot for you input.

    I have another question, would it be possible to do this in the place of univeristy?

    http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=nav.001010001

    I was told by them that it wasnt a professional qualification but an academic one and is the same as a bachelor degree. Any thoughts?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Like they say, it is a professional examination, so you will need to be working in IT to take it.

    I would say it is like other professional exams. For example, you can take a University degree in accountancy, civil engineering, or architecture, but you still need to pass the professional institute's exams afterwards, whilst being employed in the profession.

    In the old days you could do this with "A" levels or equivalent provided that you could get someone to employ you. You cannot do it without being employed in the field, as far as I am aware? So that leaves you with the problem of finding an employer who will support your studies.

    A university degree will get your foot in the door, after that you will probably need professional certifications............ CISSP or the like for security jobs.

    For the more technical side of IT, you need to demonstrate to an employer that you are worth the investment.

    Unfortunately I would guess that you are 20 years too late to do it any other way?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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