February 2nd, 2017, 08:39 PM
Are 1 year, trade school cybersecurity programs a scam? Is there a high turnover rate
I dont want to waste money on a degree and be unemployed, so I was looking into an 1 year,applied Cybersecurity program at my local technical college.Is this one of those programs where grads end up pigeonholed into helpdesk, support positions, or do these programs actually help you find relevant employment?Also, if Employers require 3-5 years experience before obtaining the first job in the field, how do you get the xp if youre not even trained in the field yet? OR are employers literally hiring grads fresh out of these programs with no experience?
February 7th, 2017, 02:20 PM
In my opinion you have to be wary. There are a lot of technical/community colleges coming up with programs-du-jour.
Anything that's a hot topic right now, and cybersecurity is definitely one.
There are a few questions I'd definitely ask myself before going:
-What are their facilities like?
-What are their courses like? Do they offer hands on labs, or is it all reading?
-What are their teachers like?
-What certifications are they offering? A diploma from the school doesn't mean much in the industry,
but certifications prove you're able to be taught and have a basic to good understanding.
-Does the school offer any assistance with job hunting (resumes, interview prep)
Do you have any prior experience in a helpdesk or IT related?
I recently graduated from a 1-year Network Security Professional program. When I went in to talk to the
admissions person they sold me hard: The school had partnerships with 3 cybersecurity companies, 90% of their graduates
were hired by one of these companies and the rest were hired by other IT companies, the program offered 6 certifications
(CompTIA, Cisco, Microsoft) and the price of the testing was included in the tuition. They had lab equipment for all the
students, and top-notch instructors, blah, blah, blah...
It sounded great.
Fast-forward to graduation, and only 3 out of 14 people had found a job.
I'm not saying this will be your experience, I hope it isn't; However, in my experience the technical college just wants your money.
If you're going to succeed, you'll need to make it your priority.
If you'll allow, this is a bit of advice from my recent experience:
-Get EVERY certification available from your program. When you and the rest of your class graduates, the number of certs you have
will put you at the top of the list.
-Find out if there's a technical lab component to your classes. Reading will only get you so far. In my opinion, the only way to
cement your knowledge is by doing.
-Prior to even signing up, talk to some of the students as they leave class and try to find out the best instructor(s).
I was extremely lucky to have the best instructor that fit my style of learning. His understanding of the topics, and ability
to explain it, was the difference between pass and fail (not all teachers are created equal).
In regards to employment, you might have to start on the helpdesk -unless you have prior experience- but you won't stay there.
As for 3-5 years experience, that all depends on how well you can sell yourself. Experience can be shown in many ways.
You're getting in at a good time. There have been reports that the industry will have a shortage of professionals in the next
few years, and companies are starting to think beyond the immediate future. They're realising they might not be able to get
someone fully trained, but may need to invest in someone who's proven they can learn, and train them up.
Hope this helps.
Good luck with your schooling.
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