Confused

doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
Greetings,

Nice to meet ya! New here and I've already read a ton of useful posts.

A little about me:

Bachelors in accounting in 2012 and I started working my first professional job a little into 2013. I've been here over a year and it's been pretty good to me. Lots of nice people and good work environment. The problem? I only do tech-based things. I'm managing the e-mail server(making users, changing passwords, etc), building computer systems, buying/purchasing software, some minor networking issues, on and on.

Basically my job has been a help desk job and I've done ZERO accounting. I'm actually loving the computer interactions and I think I should have gone this route in the first place (I was a dual major in information systems and accounting but dropped the I.S. due to program changes).

Our IT vendor (who I talk to candidly a lot) said he basically used to live here fixing computer complaints. Now he's rarely here. I'm pretty much the IT department/guidance for our clinic. If I don't know it, I find out how to get it or how to do it.

We've had some breaches, DDoS attacks, etc. recently and the aspect of security is fascinating to me.

Where would I make my first step into such a field? I have an accounting degree..and was trying to decide to study for my CPA exam, but the call for IT is rather strong. I'd love to do both...

tl;dr I've capped my ability to learn more where I am at, but I need more. IT is calling me, but I feel like I wasted my time in college. Help?! lol

Thanks for reading (maybe replying?!),

Rob
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Comments

  • chronos42chronos42 Member Posts: 91 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'll let someone else give you more specific career and direction-oriented advice, as I'm not much farther in my career than you are, and there are voices here likely much more valid than mine.

    However, I want to address your feeling that you wasted time in college. This brings to mind one of my major life philosophies, which relies on a microeconomics concept: sunk costs.

    You are likely aware what a sunk cost is, but for reexplanation - any payments into something that have already been made (time, money, effort, whatever) and cannot be taken back should be irrelevant to decisions going forward, since you can't change what's been done. All you can do right now is look at where you are and say, "What do I want to go moving forward? What do I enjoy? What will provide me the best opportunities?" From there, make your decision. The fact that you have an accounting degree is nice if you choose the accounting route, but it should not factor into your decision going forward, as it's a sunk cost that you can't change.

    Do what you love. If it's accounting, great. If it's something else, take an immediate turn and don't look back.
  • tkerbertkerber Member Posts: 223
    Welcome aboard!
    I would highly recommend Security+ for starters. It has a lot of really good foundation level knowledge that you will build on later on in your career and it fills some electives for other certs. I think you’re also in a good position because it sounds like you’re kind of the go to IT guy. So you could even use your own company’s network as sort of an example by analyzing it and seeing if there is anything that needs improving or patching. I’m not in the security field but I’ve dealt with a lot of security and can say that it’s definitely in demand. IMO anyone who works in IT should have at least a basic understanding of security and security concepts.
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    chronos42 wrote: »
    I'll let someone else give you more specific career and direction-oriented advice, as I'm not much farther in my career than you are, and there are voices here likely much more valid than mine.

    However, I want to address your feeling that you wasted time in college. This brings to mind one of my major life philosophies, which relies on a microeconomics concept: sunk costs.

    You are likely aware what a sunk cost is, but for reexplanation - any payments into something that have already been made (time, money, effort, whatever) and cannot be taken back should be irrelevant to decisions going forward, since you can't change what's been done. All you can do right now is look at where you are and say, "What do I want to go moving forward? What do I enjoy? What will provide me the best opportunities?" From there, make your decision. The fact that you have an accounting degree is nice if you choose the accounting route, but it should not factor into your decision going forward, as it's a sunk cost that you can't change.

    Do what you love. If it's accounting, great. If it's something else, take an immediate turn and don't look back.

    Yeah. If I were to seek something outside of accounting, it's a sunk cost. The feeling of dread is just the waste of money. I hate wasting it. Can't get it back though. I was hired on an accountant, but they saw I had some expertise with computers...and literally day 1 it has been everything related to it. Christ, I'm even photoshopping.
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    tkerber wrote: »
    Welcome aboard!
    I would highly recommend Security+ for starters. It has a lot of really good foundation level knowledge that you will build on later on in your career and it fills some electives for other certs. I think you’re also in a good position because it sounds like you’re kind of the go to IT guy. So you could even use your own company’s network as sort of an example by analyzing it and seeing if there is anything that needs improving or patching. I’m not in the security field but I’ve dealt with a lot of security and can say that it’s definitely in demand. IMO anyone who works in IT should have at least a basic understanding of security and security concepts.

    We have a SonicWall and that's about it for security!! We were already phished and DDoSed three times. I made some recommendations about getting a new server and better, updated hardware that can block more IPs than our current. It can handle a DDoS, but it's too old and the user capacity was limited. Turns out 9,000 "users" from Paris...don't work for us. :P I have been looking very strongly at Security+.
  • chronos42chronos42 Member Posts: 91 ■■□□□□□□□□
    doobu wrote: »
    Yeah. If I were to seek something outside of accounting, it's a sunk cost. The feeling of dread is just the waste of money. I hate wasting it. Can't get it back though. I was hired on an accountant, but they saw I had some expertise with computers...and literally day 1 it has been everything related to it. Christ, I'm even photoshopping.

    I got a business management degree, graduated in 2012. Got a marketing internship in my last semester, which turned into a full-time job. Six months later, the IT department hired me on, and I love it. IT is now my life.

    Maybe I could regret paying out for a business degree when I'm just going to do networking for the rest of my life, but that ignores the fact that there's value in having any college degree, not just one relevant to your field. Having that degree says that you have the drive to work through something to a great extent, and that's something employers absolutely look for.

    Short version: The degree you have doesn't matter. The fact that you have a degree does.
  • MSP-ITMSP-IT Member Posts: 752 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Lok'tar friend,

    You're in a tough spot. I, luckily, got out of the business/account degree when I realized that I wanted to do IT around my sophomore year. As far as leveraging your degree goes, it could be a compliment to a graduate degree in IS. Is a M.S. IS out of the question? Are you interested in going back to school? Maybe you can look in the financial sector for IT work. If you're interested in Security, I'd definitely recommend looking at the Security+ and the CCENT/CCNA (as opposed to the Network+). With accidental experience, you're already a few steps ahead those who are looking to get their foot in the door. If I were you, I'd figure out more of a concrete plan for the type of role you're looking at within security and position yourself accordingly.
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    chronos42 wrote: »
    I got a business management degree, graduated in 2012. Got a marketing internship in my last semester, which turned into a full-time job. Six months later, the IT department hired me on, and I love it. IT is now my life.

    Maybe I could regret paying out for a business degree when I'm just going to do networking for the rest of my life, but that ignores the fact that there's value in having any college degree, not just one relevant to your field. Having that degree says that you have the drive to work through something to a great extent, and that's something employers absolutely look for.

    Short version: The degree you have doesn't matter. The fact that you have a degree does.

    So, what I have been doing this year and a half..is that considered help desk work? I feel like I am basically on call. Remoting in, installs, re-installing windows (so...many times...so many viruses..)..

    I have a pretty good grasp on business management and cash flows, and all the other things that helps run a business, along with this IT "support" position. The calls to our tech vendor have dropped to almost nil. In fact, I'm the only one who calls them.
  • chronos42chronos42 Member Posts: 91 ■■□□□□□□□□
    doobu wrote: »
    So, what I have been doing this year and a half..is that considered help desk work? I feel like I am basically on call. Remoting in, installs, re-installing windows (so...many times...so many viruses..)..

    I have a pretty good grasp on business management and cash flows, and all the other things that helps run a business, along with this IT "support" position. The calls to our tech vendor have dropped to almost nil. In fact, I'm the only one who calls them.


    Certainly sounds like help desk to me, in everything but actual title!
  • aftereffectoraftereffector Member Posts: 525
    I wish I had an accounting degree. My history degree is much less useful in almost every situation - but it's a degree! You will get a lot of ROI from your accounting degree as you progress through your career. It's a huge value added to be able to understand business and finance as an IT manager, for instance. You can always pick up the IT-specific knowledge as you go along.
    CCIE Security - this one might take a while...
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    MSP-IT wrote: »
    Lok'tar friend,

    You're in a tough spot. I, luckily, got out of the business/account degree when I realized that I wanted to do IT around my sophomore year. As far as leveraging your degree goes, it could be a compliment to a graduate degree in IS. Is a M.S. IS out of the question? Are you interested in going back to school? Maybe you can look in the financial sector for IT work. If you're interested in Security, I'd definitely recommend looking at the Security+ and the CCENT/CCNA (as opposed to the Network+). With accidental experience, you're already a few steps ahead those who are looking to get their foot in the door. If I were you, I'd figure out more of a concrete plan for the type of role you're looking at within security and position yourself accordingly.

    Blood and honor, friend!

    No, no more college for now. Money would be the biggest hindrance. I actually took CCNA in the late 90s while in high school but never completed it. I recall quite a bit from it, actually. Mostly basics of networking. None of it scares me. It's all fun.

    I certainly would love to be in the finance sector doing something IT/accounting related. I had considered the CISA Security+ path...but I don't have the accounting experience because I'm getting nothing but IT experience!
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    chronos42 wrote: »
    Certainly sounds like help desk to me, in everything but actual title!

    Does it count I hear "Help" every ten minutes?:)
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I wish I had an accounting degree. My history degree is much less useful in almost every situation - but it's a degree! You will get a lot of ROI from your accounting degree as you progress through your career. It's a huge value added to be able to understand business and finance as an IT manager, for instance. You can always pick up the IT-specific knowledge as you go along.

    I think I enjoy history more than accounting!
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    doobu wrote: »
    Our IT vendor (who I talk to candidly a lot) said he basically used to live here fixing computer complaints. Now he's rarely here. I'm pretty much the IT department/guidance for our clinic. If I don't know it, I find out how to get it or how to do it.

    We've had some breaches, DDoS attacks, etc. recently and the aspect of security is fascinating to me.

    Where would I make my first step into such a field?

    You already walked a mile past your first step! icon_lol.gif

    Seriously though, you already have your first IT job which is always the hardest part about the field - getting your first break.

    A degree is just a box that you have already checked off. My boss who is exetremely technical has a Physics degree, the Sr Engineer doesn't have a degree and I am working on my B.S.

    If I were you, I would skip the Comptia certs go straight in the CCNA then CCNA:Security.

    Talk to your boss and let him know you really enjoy taking care of all their IT needs but you could use some IT training. A CBTNuggets.com or Pluralsight subscription would probably be a good start.

    Cheers!
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA | eCPPT | eWPT | eCTHP

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security
  • chronos42chronos42 Member Posts: 91 ■■□□□□□□□□
    doobu wrote: »
    Does it count I hear "Help" every ten minutes?:)

    That about sums it up. I work in the same area as the accounting department, and I can't count the number of times I've heard my name pleadingly called from across the cube walls.
  • MSP-ITMSP-IT Member Posts: 752 ■■■□□□□□□□
    doobu wrote: »
    Blood and honor, friend!

    No, no more college for now. Money would be the biggest hindrance. I actually took CCNA in the late 90s while in high school but never completed it. I recall quite a bit from it, actually. Mostly basics of networking. None of it scares me. It's all fun.

    I certainly would love to be in the finance sector doing something IT/accounting related. I had considered the CISA Security+ path...but I don't have the accounting experience because I'm getting nothing but IT experience!

    Did you actually get the CCNA certification?

    Your accounting degree could definitely be in use with a financial risk type position. Though the further along you get within that business line, the less technology you deal with. If you're really looking to make it into serious IT quickly, I'd take a stab at the CISA once you hit the experience requirement and maybe go for a CISSP Associate (not too hard).
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    You already walked a mile past your first step! icon_lol.gif

    Seriously though, you already have your first IT job which is always the hardest part about the field - getting your first break.

    A degree is just a box that you have already checked off. My boss who is exetremely technical has a Physics degree, the Sr Engineer doesn't have a degree and I am working on my B.S.

    If I were you, I would skip the Comptia certs go straight in the CCNA then CCNA:Security.

    Talk to your boss and let him know you really enjoy taking care of all their IT needs but you could use some IT training. A CBTNuggets.com or Pluralsight subscription would probably be a good start.

    Cheers!

    Yeah, paying for the certs is a no go. I work in healthcare and we're a small-medium clinic. We do well, but I see the cash flows and the money isn't there. I don't plan on staying since there is no room to grow...

    Why the CCNA and then CCNA: Security? Would Security+ be more "Generic" as in applicable to more than one vendor?
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    MSP-IT wrote: »
    Did you actually get the CCNA certification?

    Your accounting degree could definitely be in use with a financial risk type position. Though the further along you get within that business line, the less technology you deal with. If you're really looking to make it into serious IT quickly, I'd take a stab at the CISA once you hit the experience requirement and maybe go for a CISSP Associate (not too hard).

    No, I was taking practice exams..the subnetting (oh lord), doing configurations,etc. Basically all the school work for it. But that was in..'98.
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    doobu wrote: »
    Yeah, paying for the certs is a no go. I work in healthcare and we're a small-medium clinic. We do well, but I see the cash flows and the money isn't there. I don't plan on staying since there is no room to grow...

    Why the CCNA and then CCNA: Security? Would Security+ be more "Generic" as in applicable to more than one vendor?

    Security+ IS just generic theory about best practices, types of encryption and attacks.

    Studying for and passing the CCNA will actually teach you technical skills that are in demand.

    If the Security+ interests you then by all means take it but the CCNA will open more doors for you and give you a better return for your time and money. After you have the CCNA(R&S) then you go down the Cisco security track and work with and configure ASA IPS and IDS systems.
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA | eCPPT | eWPT | eCTHP

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security
  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Member Posts: 366
    You may want to put those accounting/auditing type skills to use within your IT aspirations. Read up on Information Assurance and the IT Auditing world, my firs Internship I was exposed to being the IT guy responsible for preparing and responding to IT auditing reports, dealing with Sarbanes Oxley, and working closely with auditors, which was a interesting change of pace from my normal IT functions back then.
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    Security+ IS just generic theory about best practices, types of encryption and attacks.

    Studying for and passing the CCNA will actually teach you technical skills that are in demand.

    If the Security+ interests you then by all means take it but the CCNA will open more doors for you and give you a better return for your time and money. After you have the CCNA(R&S) then you go down the Cisco security track and work with and configure ASA IPS and IDS systems.

    Hm. Interesting. I hope it will increase my salary! I've heard some nightmare stories about the starting salaries for the CCNA graduates. I hope it would be more than I currently make (all that I do with the minor accounting and human resources parts I push about $15.50...;/)
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Khaos1911 wrote: »
    You may want to put those accounting/auditing type skills to use within your IT aspirations. Read up on Information Assurance and the IT Auditing world, my firs Internship I was exposed to being the IT guy responsible for preparing and responding to IT auditing reports, dealing with Sarbanes Oxley, and working closely with auditors, which was a interesting change of pace from my normal IT functions back then.

    I like the investigating and finding errors and finding people doing unscrupulous things. It's fun investigating companies for sure.
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Go check the various job boards in your area. After a very quick google it looks like this a pretty standard one for entry level work:

    Support Specialist II - Field Engineer Jobs in Memphis, TN - Konica Minolta Business Solutions
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA | eCPPT | eWPT | eCTHP

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    iBrokeIT wrote: »
    Go check the various job boards in your area. After a very quick google it looks like this a pretty standard one for entry level work:

    Support Specialist II - Field Engineer Jobs in Memphis, TN - Konica Minolta Business Solutions

    They're actually one of our vendors. I can't count how many times I've had to log into their printers and adjust settings.
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I should thank ya'll for all the answers/support. Glad to have had some help and guidance. Thank you.
  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Member Posts: 366
    Didn't realize you were here in Memphis :)
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Khaos1911 wrote: »
    Didn't realize you were here in Memphis :)

    Walking in Memphis, eh? :P
  • CyberfiSecurityCyberfiSecurity Member Posts: 184
    doobu wrote: »
    ...but I feel like I wasted my time in college.
    Rob,

    If you feel you wasted your time in college, I recommend you to think again. Here is the reason why....
    [h=1]"Wal-Mart spokesman resigns after résumé discovery"[/h]URL: Wal-Mart spokesman resigns after resume discovery.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Vice President | Citigroup, Inc.
    President/CEO | Agility Fidelis, Inc.
  • John-JohnJohn-John Member Posts: 33 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You did not waste your time if that is what got you the job you have now, and there are many soft skills you may have picked up that are helping you that you might not be aware of. But as far as moving forward; Now that you are the de facto IT guy you should let your employer know that is what you are interested in doing. Maybe they will give you a position that is more suited to that and then it won't even matter what you majored in. For example, my Cisco teacher got his PhD in Music Theory. He found he couldn't get a job doing that so he started doing programming for the local utility company. The degree just shows you are able to learn.
    Goals for 2019: CISSP[x] CCNA-SEC [x] CEH[x]
    Goals for 2020: OSCP [] eCPPT[] eNDP[]
  • doobudoobu Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    John-John wrote: »
    You did not waste your time if that is what got you the job you have now, and there are many soft skills you may have picked up that are helping you that you might not be aware of. But as far as moving forward; Now that you are the de facto IT guy you should let your employer know that is what you are interested in doing. Maybe they will give you a position that is more suited to that and then it won't even matter what you majored in. For example, my Cisco teacher got his PhD in Music Theory. He found he couldn't get a job doing that so he started doing programming for the local utility company. The degree just shows you are able to learn.

    I don't think I wasted my time..I just wish I would have a better focus and aimed my path a little better. All in all it was a good experience though.

    I'm currently a manager and we have no IT department. We pay thousands a month for our vendor who we pay for our EHR system as well. In terms of making more money/being the IT department, that's not up for discussion sadly. I know the state of our clinic and they just couldn't afford to train/bump me up. I'm supposed to be the accounting and HR manager, but all I do is the IT problems/troubleshooting/maintenance, etc..

    I was just called away from my primary work to restart a computer....lol. Anyone elses' Friday going better? :P

    What my problem is, is that I see the cash flows and know what we can and can't spend on. They just spent 5k on laptops and that maxed it for "Technology spending."

    I can tell them what a CCNA with experience should make and it would fly over most peoples' heads and they would say "don't you just fix computers."

    ;/ Morning rant over..lol!

    That poor Wal-Mart guy. If you can do the job, let them do it. Wal-Mart is the last person I'd think who would "value honesty" lol
  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Member Posts: 366
    This is such a distribution and medical town, really rare to find good Infosec jobs here. I got lucky.
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