Not sure what to do.

C.FountainC.Fountain Member Posts: 28 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone!
So I'm currently a college student, but I'm thinking of dropping to part-time status and looking for a job. I currently have Associate's degrees in Network Technology and Information Systems Security, and I'm working on my Bachelor's in Information Assurance. I'm also starting to work on getting my A+, Net+, and Sec+ certs. Most likely, I'll start with some type of help desk position for a year or two while I finish school.

The problem is, I don't know what I want to do, in terms of a career. I love security, which is why I'm getting the BS:IA, but I also love the idea of working as a sys admin, net admin, or in cloud computing. A few other IA students have the sole plan of entering the NSA and spending their entire careers there, but I don't know if that's for me. I want to work for the NSA or DoD, but I don't know if that's all I ever want to do. I know I have time to jump into a few different fields and see what I like, I'm only 22. But I don't want to spend a bunch of time switching jobs just to experiment.

So what do you guys think I should do? I really don't know where to go from here. I know that I love being in the pit, working on systems and solving problems. I don't want to be in a management position where I just go to meetings/barely touch a system. I have this picture of what I want to be at some point in my life. I would love to be one of the people that sets up entirely new networks/buildings for new businesses/business branches. Kind of an all-around, go-to guy. But I don't have the experience for that, and its a long way away.

So what should I do in the mean time?


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    arrogantbastardarrogantbastard Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Security does not mean solely working on policies, monitoring, incident response, or whatever. It's a huge broad topic with many areas to work in. In my organization alone we have security personnel working from application security to data loss prevention to security engineering to monitoring and investigations/forensics, cloud security, systems security, product security, etc etc. Now not all companies are that big and warrant each of those roles, but there is certainly no shortage of niches when it comes to security so keep that in mind.
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    MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 Member Posts: 899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Well, no matter what, don't stop with your education and finish up that Bachelor's degree. It will be very helpful for your long term goals. Now, as far as what your career path is, you are young and you will find out that you may not like a certain path and can change it at any time. The big thing is to get out there, work and see what you like in the real world. What you fear you may not like, could turn into something that you absolutely love once you dig deep into your career. Now, if in 5 years you realize that you want to take another path, you are still young enough that you can make that change and your IT experience elsewhere, with your BS will help you move into that role that you feel would be a better fit for you long term.

    And working for the NSA or DoD is a great path and longer term, if you have been there it can really open you up to other positions with Gov contractors which can be quite lucrative if you play your cards right. While you may start out there, there is nothing that requires you to stay in that position and allow you to move onward to higher paying private jobs that are involved with the Government.
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    zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    As others have mentioned, keep pushing on with your education and certs. They will lay the groundwork regardless of what concentration you go into. Security comes into play in nearly every role and having an increased security mindset will only benefit you in any role you choose to pursue.
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    C.FountainC.Fountain Member Posts: 28 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone!
    Its true that security is in pretty much every IT field, and I'm definitely going to continue with my education and certs. Even if I don't go into security, a security background will help me a lot. For now, I'm planning on working TII or TIII helpdesk while I get my bearings, finish my degree, and decide what to do from there.
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    Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You are young and in school. There will never be a better time to do that. I would stay in school if I were you. You don't know what you will want in 10 years but the degree will help no matter what you decide.

    Good Luck!
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    LauraMalaveLauraMalave Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    What about getting an internship or a part-time job in the field while you stay in school? This way you'll get some hands-on experience without a long term commitment to a position.
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