Am I going down the right path?

octobersveryownoctobersveryown Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey all. I know this will get long so I apologize in advance. PLEASE READ THROUGH IT. I could REALLY use some help

27 year old, former Comp Sci student and IT lover, planning to go into IT and make a career out of it. I have very little experience in IT(the little I have was nearly a decade ago). I did do a tech support role for iiNet while in Uni but it was for a couple of months. I left because I hated the place and the job which absolutely sucked the living soul out of me so I don't include the role on my resume.

Please bear in mind that I'm in AUSTRALIA, if that will at all factor into the decision

My current plan is as follows

Currently doing:

CBT Nuggets Network+, Security+ and Linux+ to get a base level foundation knowledge of what I'm about to get myself into. However, I'm not planning on doing the exams to get the certificates. Don't know if I should do it or not but from what I've read from other posters here, CompTia is worth the time to gain the skills but not the money per se to gain the certifications, but I also think that the Network+ and Security+ certs are good to have on your resume.

ITIL v3 Foundations: For the lulz. Not going to certify myself, not sure if it'd be worth it.

Starting in a couple of weeks after wrapping up Network+ and Security+:

CCNA: Routing and Switching, mid Feb after wrapping up remaining Network+ and Security+ videos - This I'm planning to concentrate wholeheartedly on and I've compiled a list of free resources to help me out with this endeavor. I'm planning to certify myself in this.
A question for this. Is the 200-120 composite exam no longer valid? Do I HAVE to take the 2 separate exams? ICND1 for CCENT and ICND2 for CCNA? I want to be saving money and was planning on taking the composite exam but from some recent threads it seems like that isn't a possibility anymore?

CCNA: Security, mid march after wrapping up CCNA tutorials while practicing CCNA labs - Initially I only wanted to concentrate on the Security side but from what I've read it's beneficial to have a good working, if not an in depth, knowledge of Networking for a deep understanding of Security. Also planning to certify myself in this.

RHCSA: possibly start of march when I wrap up Linux+(hoping to finish both LPIC 1 and 2 by then if not at least LPIC1 will be done) - I don't know how helpful this cert might be for me in InfoSec, but I love Linux and feel this will open doors rather than close

Compiled the following free online resources that can help me. Cisco Network Simulator | IT Practice Exams | IT Training | Boson.com https://www.netacad.com/web/about-us/cisco-packet-tracer GNS3 Free CCNA Workbook | CCNA Labs, Practice Exams and More!


I'm currently unemployed and spend anywhere between 3-5 hours daily on the courses. I want to learn as much as I can while I have this surplus of time since inevitably I won't be able to do so after I start a job.

Is this a good plan to get a starting job? Should I be aiming for a Help Desk/IT support job or will I be able to land something better with the Cisco and Red Hat certs? Are there any resources available where I might be able to get some work experience? I've tried a few internship websites but they're geared towards students in university studying the degrees so for the moment I'm looking at volunteering positions at non-profits.
Are there any other certifications you might recommend that employers look favorably upon that would help me land that job that isn't Help Desk/Tech Support(kind of really against that after my stint with iiNet).

I'm in Perth, Western Australia however can relocate to Melbourne, Victoria and Sydney, New South Wales fairly easily due to family and can also consider Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Also, after I secure a job should I be considering the higher level professional certs such as CCNP, CISSP, CISM or even CCIE; Or should I only concentrate on PenTesting certs after? I'm keen on OSCP and Mile2 CPTE, but would consider CEH if a government job in Canberra is viable. The only higher level cert that I'm sure I want to get at the moment is the RHCE so would appreciate advice on others I can include in my path.

Have a keen interest to to start in Network Security or related Network roles and eventually get into Network and/or WebApp Penetration testing

Ahhh the dreaded wall of text. I hope someone has the patience to read through it. Mea Culpa! Mea Maxima Culpa!

Comments

  • seltaebseltaeb Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    consider GIAC, GIAC is a better if you plan for IT Security field
  • octobersveryownoctobersveryown Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I just saw this reply. Sorry about that. Previously I was seeing that people were viewing this thread but no replies.

    Unforunately I can't afford the $1000+ it costs to take the GSEC and even more money afterwards to continue on the GIAC path and getting other certifications at the same time, unless having ONLY certifications from the GIAC path is more than enough i.e. I won't need the Cisco, RedHat, OSCP, CPTE and other certifications (I have looked at GIAC and know they have a detailed path with certification options, I just don't know if ONLY certifications from the GIAC stream and NO OTHER certifications is good).

    I am interested in SANS certifications however want to wait until I am employed and can talk to my employer about going down that path with (hopefully) them paying.
  • MrAgentMrAgent Posts: 1,305Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Just so you're aware, I believe the RHCSA cert alone is ~$450, and I think the RHCE is about the same.
    CEH is $500 + $100 application fee if you dont take one of their courses.
    CISSP is around $600.
    I think I paid ~$1150 for OSCP + lab extension a couple of times.

    They are all fairly expensive exams.

    Once you do get CCNA, you're probably going to have to work your way up. That's pretty much the way it is in IT.
  • kiki162kiki162 Posts: 635Member
    If you want Network Security, regardless of what you do you'll be starting at the bottom. To get yourself a good foundation, start with Network+, then CCNA. Certs like RHCE, MCSE, CISSP and so on are the ones you take down the road once you get established with a new job. The question is...will you get a good ROI for the work you have put into it. Also, look to see what types of jobs are in your area.
  • octobersveryownoctobersveryown Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    MrAgent wrote: »
    Just so you're aware, I believe the RHCSA cert alone is ~$450, and I think the RHCE is about the same.
    CEH is $500 + $100 application fee if you dont take one of their courses.
    CISSP is around $600.
    I think I paid ~$1150 for OSCP + lab extension a couple of times.

    I think I'm quite ok with getting 2-3 certs for the price of 1 GSEC.

    CEH, I'm honestly not that keen on, but everywhere on the forum it seems to be the cert for really getting on recruiter radars in the beginning, although I am aware that's mainly for the US, the job postings I've seen here also regularly mention CEH, government or not. Regardless I don't think I'll be going for the CEH unless I'm in/going for a role that specifically demands it.

    CISSP is obviously a higher level consideration that I'll do after I've been working for a little while and is still lower than an entry level GSEC.

    OSCP + labs I'm ok with being on GSEC level for cost because; again, it'll be something I'll be going for after spending a little whiles on the job and doing other courses and I think it's a much more in depth course and would be looked upon better than just a GSEC.

    I understand that IT courses get expensive as you go up, but nothing gets quite as expensive as a SANS course :p which is why I said that I would love to consider the GIAC path but only if I'm employed with someone and they can drop that kind of dosh for it.

    If I am to spend $1000+ in the beginning, I'd rather spread it out and it on 3+ certs over the course of 6-12 months rather than 1 certificate
    If you want Network Security, regardless of what you do you'll be starting at the bottom. To get yourself a good foundation, start with Network+, then CCNA. Certs like RHCE, MCSE, CISSP and so on are the ones you take down the road once you get established with a new job.

    by 'starting at the bottom' do you mean I pretty much have no choice but to go for that helpdesk position? or will be there some type of junior network/security position I can get into if I play my certs right?

    also I did say
    Also, after I secure a job should I be considering the higher level professional certs such as CCNP, CISSP, CISM or even CCIE; Or should I only concentrate on PenTesting certs after? I'm keen on OSCP
    so yes I'm aware that you go for the higher level certs after you have the job and experience

    I don't want to cert **** before looking for a job, Ideally I want to have 3-5 certs before I start applying so was asking for opinions on which would be the best to go for.

    At the moment I'm thinking of the following before starting work

    CompTIA - Network+ and Security+
    CCNA: R&S
    start applying for job while completing CCNA:Security and RHCSA
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