Industry placement advice sought

pat131thompsonpat131thompson Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□

I'm after some thoughts please on pros / cons for options I'm looking into next year... I'd be keen to hear some thoughts if you've got a few moments.


I'm UK based.

I've not been in the tech world long (15 months). I'm 39 years old and prior to the last 15 months my career was wholly within law enforcement as a Detective. Pre-2016 (when I moved into the IT / Tech sector) the UK Government started to make huge cuts across the public sector which had a massive impact on policing. I did not like the way these cuts were affecting both the job itself and the terms / conditions under which we worked so I decided on career change and angled towards Tech and specifically Security. I applied for a three year career break from the police and took an entry level job on a Service Desk to get some base level experience. I had been in that position for 6 months when I noted an advert for a job as a Data and Communications Investigator. I was successful in applying for that and it is the job I currently hold.
When I moved from the Police onto the Service Desk, I took a hefty pay cut - to mitigate this I set up a small business running admin and analysis work for a couple of other small businesses.

Since the change in career I have gained the following qualifications; CompTia A+, Network+, Security+, Home Office accredited Communication and Data Investigator and a Home Office Open Source accreditation. I am due to sit CompTia CSA+ in December and am also scheduled to go on a Radio Frequency Propagation Technician's course in February 2018.

When I first moved over from policing I had a "generic" thoughts about moving into "IT Security" ... I'm now in a position where I'm looking as to which way to angle the career path over the next 12 - 18 months. Day to day I'm tight on time - I have three kids, a wife, a stupidly energetic dog and work is busy so I can dedicate approx 10 hrs a week to study / development.

My initial thoughts for next year were one of two ways;


My current role revolves around investigating communications data for law enforcement. The accreditation is somewhat niche to law enforcement and governmental bodies however the Radio Frequency Propagation accreditation next year will hopefully put me in a well qualified position for the comms investigation arena as a whole (public & private sectors). Accordingly, I am considering adding to the overall comms area by adding CCNA R&S which would give me a rounded base of comms knowledge across cell / GPRS and internet. I would then see what would follow from there.


I am also considering remaining in the day job "as is" (i.e. not looking to add anything immediately related outside of what the job supplies) and taking myself down the Pen Test route. This would ultimately be with a view to add this as a service from the small business I run along with other areas that I have an interest in such as OSINT investigations and training. Whether this would evolve into the 9-5 job being what it is at the moment and then the 5-9 business being the Pen Test / OSINT or I end up looking for employment in the Pen Test / OSINT field... I am unsure.

Ideally I would love to do both however I am realistic as to managing short to medium term goals whilst still enjoying time with my wife and kids (and occasionally the dog!) as well as the fact that my current job often goes well over the normal working week hours.

I'm most interested in hearing what you think the industry looks like and what you would do in that context with the circumstances above. Are the options i'm considering valid or could I be looking at something else? I'm open to ideas, thoughts and suggestions for alternatives.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

All the best

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