Computer Networks & Security degree.

Hi, I am thinking, well Im 90% sure I want to study for a degree in Computer Networks and security. I do not have a degree or much higher eductaion. I got into IT 13 years ago when I managed to get an IT repair apprenticeship repairing laptops.


I dont have the formal qualifications, I hated school, I was a bit of a tearaway and messed up the chance to go to university, but I am being given a pass to do it because of my experience in IT and my Comptia and CCENT certifications as the Networking part of the course is built around the CCNA


Obviously I am a little worried about the 3 years of struggling financially as I will have to come out of full time work, but I believe the payoff after will make up for that.


My plan is to get into the security industry and then either go the Ethical hacking route or forensics.


Am I going the right route? I dont think I could do any of the roles I eventually want to do without as it seems hard to break into security. I'm not really in this for the money anymore obviously I want to get paid but I want to get out of support as Ive done it for pretty much all my working life and want to do something I enjoy. I have done a small ethical hacking course and found it fascinating.
The description is here


http://www.bolton.ac.uk/Quality/PDA/ProgrammeSpecifications2012-2013/Documents/A-E/ComputerNetworksandSecurity(BSc(Hons)).pdf


Also would writing a blog along the way help and would people be interested? I Kind of want to show that no matter what your past you can get somewhere in life if you have a plan.









http://www.bolton.ac.uk/Quality/PDA/ProgrammeSpecifications2012-2013/Documents/A-E/ComputerNetworksandSecurity(BSc(Hons)).pdf
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Comments

  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Depends, mostly I suppose on how old you will be when you graduate as older people have a tougher time getting their foot in the door anywhere. Also I'm not familiar with the systems in the UK but is this equivalent to a 4-year Bachelor's Degree or would it be closer to a 2-year Associate's? I ask because in the US the Bachelor's Degree is the typical barrier to entry in a skilled field and wondered if you guys have that same kind of mentality with your employers.

    The education also seems very broad and general with only Wireless Networks and Security & Network Security having anything to do with security at all. If I were to enter an Information and Security Assurance, at least 5 courses will be dedicated to security subjects. I don't think writing a blog would help much IMO. I did hear suggestions about joining communities like Github and Stack Overflow, both to learn and to contribute if possible.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Hi, thanks for the reply.

    I am turning 33 on the 4th of December, so I maybe young enough to get my foot in the door as I am already working in the IT industry doing 2nd line support. I feel a degree probably my best bet of getting into what I want to do as many of the jobs advertised her for security require a degree in the IT field. It is definitely hampering me not having a degree and this degree is very close in terms of location to me.

    It is a 4 years bachelors degree with the foundation part being 1 year which covers a lot of stuff I have no clue about such as coding.
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  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Another option I guess is to do it through the Open University so I dont have to quit my job...
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  • beadsbeads Posts: 1,442Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Ethical Hacking will require a great deal of development coursework to be good at it/employable. Where forensics people generally come out of the infrastructure field of the industry. Basically, folks with strong administration and configuration skills, Operating Systems knowledge down to the kernel level, a broad understanding of logs and other auditing skills.

    Point being you have identified two completely disparately different courses of studies and will shape the way you approach the field of security both in general as well as specific skills.

    Hope this helps but ask more questions otherwise.

    - b/eads
  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Hi Beads, what I am hoping is that a degree will open the door to me getting into the security field (at the bottom end) I can explore which avenue I want to go down on the way. I have mainly worked in support and some infrastructure but I have found the ethical hacking course I have been doing great fun.

    I am pretty bored with standard support and these two fields of security interest me, what would be your advice to get myself on that particular ladder?
    Goals for 2013 Network+ [x] ICND1 [x] ICND2 [ ]
  • beadsbeads Posts: 1,442Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think you've basically answer your own question here. Security is a huge field but easy to over specialize before you even start learning. Every meet the high school student who says they not only want to achieve the MD but specialize in say brain surgery before they even graduate from high school? Well, there was the chick in high school who wanted to become a coroner but... well, she probably did. Creepy but really bright.

    Explore what is available in security and see where it takes you but be prepared to go in a different direction several time before graduating - much like the security field itself. Though I am technically trained as a forensics analyst I primarily do logs, logs, meetings, more logs and some analysis with what is leftover at the end of the day.

    Good luck!

    - b/eads
  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Would you say getting a degree is the best path to go down?
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  • Bjcheung77Bjcheung77 Posts: 89Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    dazl1212 wrote: »
    Another option I guess is to do it through the Open University so I dont have to quit my job...

    Does the school have to be from the UK? Have you thought about a degree from a USA institution? How about a competency-based degree?

    You can continue working at your current position and go for a competency-based/self-paced degree at Brandman U or Hodges U.
    dazl1212 wrote: »
    Would you say getting a degree is the best path to go down?

    Brandman has a self-paced/online Bachelors of IT and cost is $3200/6 months, if you have certs, they transfer in (up to 14 certs)
    Note: They have 39 courses in total, you can transfer in 75% of the courses, you only have about 9-10 total for residency
    https://www.brandman.edu/academic-programs/business-and-professional-studies/bs-in-information-technology-mypath

    Hodges offers a similar program for a similar price, BS CIT and cost is $3000/6 months, if you have certs, they also transfer in
    Note: They have 30 courses in total, you can transfer in 75% of the courses, you only have to do 8 courses for residency
    https://www.hodges.edu/academicprograms/bachelors-computer-information-technology.aspx

    I would do as much general education and certs as possible before transferring into their program, then just finish their courses crammed in 1 term

    For example, finish about 90 credits with ACE/NCCRS credit sources at Straighterline/Study.com, etc and do the final 8-10 courses there, in total, the cost would not exceed $5000USD for a Bachelors. Both of these are Regionally Accredited, it's the "gold standard".

    There are cheaper degrees that can be had at NA (Nationally Accredited) institutions, but paying slightly more for RA is better (some countries don't care, some do).
  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Hi, thanks for that detailed reply, would these degrees be recognised in the UK like one from a UK registered university would be?

    The degrees in the UK I can get a student loan for I am not too sure I could do that with say Brandman.

    The idea of getting certs and using them to count towards a degree is a great idea and would make it vastly cheaper and more efficient for me.
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  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Would Western Governors be another option as well?
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  • Bjcheung77Bjcheung77 Posts: 89Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    dazl1212 wrote: »
    Hi, thanks for that detailed reply, would these degrees be recognised in the UK like one from a UK registered university would be?

    The degrees in the UK I can get a student loan for I am not too sure I could do that with say Brandman.

    The idea of getting certs and using them to count towards a degree is a great idea and would make it vastly cheaper and more efficient for me.

    Degrees from Brandman, Hodges, WGU - all of them would be recognized globally, as equivalent to your country.
    I didn't add WGU to the list as I know you're in the UK, there are others (for profits) that are available, these are non-profit.
    dazl1212 wrote: »
    Would Western Governors be another option as well?

    Even though WGU is the granddaddy and the largest competency-based educational institutes, it does NOT accept anyone outside of the USA. The only exceptions are selective areas in Canada or for US service people in remote territories.
  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Thankyou so much

    I cant see a section on either web page about which certifications they accept and how much they count. Id like to look at what certs i can get to count towards the degree.
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  • Bjcheung77Bjcheung77 Posts: 89Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    dazl1212 wrote: »
    Thankyou so much

    I cant see a section on either web page about which certifications they accept and how much they count. Id like to look at what certs i can get to count towards the degree.

    The link I sent you earlier to Brandman, If you look under InfoTech Generalist Emphasis, you can transfer in 14 certs
    More info on Brandman/Hodges: http://www.techexams.net/forums/general-certification/129926-where-go-what-do.html#post1122882
  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Thanks for the help, I need to figure out the best way of doing this now. I am reading your other thread icon_smile.gif

    Sorry to be a pain is it the same at Hodges? as I'm struggling to see it as I'm at work.

    Which one would you recommend? Hodges or Brandman?

    I dont have any of the entry requirements with me living outside the US and to be honest I dont really have any academic qualifications wort much anyway. I take it the certs should be enough to get me in?

    My Network+ has expired so I will probably need to retake that.
    Goals for 2013 Network+ [x] ICND1 [x] ICND2 [ ]
  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Duplicate post
    Goals for 2013 Network+ [x] ICND1 [x] ICND2 [ ]
  • Bjcheung77Bjcheung77 Posts: 89Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    dazl1212 wrote: »
    Thanks for the help, I need to figure out the best way of doing this now. I am reading your other thread icon_smile.gif

    Sorry to be a pain is it the same at Hodges? as I'm struggling to see it as I'm at work.

    Which one would you recommend? Hodges or Brandman?

    I dont have any of the entry requirements with me living outside the US and to be honest I dont really have any academic qualifications wort much anyway. I take it the certs should be enough to get me in?

    My Network+ has expired so I will probably need to retake that.

    LOL, either one would be a great choice, but if it was me in your shoes... I would take Hodges over Brandman because of 3 reasons.
    Both of them allows you to transfer in college credit and certificates, I would do all the general education and electives and transfer in 75%
    If it was at Brandman, I would just take the final 9-10 courses required for the Bachelors, the rest would be transferred in.
    If it was at Hodges, I would do their Associates in Comp Info Technology, and ladder that to their Bachelors - FREE (it's tricky)!

    1) Hodges requires only 30 courses vs Brandman requires 39 total. Tuition is slightly cheaper at Hodges ($3000 vs $3200 for 6 months)
    2) Transfer credits from other ACE/NCCRS courses are 4 credits each, even if you take them at a college and it's worth 3 credits there.
    3) There are 5 required courses for the Associates, those 5 are required in the Bachelors, the Bachelors requires just 3 extra courses.
    4) If you take everything from ACE/NCCRS sources, you only require 8 courses, if you finish in 6 months, it's $3000/flat in total.
    5) Transfer credit should equally be the same, so you should start by emailing both Brandman/Hodges and ask if they will accept transfer.
  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Awesome thanks for your help. If i don't have the us qualification study requirement credits for entry can i just do them on Straighterline? Sorry for all the questions i know nothing about higher eduction in the US. I know very little about it in the UK.
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  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Is hogdes associate in comp info study free??
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  • Bjcheung77Bjcheung77 Posts: 89Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    dazl1212 wrote: »
    Is hogdes associate in comp info study free??

    If you are just going for the Associate degree only, no, it’s not free. If you are going for a Bachelors Degree, you can go for the Associate degree first en route to the Bachelors. Since the 8 courses you need for the Bachelors covers all 5 residency requirements of the Associate degree, you can apply for graduation with both Associate and Bachelors degrees for just the price of the Bachelors.

    I am familiar with the UK education system... In regards to Straighterline, that is a great option, and I also recommend Study.com as well. They are my favorite ACE/NCCRS providers. I am going to be making a guide for fellow TechExam members on how to get a Bachelors degree entirely online and using competency providers. Another option for courses would be ACE/NCCRS credits from Davar, Saylor, and Shmoop.
  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    Thank you for your help. I will look forward to seeing your guide as it will be massively useful for me. Any idea when you will get time to do it? Thanks
    Goals for 2013 Network+ [x] ICND1 [x] ICND2 [ ]
  • woo777woo777 Posts: 4Users Awaiting Email Confirmation ■□□□□□□□□□
    Bjcheung77 wrote: »
    If you are just going for the Associate degree only, no, it’s not free. If you are going for a Bachelors Degree, you can go for the Associate degree first en route to the Bachelors. Since the 8 courses you need for the Bachelors covers all 5 residency requirements of the Associate degree, you can apply for graduation with both Associate and Bachelors degrees for just the price of the Bachelors.

    I am familiar with the UK education system... In regards to Straighterline, that is a great option, and I also recommend Study.com as well. They are my favorite ACE/NCCRS providers. I am going to be making a guide for fellow TechExam members on how to get a Bachelors degree entirely online and using competency providers. Another option for courses would be ACE/NCCRS credits from Davar, Saylor, and Shmoop.
    Looking forward to seeing your guide, buddy. As a person who lives outside of US it's really difficult to understand whole process of univ.admission out there and also was surprised to see alternatives to WGU which are providing online education (self-paced path) for international students.
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