Career change help and guidance.

HirobradHirobrad PGCEMember Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
I am currently in the process of switching careers and would like some guidance and help. I am currently Head of Computer Science at a school in Dubai. I moved here one year ago from the UK. I have been teaching for 12 years. I am starting my MSc in Cyber Security in September and before hand I would like to up-skill in some areas that I believe I have gaps in my knowledge. I am hoping to move into junior roles within cyber security. My MSc is part time and I will be studying it over 25 months. It includes: 

- Penetration testing
- Cybercrime forensic analysis
- Mobile forensics 
- Professional secure networks
In additional to having completed this I would like to complete some certifications to some competence in areas. I am aware that experience wins over certs, however I do not currently have experience, my certs are hopefully a way of getting my foot in the door. The certs I am hoping to have completed are: 

- Linux+ 
- PCAP / PPAP (Python programming) 

While on the course I will also be completing work that will allow me to complete the CCNA - Cyber Obs and the CEH.

I have looked online for more helping and it seems that lots of people seem to have conflicting opinions about courses. Do you believe this just comes down to personal preference. 

Have I missed anything out that is needed for junior security roles? Any help would be amazing. 


  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■■■■■□□
    As head of computer science I doubt you'd need to bother with a Python cert.

    It all seems like a considerable step down--whereas you've been a leader & mentor in prepping some students that likely moved on to junior cybersecurity roles, here you are hoping to do the same yourself. 

    If I were you I'd consider transitioning into a secure coding type role first , and then a bit down the career road pivot into a more general cyber security role.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • HirobradHirobrad PGCE Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for your response. I am just thinking in terms of CV. In an education setting the certs aren't an issue, as long as you have a PGCE you can do the job. However, from reading comments and getting a feel for what is needed in a more commercial role the certs seem to act as a method of proof. 

    It may seem like a step down from my current position but apart from the presentation skills, time management and leading a team (all soft skills) I have no real world experience from python to networking at all, I teach the theory of it and understand it well, but no practical knowledge. I am happy to start wherever within an organisation. 

    Thank you for your advice about the secure coding. I will look into that, just keeping building up towards a decent CV. 
  • paul78paul78 Senior Member Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @Hirobrad - I think you have the right idea. Is it your intent to get a commercial position in the middle east? I have some business partners in that part of the world - specifically Dubai and Jordan. And what they have told me before is that companies there like certifications and paper qualifications. Good luck.

  • HirobradHirobrad PGCE Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
    @paul78; - Thank you for the help. To be honest I might stay in the middle east not sure, it seems that the job market looks better in the UK, but anything could change in the next 12 months. I will just keep my head in my books and continue to study. I have been teaching A level and GCSE Computer Science for years, while I have no "real world" experience this has really helped me with aspects of the CCENT. 
  • jasper_zanjanijasper_zanjani Sec+, Net+, Lx+, LPIC-1, Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP) Tampa, FLMember Posts: 76 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I just got my PCAP a few weeks ago! I am proud of it but it doesn't seem like very many people in the job market care!
  • HirobradHirobrad PGCE Member Posts: 7 ■■□□□□□□□□
    @jasper_zanjani well done!! What did you think of the exam? How was your your python before the test did you learn anything practical studying for it? Honestly, do you think it was worth it? 
  • jasper_zanjanijasper_zanjani Sec+, Net+, Lx+, LPIC-1, Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP) Tampa, FLMember Posts: 76 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think the process of preparing by taking the OpenEDG practice modules and exams helped out my knowledge of Python a lot, especially when it comes understanding data structure fundamentals and object-oriented features. It was a pretty tough exam, and I don't think many recreational users of python will be able to get through it. And if you get through the practice stuff and take the exam for 50% off, it honestly is not that expensive especially in comparison to some of these two-part certifications. But I think the biggest benefit is just the confidence you get after completing it, because you no longer feel like an amateur, and the certification does validate all the work you've put into learning the stuff.
  • jasper_zanjanijasper_zanjani Sec+, Net+, Lx+, LPIC-1, Certified Associate in Python Programming (PCAP) Tampa, FLMember Posts: 76 ■■■■□□□□□□
    it's funny I just looked at your OP again, those are all the same certs I want to get, I got PCAP and I'm thinking of getting Linux+ next, maybe CCENT down the road
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