Career Change - Cyber Security

Clem25Clem25 Member Posts: 51 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hi all - I'm currently a project manager for government contractor, but have lately been thinking of making a career change and specializing in Cyber Security ( Incident Response or Pen Testing). Reason for the change, is that I want to be specialized in something and also the security jobs have been on the rise in my area and they are not ever going away. Plus - I like a technical role.

I've been looking at different online colleges that have Cyber Security undergraduate degrees, that are accredited and can be fast tracked. My current undergraduate is from Clemson, and I know that many of my course credits can transfer over and I can focus solely on the Cyber Security courses. My plan would be to try to complete my undergraduate in Cyber Security in 1 - 1.5 yrs and also acquire a couple security certs as well for my resume.

I wanted to reach out to you all to see if you would reccomend any online colleges that I should look at, that won't just give me a Cyber Security degree, but also where I can really gain a wealth of knowledge and hands on experience. I've looked at a few that have peaked my interests, but I've also looked at the SANS Undergraduate Certificate program as well.

Any information would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

Comments

  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,941 Admin
    It sounds like you really don't know what you want to do. IR and pentesting are two very different fields of cybersecurity. A degree program will teach you nothing practical about either of these fields.

    Also, will you be applying for jobs that require a degree? If not, you might do better to start studying the practical aspects of the cybersecurity career you want--when you decide what that is. This will help you get to get a job more quickly than waiting for a diploma that you may not really need.


  • Clem25Clem25 Member Posts: 51 ■■■□□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    It sounds like you really don't know what you want to do. IR and pentesting are two very different fields of cybersecurity. A degree program will teach you nothing practical about either of these fields.

    Also, will you be applying for jobs that require a degree? If not, you might do better to start studying the practical aspects of the cybersecurity career you want--when you decide what that is. This will help you get to get a job more quickly than waiting for a diploma that you may not really need.


    Thank you, appreciate the response. I still need to do some research. Which field do you feel has more job opportunities?
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,206 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't get a second undergraduate degree -- very expensive way to check a box that you already have checked. The way I'd go about it would be to study for Security+ certification while actively pursuing a project management position with a company that provides cyber security services. A smaller company even better because if you show the aptitude and desire you can move into a more technical position down the road, a few months later.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • Clem25Clem25 Member Posts: 51 ■■■□□□□□□□
    yoba222 said:
    If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't get a second undergraduate degree -- very expensive way to check a box that you already have checked. The way I'd go about it would be to study for Security+ certification while actively pursuing a project management position with a company that provides cyber security services. A smaller company even better because if you show the aptitude and desire you can move into a more technical position down the road, a few months later.
    Thanks for the advice, I will look into how hard and long it would take for the Sec+ cert.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,941 Admin
    Clem25 said:

    Which field do you feel has more job opportunities?

    Are you looking for an online-only job or office work in a specific geographical area? Lots of cybersecurity jobs in Washington DC both ways. However, it doesn't sound like you know that you would enjoy working in cybersecurity and are only considering it for job security. I've seen a lot of people in their 40-50's try to get jobs as programmers without knowing what the work is about and really hating it. It would be a shame if you ended up getting a job doing something that you didn't like. Do you have any experience working in any aspect of cybersecurity?
  • Clem25Clem25 Member Posts: 51 ■■■□□□□□□□
    @JDMurray I’m in my early 30’s, but I do not have any experience in security. I’ve spent most of my career as a PM/ Scrum Master managing software enhancements. I have always had an interest in cyber security, and wish I would have majored in something similar during my college days. I have my PMP and CSM currently. I know SQL, and do enjoy being hands on with projects when I have the opportunity. 
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,941 Admin
    What I suggest to people thinking of changing to cybersecurity as a career is to have a look at the objectives of the Security+ certification. If this type of information greatly interests you then you may do well in cybersecurity. If it looks boring and tedious then maybe cybersecurity should be only a secondary or tertiary specialization in your primary career path.

    Also a possibility is picking up cybersecurity as a hobby while you work your main job to figure out what field(s) you are really interested in. Such a hobby can be bagged about on a resume too. (I earned a paycheck for years writing security-related software before I finally landed a security operations job in a SOC.) You also being in the software profession, is there a possibility that you would enjoy a position that values the CSSLP (Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional) certification?
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