E Double U said:
You will always hear too many different views when you ask many people a vague question that has more than one right answer. Everyone's path is different so if you are looking for one definitive way then you simply will not find it. Here is my path:I was in general IT (building computers, hardware refresh, support) before landing a networking position at a telco. After 5+ years spread across two networking teams (NOC, config) I landed a spot in the same company's SOC working on firewalls and proxies which lasted one year. Next I joined a financial institution's info sec team managing the firewalls, proxies, and VPN amonst other things for 3+ years. Then I joined another bank's SOC which inolved managing the NIDS solution and taking over the change management process. Being responsible for reviewing all changes made by our support provider on all network devices led to me growing into a lead role for a small team dedicated to securing the bank's perimeter. Since there was overlap with the work I was doing and another team it led to my group being merged with the network security team. That is how I went for me as someone that did not aim for a career in network security. That is just how things unfolded.