Layout for mah future

ecilleecille Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm planning on becoming a network security consultant and I was just wondering if this sounds alright as a plan, what i can do to further my knowledge, possible colleges, ideas, thoughts on the whole thing, etc. I have my own ideas of what to do, but its always good to get input from others:

As of now I'm enrolled in a class aimed at PC troubleshooting and repair, and as a test, we'll have to pass the A+ cert. The class is very involved, and on top of studying, doing labs, and troubleshooting, we also have to make service calls around the school and maintain the school network.

Another class is AP Computer Science, which is offered to my school through "Virtual High School," essentailly the whole thing is online, and its on Java and at the end of the year I'll be taking the AP CS exam.

In my free time I intend to study for the Net+ and Security+ certifications, and I can easily go to my teacher for help. Next year I will study for Linux+ and Server+ certs. When I say study I mean learn the content rather than spit out facts, but in that same vein, does anyone recommend checking out specific places/books/sites to learn/practice everything? I have an idea where to start, I just figure more input can only help since I definitely won't think of everything.

I have worked with computers all my life, and I used DOS when I was 3. I have touched on C, VB, C++, and Java, but never got in-depth, however I'm decent with PHP, which I took a small coruse on and then kind of taught myself as I went along.

As of now, I have a small business-like thing where I repair, diagnose, build, etc. PCs and Networks for small businesses. For my most recent client, I designed and coded a website/blog.

As far as what I've got to work with, I have a variety of machines lying about, ranging from old pentium2/3 servers to sun workstations to old macs to a core 2 duo, some routers, as well as most of the windows, various linux distros, and solaris 9 (heck os/2 is somewhere around), most of the lot generously donated by institutions/businesses. I know my way around linux/solaris, but I'm by no means an advanced user in either.


  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,352 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Many people will tell you not to bother with college but I find this not so good of advice. The company I work for requires a bachelor's degree and is actually helping me go for my MCSE right now while I work helping their current Architects/Engineers learning how to do Novell to Windows migrations, Nt4 to 2k3 migrations, Exchange, SMS, Clustering, and all that good stuff. The pay is good and the quality of life is excellent.

    I mostly got into IT the same way as you. I took an A+ class just to see how certification classes will help and it did help a bit. Back then I didn't even know what a subnet was or how to connect 2 computers together via a patch cable; oh how times change! What I'm saying is, you're going about it the correct way. I would honestly go for a bachelors degree also as it shows that you can commit to something. It also lasts your whole life and is a HUGE bonus having on your resume as well as opens you to a plethora of positions.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • reloadedreloaded Member Posts: 235
    I agree with icroyal that you're going about it the right way. You said you want to be a network security consultant. However, just like any type of career progression, you have to start with the basics. A+ and computer hardware is the starting point I'd think. Then you can move on to more advanced ideas like computer networking. From networking, you can move right into network security. I mean, you gotta start a logical progression, and it looks like that's what you're doing.

    I would encourage you to definately get some type of degree in college, along with getting experience (like you're doing now), and studying for certs. I know that when studying for my computer networking degree, the classes I took at the college helped me with my certification tests and vice versa. If you can do it, go for all three areas - college, experience, certs. You can't go wrong!
  • MunckMunck Member Posts: 150
    ecille, Go for a college degree. It's a VERY long way from A+ to a career in Security. You can get a Masters in Security from various universities. I'm not saying it can't be done, but going the college route is a better choice IMO. While in college, do security certs and get a part-time job. Good luck :)
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