CAREER HELP

terminalterminal Member Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi Techs,

Been working through the certs mainly A+, Network+ and currently on the ccna. I'm finding getting an entry level position almost impossible here in the uk. With this, i'm fed up and decided to take up a degree course in ethical hacking and countermeasures. Having decided that I will want to specialise in security, i was wondering what would be the best path to take in terms of being very knowledgable and employable in the security sector. I guess what i'm asking is what are the most relevant certs I should concentrate on? Any worth in MCSE, CCNP etc?
Thanks
BE WISE,

Comments

  • KaminskyKaminsky Member Posts: 1,235
    First I recommend putting everything out of your head and get into the degree first before you start planning on what to do after. A degree isn't an easy thing. That's why it is called a degree.

    With the sort of degree your thinking of, employers come and find you but you could also help this by hunting post 3rd year employers out in your first year and looking for work placements with them for next July. Not necessarily sponsorship through your degree, but just holiday work. (When I was at uni at Kent, there was a guy sponsored all the way through by BT and come the end of the 3rd year, they didn't have a job for him.... dumped... binned!)

    Your CCNA is the best start off to get you lined up for this. Yes the course will teach you a lot of this but by the end of 3 years if you stay focussed and motivated you could be CCSP, CCNP and with a degree to go with it. MCSE /security /exchange, if only to get you to know the environment most of your future work will be interfacing with.

    The important thing is not to rush it. Rush a degree and you will burn out fast and be likely not to see the 2nd year. I've seen it so many times. Take it easy. On the other hand, don’t get too laid back either. Pass mark is typically 45% so that doesn't mean 55% partying!

    Have you picked out your degree yet? Have you got a place? There is a rather nice one going in Wales.
    Kam.
  • NetstudentNetstudent Member Posts: 1,693 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Maybe you could try looking into a Tech. school. I don't know much about the UK, but most 4 year universities here don't offer specialized IT Security degrees. At major universities there are degrees like Computer science, MIS (management Information systems) CIS (Computer information systems), maybe a Telecommunications degree. I'v found that the Tech. schools have the more specific specialized ciriculums. I would go get a 2 year degree in Information Systems Security or something similar. With a 2 year degree plus 3 or 4 certs in the area that you want to go, you should be able to get a position. Thats basically what I did. I started for my bachelors degree in Data Communications at a Tech. school. Two years in, I decided to take the three classes I needed to go ahead and get my Associate degree in I.T. I got the A.S and a cert. so I could go ahead and land an entry level network job while I am working on my Bachelor's. So I got a Systems Admin. position starting out at 15 an hour. I work during the day, go to school at night, and study on the weekends. I just think some kind of degree in crucial these days, combined with the fact that you probably want to grow and move up. Thats hard to do without a degree. Good luck!
    There is no place like 127.0.0.1 BUT 209.62.5.3 is my 127.0.0.1 away from 127.0.0.1!
  • candycorncandycorn Member Posts: 42 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yeah, I pretty much have the same issue. Except, I dont know what or if I want to specialize in anything. I feel like if I dont try to learn something soon, I'm going to be screwed in life. I love computers, and how they work, and operating systems and all that. I'm a recent highschool grad, I dont really have any fancy certs or college experience. I work for "a large company" in Seattle, making $16 an hour with their help desk support. Customer service is O.K. but I really want to expand my horizons. I've already paid for my A+, and its going to expire in a few months. I know I should attempt that first, but where do I go from there? I dont have any real 'desires' to work in one field or the other. I dont know what sort of careers are the most beneficial. I don't want to end up being an auto mechanic like my dad... I dont think I want to be a programmer either, I heard those guys get treated pretty badly. What sort of IT jobs are the most fun? What are the most challenging? icon_confused.gif
  • ignign0ktignign0kt Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    CompTIA certs don't expire.
  • candycorncandycorn Member Posts: 42 ■■■□□□□□□□
    not the cert, the voucher to take the test. they only last a year if you dont pay up front. ...
  • MrfixitRightMrfixitRight Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    candycorn wrote:
    Yeah, I pretty much have the same issue. Except, I dont know what or if I want to specialize in anything. I feel like if I dont try to learn something soon, I'm going to be screwed in life. I love computers, and how they work, and operating systems and all that. I'm a recent highschool grad, I dont really have any fancy certs or college experience. I work for "a large company" in Seattle, making $16 an hour with their help desk support. Customer service is O.K. but I really want to expand my horizons. I've already paid for my A+, and its going to expire in a few months. I know I should attempt that first, but where do I go from there? I dont have any real 'desires' to work in one field or the other. I dont know what sort of careers are the most beneficial. I don't want to end up being an auto mechanic like my dad... I dont think I want to be a programmer either, I heard those guys get treated pretty badly. What sort of IT jobs are the most fun? What are the most challenging? icon_confused.gif

    Personally, I'd go ahead with the A+ test before the voucher expires, it can't hurt to have that cert. It could open some other doors for you, even if it is just in PC repair. Maybe you could even shoot for a "desktop" support role, get some hands-on instead of sitting on the phone. Getting hands-on vs. just answering the phones and passing it on to tier 3 techs is a lot more challenging and will give you the experience to take other exams. Getting certs is a good thing, but having the actual experience is much better. I may have been able to get my MCSA by just '"cramming" the material, but then I know a lot of "paper" MCSE's that couldn't tell you how to reset a print server queue!
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  • redgoblinredgoblin Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
    terminal wrote:

    I'm finding getting an entry level position almost impossible here in the uk.

    Why? What part of the UK are you in?. I left university about 9 months ago and I currently work for a major ISP. I've found that if you narrow your location where you're willing to work then its ALOT harder to find an entry level job. Currently I travel around 80 miles in total every day I go to work. My suggestion would be to broaden your horizons and be willing to travel to get that initial experience.
  • malcyboodmalcybood Member Posts: 900 ■■■□□□□□□□
    redgoblin wrote:
    terminal wrote:

    I'm finding getting an entry level position almost impossible here in the uk.

    Why? What part of the UK are you in?. I left university about 9 months ago and I currently work for a major ISP. I've found that if you narrow your location where you're willing to work then its ALOT harder to find an entry level job. Currently I travel around 80 miles in total every day I go to work. My suggestion would be to broaden your horizons and be willing to travel to get that initial experience.

    Well said and I agree.

    I started out working in Edinburgh on Helpdesk, all be it that's my home town but when I made the next step to field support, I relocated 360 miles south to Milton Keynes! Now I've been down here 2 years built up a region myself from scratch and have something in the network management side of things in the pipeline back in Edinburgh as a result of passing the CCNA/progressing quickly in this role.

    If you can, sometimes you gotta go where the work is man....at least at the start anyway!
  • candycorncandycorn Member Posts: 42 ■■■□□□□□□□
    yeah...I think its one thing to cram and go get a cert, but its another to actually understand and retain the material. I'm not saying 'cramming' is a bad thing, but I think without some hands on experience you would have more trouble understanding the material. But...maybe I'm wrong. You could go get a bunch of Cisco certs and land a network admin job; and not have to do anything thats related to the Cisco stuff. I'm not even sure exactly what those greasy fat guys do in that chilled server room. It would be fun to know how it all works though. icon_sad.gif
  • MrfixitRightMrfixitRight Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    candycorn wrote:
    I'm not even sure exactly what those greasy fat guys do in that chilled server room. It would be fun to know how it all works though. icon_sad.gif

    Well, usually we sit around bs'ing about last nights game, drinking cokes, and eating pizza....... oops! That was supposed to be a secret!!! icon_redface.gif

    Don't tell anyone, okay?

    And who you callin' greasy?!!!!
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    Anything that goes up, must come down. Ask any Systems Admin.

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  • candycorncandycorn Member Posts: 42 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Dang, pizza, Coke & super cool servers to play with? You must be living the life.
  • terminalterminal Member Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
    malcybood wrote:
    redgoblin wrote:
    terminal wrote:

    I'm finding getting an entry level position almost impossible here in the uk.

    Why? What part of the UK are you in?. I left university about 9 months ago and I currently work for a major ISP. I've found that if you narrow your location where you're willing to work then its ALOT harder to find an entry level job. Currently I travel around 80 miles in total every day I go to work. My suggestion would be to broaden your horizons and be willing to travel to get that initial experience.

    Well said and I agree.

    I started out working in Edinburgh on Helpdesk, all be it that's my home town but when I made the next step to field support, I relocated 360 miles south to Milton Keynes! Now I've been down here 2 years built up a region myself from scratch and have something in the network management side of things in the pipeline back in Edinburgh as a result of passing the CCNA/progressing quickly in this role.

    If you can, sometimes you gotta go where the work is man....at least at the start anyway!

    Thanks for all the feedback guys.

    Firstly, i like to say i've applied for quite a number of jobs throughout the UK. I have mostly come through jobs advertised through the various IT jobsites. What I've found is that most of them are listed by agencies. I find myself a number of times calling them up and some of the consultants are hardly knowledgable about the area. There was this one time the chap asked me what is Comptia! With this a find it hard to understand how they could sell or introduce you to an employer.
    I have also gone as far as letting the agencies/employers know that wages are not a major concern for me as my main target is to break into IT . I've offered my services on a voluntary level to schools(who are usually strapped for cash) and still no success either. My CV as I can make out is well presented and so is the cover letters I present.
    As for speculative attempts-to many to mention. I've also tried to use the Chamber of Commerce website to try and target possible employers etc. It's hard to figure this out as pretty much most companies have sizeable networks!
    Any suggestions on what more I can do? Am I going about it the right way? Speculative applications?

    By the way, I'm located in Cambridge.
    Cheers
    BE WISE,
  • MrfixitRightMrfixitRight Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    terminal wrote:



    Thanks for all the feedback guys.

    Firstly, i like to say i've applied for quite a number of jobs throughout the UK. I have mostly come through jobs advertised through the various IT jobsites. What I've found is that most of them are listed by agencies. I find myself a number of times calling them up and some of the consultants are hardly knowledgable about the area. There was this one time the chap asked me what is Comptia! With this a find it hard to understand how they could sell or introduce you to an employer.
    I have also gone as far as letting the agencies/employers know that wages are not a major concern for me as my main target is to break into IT . I've offered my services on a voluntary level to schools(who are usually strapped for cash) and still no success either. My CV as I can make out is well presented and so is the cover letters I present.
    As for speculative attempts-to many to mention. I've also tried to use the Chamber of Commerce website to try and target possible employers etc. It's hard to figure this out as pretty much most companies have sizeable networks!
    Any suggestions on what more I can do? Am I going about it the right way? Speculative applications?

    By the way, I'm located in Cambridge.
    Cheers

    Well, it sounds like you have been trying all the usual routes. As for the agencies, the recruiters usually aren't very knowledgeable in the IT arena. I don't know how it is in the UK, but here in the States they aren't the ones that present you to the prospective employer, there is usually an Account Rep and these folks as a rule have the savvy to get you hired. I've talked to a few "Recruiters" here, and have been asked some very silly questions. And sometimes I will get e-mails or calls for jobs that have nothing to do with my skillset. An example, I have Lotus Notes as one of the applications in my resume, and I will get calls for Notes Admin positions! Just because it is on the resume as one of the apps you have used and configured, they think you can administer it! And it doesn't say anywhere on my resume about being a Notes Admin.

    Another thing you might try, and while it may not land you a job, at least not right away, is to advertise in a local paper. If you feel comfortable enough with your skills, you could post an ad for computer repair or something like that. I run a small business on the side, and while I couldn't quit my full-time job, it does get me exposure and reputable references.

    Good luck in your job search, don't give up. It took me almost 2 years after 9/11 to find a decent paying IT job, but I never gave up.
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