The best way to approach a security career?

/usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
I'm getting experience right now, thought I wouldn't classify it as being security related. Most IT security jobs require at least some experience in the area.

My question is, should I continue on with the security certs (What I prefer to do.) or go for something more broad, like my MCSA (What I really don't want to do.)?

I have an Associates in Computer Science, currently pursuing my bachelors.


  • janmikejanmike Member Posts: 3,076
    Just food for thought from me.

    If you're going to have a Bachelor Degree, and you're getting experience,
    how do you have time to study for certs?(LOL)

    More seriously, how can you separate security from systems? That's not possible. Seems you need to know your overall("something more broad") system and its administration needs before you could be a good security spcecialist.

    Anyway, IMHO.

    Best of luck.
    "It doesn't matter, it's in the past!"--Rafiki
  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    You're right, and I've thought about that, but there's much more to broad learning than MS products. There's also much more to security than securing Windows. Hence, would I really need to spend a year to obtain my MCSA? I'm not saying it's not an option for the future, it will eventually happen, I'm sure. I just wanted some feedback about what cert to pursue next. Just wondering if I should go ahead and begin my MCSA or pursue something like a firewall cert.

    My time is scarce. icon_lol.gif
    I go to college full time and work as much as I can throughout the week, usually around 25 hours. The admin here is great when it comes to my work schedule. I study when I do happen to get free time at work and when I have free time at school. It's a slow process, which is why I really want to use the time wisely.
  • janmikejanmike Member Posts: 3,076
    LostInSpace writes:
    more to broad learning than MS products. There's also much more to security than securing Windows.

    No doubt! And I wish the best of luck in finding that track that you should follow. There are so many ways to go.

    But, I would encourage you to take a pace that will assure that a year from now you remember what you already know plus more( a little bit or even a big pot full more--somewhere in there). I grit my teeth when I remember the fiasco that started occuring in the 80's when higway construction and excavating designers started "fast-tracking" plans. It was soon evident that fast-track made a good rhyme with "half-a$$ed". Also, it always amazes me how readily we try to apply technolgical terms to human modes of action, i.e., beware "multitasking" except as it applies to multiprocessor computers. People cannot do true multitasking--you have to have 2 brains to do true multitasking. However, bosses, motivational directors, etc. love these things because people get the idea that they can do more than they actually are capable of! But, it is in reality a false concept because we can only "time share"--though excellent we may be at it.

    Well, that's my rant, but it may not be helping you. Hope you can find some sound advice in there somewhere and not overachieve into your own level of incompetence.

    Again, best of luck!
    "It doesn't matter, it's in the past!"--Rafiki
  • skully93skully93 Member Posts: 321 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree. I take a good long while for each exam, but I retain most of it or at least remember enough to poke around for a moment to find the right method/tool.

    A lot of people tell me that they go from using Windows to having an MCSA easilly. I cry BS. If you have no admin exp, I doubt that you can simply read the book and then be effective at it.

    I'm going to try to get the + Security on my MSCA, but that doesn't mean I expect to dive into that immediately, it's just a long term goal.
    I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed.

    -- James Thurber
  • dubiousdubious Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm talking the same track.

    What I am doing is getting my Bachelor's in IT and then my Master's in Info Assurance. This, however, is not my main focus. I read everything I can find on hacking and ever start hacking (with the person's written permission of course).

    Get the knowledge and employers will kiss your shoes.
  • /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    If I had my bachelors, I could poke around a bit more and try to find a security related job, but right now that's just not an option.

    Studying for certs and school is tough. I tend to study for a bit, then focus on school and usually forget the bulk of what I studied. After I get the CEH cert I'm pursuing now, I'm going to do some stuff for my own knowledge. Try to learn some programming besides Java, and read some other information security books.

    It's just too tough to take 16 hours a quarter at college, work 25-30 hours a week, and put much time at all into studying for a cert.

    Now I'm just faced with the dilemme of getting into the information security part of an IT job. I've asked at the company I'm at now. Only certain people are allowed the access. Which basically means I haven't been here long enough.
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