Seeking Advice and Knowledge for the future

josdmyerjosdmyer ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello,

I was just searching google and came across this forum and started to read some of the threads. I found the knowledge very helpfully, but none of them really applied to me so I thought I would ask everybody here about their thoughts on what they think I should do.

I'm a junior in college working on my B.A in Computer Science. I'm on the software side of the computer science, but I don't want to be a programmer, so I might change it over to the Information Systems side of things. I haven't gotten that far into the core classes yet so all I will loose is 3 credits to switch. I haven't really decided on what I want to do with this B.A., but I do know that I want to work in the IT field. I'm thinking of working as a system admin (Support Specialist) or doing something with security, but as far as I can tell computer security isn't an entry level job(correct me if I'm wrong).

So my question to you is should I stay in school working for my B.A. or just start working on cert. such as A+, Net+, Sec+ or do something like ITT-Tech. Also everywhere that I have read says you need so many years experience and so forth. What do you suggest on going about getting experience. I have helped family and friends with computer problems. I have gone to work with my dad and hanged out with his IT people and helped them out(nothing big, just moving stuff, doing backups, so forth), I have setup a file sever running ubuntu at my high school and the teacher is still using it. I go back once and a while and clean it up and make sure it is running. I tried to teach her, but she didn't have the time to learn it when I was there. I mess around at home, but none of that would really count(would it?).

Any advice or thoughts, would be appreciated.

Thanks for the help.

Sincerely yours;

josdmyer

Comments

  • earweedearweed ■■■■■■■■■□ Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    If you have those skills, they count, but not as work experience. You should try to get experience, even if it's volunteer (church or non-profit) I'd recommend staying in school, the degree will definitely help. Try to get a helpdesk job, while you're job searching get a cert or 2 if time permits.
    The woirk you've done with your dad, see how you could count this as either skills or experience, ask him. If you did enough at his place maybe they would say you were part time intern or something so you could list that as experience.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • josdmyerjosdmyer ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the help. I will ask him, but I pretty sure it won't count since it was like 2 or 3 days for a couple of hours. I pretty much went and hanged with the people and learned more about being a system administrator.

    I appreciate the advice.

    Sincerely yours;

    josdmyer
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    Finish up your degree and don't even think of ITT Tech -- assuming you're at a real school now for your BA.

    Your degree should be your primary target. Experience & Certifications -- as long as they don't interfere with your education -- are your secondary targets.

    If you've got "work study" as part of a student aide package, try to get something computer related at school -- even if you have to give up your cushy job as towel boy for the girl's cross country team or bouncer at the school bar. Even working help desk in a school lab is something to put on your resume (in addition to hopefully giving you some paid study time for your classes or certifications).
    josdmyer wrote: »
    I pretty much went and hanged with the people and learned more about being a system administrator.
    See if you can do that a bunch of times during the summer and call it an internship. And actually try to do some work while you are there -- or at least study for certifications.

    Now is a good time to start thinking about what your resume is going to look like when you graduate.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • dynamikdynamik ■■■■■■■■□□ Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    josdmyer wrote: »
    Seeking Advice and Knowledge for the future

    Don't get married.
  • josdmyerjosdmyer ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Finish up your degree and don't even think of ITT Tech -- assuming you're at a real school now for your BA.

    I'm going to UT Martin for my BA.

    I have just been looking around on the forums and people are recommending certs and I have started to look at jobs for the future and most of them such as sysadmin want some years of experience. For certs I was thinking the A+, Net+, and Sec+, and possibly linux+. What are your thoughts on this?
    mikej412 wrote: »
    If you've got "work study" as part of a student aide package, try to get something computer related at school -- even if you have to give up your cushy job as towel boy for the girl's cross country team or bouncer at the school bar. Even working help desk in a school lab is something to put on your resume (in addition to hopefully giving you some paid study time for your classes or certifications).

    LOL, sounds like fun(cushy job as a towel boy for the girl's cross country team or a bouncer at the school bar) :). So working in the campus computer labs would count as experience?

    I will see if I can go and work with the sysadmins and why I'm there I can talk to them or my dad about maybe doing an internship, but I don't have high hopes for an internship since its a big company, but it is worth a shot.

    I'm also planning on going to talk to the computer security people at the company since I have always been interested in that type of thing I figure maybe in the future if I still want to do it this would come in handy.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Sincerely yours;

    josdmyer
  • josdmyerjosdmyer ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    dynamik wrote: »
    Don't get married.

    LOL, WOW

    I'm not planning on getting married any time soon, but hopefully later down the road it will happen.

    I'm only 21 years old, so I want to get out of school and get into a good job, plus I need to find the right girl too.

    Sorry, that was rude of me. I don't know your story and you don't know my story. I don't know if your joking or being serious, but I wasn't looking for that type of advice or knowledge.

    Thank you for your input. On a side note I notice that you obtain your CEH cert., did you take classes or just study on your own then take the exam. I know that I can't take the exam without 2 years of experience in security, but I found info on that the other day and I thought it was interesting. Would you mind telling me more about it?

    Thanks for the help.

    Sincerely yours;

    josdmyer
  • earweedearweed ■■■■■■■■■□ Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Work study can count as experience. Also those people your dad knows will turn into people you know for a job probably..so ask.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • josdmyerjosdmyer ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Will do, I will try to ask this week and I will let you how it goes about internship and so forth.

    Thanks for the help.

    Sincerely yours;

    josdmyer
  • dynamikdynamik ■■■■■■■■□□ Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    josdmyer wrote: »
    I'm not planning on getting married any time soon, but hopefully later down the road it will happen.

    Wait until you can afford mail-order.

    Anyway, to answer your original question, definitely earn your degree. 3 credits lost is nothing. Most students change their majors several times (at the low end) and waste a lot more than that (myself included). If you think that would better serve you, switch. CSci is definitely respected in the IT realm, so it will still look good on your resume, even if you don't use a lot of it day-to-day.

    You can self-study the CompTIA exams relatively easily. I don't see any value in switching degree programs for those (or any other certifications).

    You can sometimes get an "entry-level" security position, but IMHO, that cheats you in the long run. You really can't secure something you don't understand (I pay mikej a dime every time I repeat that -- he's got a $#!7load of dimes). I think you lack perspective if you go that route. It's obviously not feasible to master everything before you get a security-centric role, but if you've never been a sys/net admin, developer, etc., you're going to have a lot to make up for.

    If that's what interests you, you should absolutely pursue it. Just make sure that you have realistic expectations. Now would also be a good time to start researching what aspect of security you would like to focus on. Pen testing? Exploit development? Would you like to be more on the business side of things and deal with policies, DR/BCP, risk assessments, audits?
  • josdmyerjosdmyer ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    dynamik wrote: »
    Wait until you can afford mail-order.

    Anyway, to answer your original question, definitely earn your degree. 3 credits lost is nothing. Most students change their majors several times (at the low end) and waste a lot more than that (myself included). If you think that would better serve you, switch. CSci is definitely respected in the IT realm, so it will still look good on your resume, even if you don't use a lot of it day-to-day.

    Thanks for the advice. I just need to take a look at he differences between them and decide which route I want to go into now.
    dynamik wrote: »
    You can self-study the CompTIA exams relatively easily. I don't see any value in switching degree programs for those (or any other certifications).

    That is good to know for the future. :)
    dynamik wrote: »
    You can sometimes get an "entry-level" security position, but IMHO, that cheats you in the long run. You really can't secure something you don't understand (I pay mikej a dime every time I repeat that -- he's got a $#!7load of dimes). I think you lack perspective if you go that route. It's obviously not feasible to master everything before you get a security-centric role, but if you've never been a sys/net admin, developer, etc., you're going to have a lot to make up for.

    I know going into things that I won't know everything, but if I'm going for something like that or a sysadmin then I at least want the foundation to be able to support myself in that area. Right now the money aspect of it doesn't interest me. I would be lieing if I said I'm not totally interested in the money, but at this point I want to work toward a job that I can grow in and that I love to do.
    dynamik wrote: »
    If that's what interests you, you should absolutely pursue it. Just make sure that you have realistic expectations. Now would also be a good time to start researching what aspect of security you would like to focus on. Pen testing? Exploit development? Would you like to be more on the business side of things and deal with policies, DR/BCP, risk assessments, audits?

    Thanks for the help. I don't want to be on the business side of things. I don't have a problem with it, but I don't like having to go around kissing everybody's ass just to make them happy. I know I will have to do some of that, it's just part of the business world, but doing that and doing paperwork all day isn't my thing. I'm more interested in the tech side of things.

    Thanks for the help.

    Sincerely your;

    josdmyer
  • dynamikdynamik ■■■■■■■■□□ Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    josdmyer wrote: »
    I don't want to be on the business side of things. I don't have a problem with it, but I don't like having to go around kissing everybody's ass just to make them happy.

    It depends on where you fit into the equation. I work as a third-party, and when I do risk assessments and/or IT audits, I'm often calling people out on their policies and procedures, not performing the aforementioned activity. Sometimes it's more confrontational than I'd prefer. I've had security officers cut me of during exit interviews to explain how something "wasn't a big deal." One specific instance was me bringing up the fact that their SQL Server SA account had a blank password icon_rolleyes.gif
    josdmyer wrote: »
    I know I will have to do some of that, it's just part of the business world, but doing that and doing paperwork all day isn't my thing. I'm more interested in the tech side of things.

    As am I. The business activities have rounded-out my skill set a great deal, but when it comes down to it, I'd much rather be tinkering with something tech-related. Even if you don't focus on the business-side of things, it's very important to understand how security fits into the business. For example, risk assessments are useful in determining where security controls should be implemented. That's a significantly better approach than installing an IDS because it's a "really cool" technology.
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    josdmyer wrote: »
    For certs I was thinking the A+, Net+, and Sec+, and possibly linux+. What are your thoughts on this?
    If you have a future in the industry, you should be able to knock them out. Check the CompTIA forum here on TE (or the CompTIA website) and figure out which ones will be "lifetime certs" if you get them by the end of this year.

    Their biggest value -- beyond the knowledge you gain studying for them -- is to fill a check box on some HR Wonk's hiring checklist.

    Also take a look at the Microsoft Certifications if you're looking at sys admin type jobs in the future. School is still your priority, but you'll probably want to knock out at least a couple MS exams your senior year (no spring break parties for you icon_lol.gif).
    josdmyer wrote: »
    So working in the campus computer labs would count as experience?
    If they pay you it's a job -- so it counts as experience.

    Remember that your first competition will be against your classmates for any campus recruiting that happens your senior year. Certifications and work experience are 2 things (along with your GPA) you can bring to campus interviews to help you hopefully win out over your classmates.

    And if you hit the cold cruel world outside of school and you don't have a soft cushy job waiting for you -- you'll be competing against graduates from other schools, kids from community colleges, people with no college and some experience, people with no college and some experience and some certifications, people with some college and no experience and some certifications.... etc.
    josdmyer wrote: »
    I don't have high hopes for an internship since its a big company, but it is worth a shot.
    If you don't take the shot (or shoot the ball or swing the racket/bat) you can't score the goal (bucket - point - run - etc).
    josdmyer wrote: »
    I'm also planning on going to talk to the computer security people at the company since I have always been interested in that type of thing I figure maybe in the future if I still want to do it this would come in handy.
    Good for practicing your non-Cisco and non-Juniper "networking" skills. Remember that a lot of people find jobs somewhere in their career through their friends, family, (former) coworkers, (former) customers, and general contacts they've made.

    The "secret formula" for a job is something like this:
    Originally Posted by JDMurray
    (Experience + Certs + Education + Who you know) * Luck = really good career opportunity
    Now is a good time to start filling some data into that equation.
    josdmyer wrote: »
    Thanks for the advice.
    More like opinions -- or input. You still need to implement an algorithm to process that input data and supply a correct answer. See -- a CompSci degree has it's uses!!
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • earweedearweed ■■■■■■■■■□ Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    +1 There goes that "spread around" prompt again..lol
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • josdmyerjosdmyer ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sorry that it has taken so long to get back to you guys. I have just been busy with work and other family stuff, but I have looked around at the certs and other educational stuff during that time. So here is an update/reply to your guys comments. I will be ordering these books for the A+ exam to study for it:

    Amazon.com: CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Seventh Edition (Exams 220-701 &…

    Amazon.com: CompTIA A+ 220-701 and 220-702 Exam Cram (9780789742421): David L. Prowse: Books

    I have figured that I would try to get it and net+ at least by the end of this year. Hopefully I will also be able to get sec+ too, but right now I'm just aiming to gain those certs. As of right now I have found out that there was an internship that I could do at my dad's work, but that spot was filled so I will try for it next year. I'm still trying to set up an appointment to talk to the sysadmin people and the security people. Hopefully I will be able to meet with them soon. Other than that I figure I would study for the certs and get a head start on my assembly class ( icon_sad.gif lol ) and I would figure out the area that I want to work in. There are so many things that I think I would like to do, but since I have never done anything official in them I can't say for sure, so I figure I would research those areas more and try to figure out what I want to do and I will work on my resume.

    Hope you guys are doing good and thanks for the help.

    Sincerely yours;

    josdmyer
  • asuraniaasurania Posts: 145Member
    I find that the following certs to be extremly important as a server admin (windows admin)

    Phase 1:
    A+
    Network+
    Server+

    Phase: 2
    MCITP: EA
    MCTS: SCOM
    MCTS: SCCM
    MCTS: Hyper-V
    MCTS: Exchange 2010

    Phase 3:
    Whatever you want to specialize in


    Note: Your - BA in Comp Sci - Stick with it, you will need it to set your self apart and is the priority

    Studing for certs:

    I found CBT Nuggets to usefull
    Also check if you are full time student you can get free course, check out MSDN Acadamic Alliance, MIcrosoft Acadamy...depending if you school is a partner you can get 2 certs free to all of them free.

    also remember since you a full time student, microsoft exams are half price
  • Warsh1pWarsh1p ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 66Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Finish up your degree and don't even think of ITT Tech -- assuming you're at a real school now for your BA.

    Your degree should be your primary target. Experience & Certifications -- as long as they don't interfere with your education -- are your secondary targets.

    Completely agree with this.
    Continue your BA and get an internship during the summers or co-op during spring and fall. Work on certifications on the side.

    I would recommend getting some entry level certifications to help get internships and co-ops.

    Don't go to ITT Tech. That is an awful move.
    #Current Studies#
    || B.S. in Management Information Systems
    || MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit: Configuring Microsoft Windows 7
    || Element K Windows 7 Configuration Courses
    || Transcender: MCTS Windows 7 Practice Exam

    #Certification Path#
    || August 2010: MCTS Win 7 Config (70-680)
    || November 2010: CompTIA Network+ (N10-004)
    || February 2011: CompTIA Project+ (PK0-003)
  • josdmyerjosdmyer ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the help and advice/suggestion. I will look into them.

    Sincerely yours;

    josdmyer
  • phantasmphantasm Posts: 995Member
    asurania wrote: »
    also remember since you a full time student, microsoft exams are half price

    Damn. I wish I'd have known that. lol.
    "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -Heraclitus
  • ipconfig.allipconfig.all Posts: 428Banned
    IT is not a hard industry to break into how ever it is a tricky industry to break into icon_lol.gif. You got to have contacts or else it would be really hard, take it from me, but do not give up.
    Im a depressed loser :sad: none wants me.
  • ipconfig.allipconfig.all Posts: 428Banned
    try and volunteer at an i.t company or at an organisation, sure you will nnot get paid but you will gt real world commercial experience which will help
    Im a depressed loser :sad: none wants me.
  • josdmyerjosdmyer ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the suggestions and knowledge.

    Sincerely yours;

    josdmyer
Sign In or Register to comment.