Looking to go for the Security+

WolvendeerWolvendeer Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
A little background history first, I've worked as a level 2 help desk technician since 2007, and I recently took a position on the access control team at a company I just got on with. I don't have any certs yet, but after asking our security engineer how I should go about getting into the computer security field (mentioning the BSIT - Security from WGU as something I was looking at), he recommended I skip looking at a degree for the moment and just go for the Security+ to get my foot in the door.

So, I did some looking around and got the kindle version of the book that is so recommended around here. Will studying through this book be enough to pass the exam? Also, are there any tips you guys have, since I've never taken one of these certification tests before? I've heard that if I get the Security+ by the end of the year it'll be for life, so I'm aiming to get it by then.

Comments

  • earweedearweed Member Posts: 5,192 ■■■■■■■■■□
    You could probaly, if you put in some time, get it within a month using just that book. After you get theSec+ though you'll want to look at more advanced security certs.
    I'd advise you to first get to know different systems by studying MS and Linux as you don't know how to secure systems without knowing the systems first.
    As for the lifetime thing the A+, Net+, and Sec+ will all require a 3 year renewal if you get them after the end of this year. Right now all 3 are lifetime certs.
    Don't discount getting a degree as it'll obviously help you later in your career.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Wolvendeer wrote: »
    ... I've heard that if I get the Security+ by the end of the year it'll be for life, so I'm aiming to get it by then.

    While this is true, for the Sec+ and Net+ there may be jobs you want (or will have) that require you to recertifty and stay current. So, Yes, these three (A+, NET+ and Sec+) their lifetime 'cert' ends this year, but for two of the three, many jobs (and security-clearance type work) require you stay current regardless.

    As mentioned, don't discount a degreed-track and keep gaining knowledge and bettering yourself along the way. CompTIA certs are generally a springboard, not a end. FWIW
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • WolvendeerWolvendeer Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for your replies. Yeah, I'll definitely be looking at getting a degree, but at the moment I'm more concerned about getting my foot in the door and pinching my pennies until I'm able to get to a better point where I'll have enough to actually pursue it.

    I can see whereas the Net+ would help me in my career, but do you think it would be worth it to go after the A+? I mean, I was always told it was only needed for low level positions and people who didn't have much experience. Also, eventually I'm thinking I might go towards the auditing and compliance side of computer security. My dad recommended eventually looking at the SSCP, and I've heard there are auditing certs, but I don't know anything yet about what I would need. I'll have to do more research into what will actually help me out.

    EDIT - I was always told that certs were the incarnation of the phrase, "if you can't dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with bull", so I'm more than aware they're nothing more than a bit of help and fancy titling along the way.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Wolvendeer wrote: »
    I can see whereas the Net+ would help me in my career, but do you think it would be worth it to go after the A+? I mean, I was always told it was only needed for low level positions and people who didn't have much experience.

    ...

    I was always told that certs were the incarnation of the phrase, "if you can't dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with bull", so I'm more than aware they're nothing more than a bit of help and fancy titling along the way.

    As someone who got my A+ well into my career (because I thought I was going to use A+/Network+ as a MCSA elective), I can tell you that if you want to guarantee a pass on Network+, it will not hurt you to obtain the A+. There is much overlap in ALL of these exams. While you can certainly pass Network+ without A+, having the A+ will assure that Network+ will be a passed cert for sure (provided, of course, you understood A+ objectives to begin with...)

    To address that dazzling with brilliance comment, I have always found that to be true. I have seen so many people in my career who will swear they know such and such because they have an MCP (not even an MCSA/MCSE...just one MCP that was most likely braindumped) but knew NOTHING about the technology or even the underlying technology. For awhile, because of people such as these, I wanted nothing to do with certs (I personally never needed them).

    Today is a different story...as someone who doesn't have a degree or certs that can measure my 13 year experience (the CompTIA trinity I have isn't dazzling anyone unless I start at the bottom again....), I am now attempting both. Some folks are terribly impressed with vendor certs. Some folks aren't and share my past view of them (I still have hatred for the paper tiger though....).

    In the end it will always be about experience and if you can't dazzle me with that, your certs are useless.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    erpadmin wrote: »
    ...

    In the end it will always be about experience and if you can't dazzle me with that, your certs are useless.

    +1

    I couldn't agree more.


    If your thinking your going to 'save' money by going after certificates, you'll see more return from your investment in a formal education

    As with most things, employement comes down to who you know and WHAT you know...but mostly WHO you know.

    Considering each cert, plus texts will cost you a few hundred dollars...I'd target some college courses (and depending on the State you live in...if you are in the US) some State schools are extremely inexpensive.

    YMMV
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • WolvendeerWolvendeer Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Definitely agreed, erpadmin.
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    If your thinking your going to 'save' money by going after certificates, you'll see more return from your investment in a formal education

    Well, as I said, I do fully intend to go to college and get a degree (I originally found this forum googling around about WGU, as online schools seem the most likely candidate, since I can't effectively go to a B&M school with working hours that block all week classes before 20:00); however, right now I don't really make enough to cover the bills and pay for whatever isn't covered by Pell. That's why I'm hoping that I'll be able to get my foot in the door (and hopefully with it a pay increase) using a cert and use that to help fund schooling for myself.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Wolvendeer wrote: »
    Definitely agreed, erpadmin.



    Well, as I said, I do fully intend to go to college and get a degree (I originally found this forum googling around about WGU, as online schools seem the most likely candidate, since I can't effectively go to a B&M school with working hours that block all week classes before 20:00); however, right now I don't really make enough to cover the bills and pay for whatever isn't covered by Pell.


    I strongly suggest you read the two huge WGU that no doubt brought you to this forum. Some folks will have you start from the end, but I say start from the beginning of both. Spend a decent amount of time reading them so that you can get an idea of why WGU is touted highly (that's what I did, and I feel I made a great choice). If you aren't making money, then you might get considerable Financial Aid and then take a loan to cover the rest.

    Oh I know, I know, student loans are evil and bad....but only irresponsible people think so. (I used to be one of them...but now I know how to "LEVERAGE" good debt! :) ). My loans cover my WGU education for one year....anything more than that I will have cash-money to cover that. Depending on your drive, you will probably make a good considerable use of your time earning both a degree and certs! But it is not easy....you have to have focus and drive for something like WGU OR any online school.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    +1


    As with most things, employement comes down to who you know and WHAT you know...but mostly WHO you know.

    +1 on that! That's just a life thing though, definitely not exclusive to the IT career.
  • WolvendeerWolvendeer Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    erpadmin wrote: »
    I strongly suggest you read the two huge WGU that no doubt brought you to this forum. Some folks will have you start from the end, but I say start from the beginning of both. Spend a decent amount of time reading them so that you can get an idea of why WGU is touted highly (that's what I did, and I feel I made a great choice). If you aren't making money, then you might get considerable Financial Aid and then take a loan to cover the rest.

    I read all the way through the 31 page one and a 12 page one during lunch yesterday. Are there any others?
    erpadmin wrote: »
    Oh I know, I know, student loans are evil and bad....but only irresponsible people think so. (I used to be one of them...but now I know how to "LEVERAGE" good debt! :) ). My loans cover my WGU education for one year....anything more than that I will have cash-money to cover that. Depending on your drive, you will probably make a good considerable use of your time earning both a degree and certs! But it is not easy....you have to have focus and drive for something like WGU OR any online school.

    I may look into student loans, then. I never really thought of them. I was always taught so much to avoid things like that that I brushed over it. *ponders* I wonder if I have the credit to get one.

    And Plantwiz, I always heard that it wasn't what you knew or who you knew but what you knew about who you knew that mattered. icon_lol.gif
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Wolvendeer wrote: »
    I read all the way through the 31 page one and a 12 page one during lunch yesterday. Are there any others?



    I may look into student loans, then. I never really thought of them. I was always taught so much to avoid things like that that I brushed over it. *ponders* I wonder if I have the credit to get one.

    And Plantwiz, I always heard that it wasn't what you knew or who you knew but what you knew about who you knew that mattered. icon_lol.gif


    As long as you do not have ANY defaulted government loans (and it includes past student loans), then you can get a Federal subsidized/unsubsidized loan. Your credit will not matter. (The advantages of being a US Citizen... :D ) BE ADVISED HOWEVER that if you mess up on a student loan, there is no statute of limitations or anything like that, nor will bankruptcy absolve you of the debt....you MUST pay that back come heck or high water. Trust me.....I know, and you do NOT want to default on a student loan.....it's just not cute. I'm just letting you know that student loans are an option for you. If you are not a fiscally responsible person (or won't learn to be), then do not use them.

    The Q&A and Student Experiences threads are pretty much the MAIN threads. That's what I tell folks to read when they need something about WGU. I will advise to spend time reading the whole threads just so they can get a better understanding.
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