Where to go from here?

itguy7itguy7 Member Posts: 23 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello, I am a young entry-level IT professional looking to increase my income, experience and certifications. Currently I hold A+, Net+, Security+ certifications as well as being DCSE (Dell Certified Systems Expert) but I'm not sure if that still applies as I've switched jobs. Does it stick with me? Anyways....

I work for a major U.S. defense contractor doing IT Helpdesk making a decent salary. I do back-office IT supporting the help-desk as a whole. I've been here about a year now and have grown stale at the lack of challenge or experience I'm gaining (not). I've absorbed all the information and knowledge from this experience as I can.

I want to move up, learn and grow my abilities. I haven't got the funds, time or motivation to go back to school and obtain my bachelors. I'd rather obtain certifications and experience. If that puts a ceiling on my potential income then whatever... I don't live to work- work to live.

So now you know my background, I would like to ask a question to the pros in the industry. Where to go from here? I've applied to a lot of jobs and am not qualified for most security-related positions. They all require things I haven't got yet. Security is where I want to go and where I am most interested. Also, security is blowing up no thanks (or thanks?) to the numerous hacker groups and awareness to security they've brought.

I would love to get into security auditing, IDS analyst, info sec, incident response...etc. I really haven't got an exact direction yet...which is why I came here. If I'm going to put my hard-earned money into exam prep, self-study and certification costs, I want to make sure it will bring me to the positions or something similar I described.

My current ideas were - CCNA -> CCNA Security -> CCNP Security-> CCIE Security. I saw on their website that for CCNA Security a prerequisite was CCNA. So I figured that's where I start. This is a plan for the short to long future. It's a Cisco route...but is it one which will allow me to obtain my goals? That's what I'm curious to see.

If anyone has any advice or comments please I would love to hear them. That's the whole reason I came here. I've lurked the forums countless times while preparing for Net+ and Sec+ and the community here has proven to be invaluable. Thanks for reading!

Comments

  • zenhoundzenhound Member Posts: 93 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm also wanting to go in the security direction and am in an entry level position where I've been stagnating for a while. The plan that I've come up with is similar, except I'm not even thinking about CCIE. My plan is CCNA (which I'm hoping helps me move positions) then CCNA Security. After that I may do SSCP or possibly do the Cisco firewall specialist cert. Not totally sure yet.

    So, either we are both completely misguided or it's a pretty decent plan.
  • itguy7itguy7 Member Posts: 23 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Awesome! It's good to hear I'm not the only one in this situation. Thanks for your insight!
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,164 ■■■■■■■■■■
    The biggest thing is to find out what area of security you want to be in. If it's network security, then the Cisco route is fine. If it's sever security, RHCE or Microsoft is the route. You'll need a solid foundation in a technology before you can truly secure it. Good luck!
    WIP:
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  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,735 ■■■■■■■■■■
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    The biggest thing is to find out what area of security you want to be in. If it's network security, then the Cisco route is fine. If it's sever security, RHCE or Microsoft is the route. You'll need a solid foundation in a technology before you can truly secure it. Good luck!

    Do you get a sword in the server world of security? I'm thinking that Kendo or Iaido would be good training.

    Sorry, I just couldn't help it... icon_lol.gif
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,164 ■■■■■■■■■■
    A sword, Matrix style phone, and the ability to "know" kung-fu via download!
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    Kotlin
    Intro to Discrete Math
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  • pikachuuupikachuuu Registered Users Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have the first 3 comptia certifications as well and i'm leaning more towards security as well - so subscribed for info when/if the OG's voice their comments lol
  • itguy7itguy7 Member Posts: 23 ■□□□□□□□□□
    We can only hope!
  • As the Grinch has said SECURITY is a Big area to say "I want to work in".

    @ OP If you want to get in to Security but aint sure where you want to go. Study things such as servers and Networking so infastucture if you will. This will give you a broad but detailed understanding.

    Could I hack a network?? Not at the moment (This is the area I want to get in ie pen testing) So how do I prepare to do this?? I learn all I can about servers and networking in as much depth as possible. This way in my learning I will know how to defend the servers and the network. This approach will take along time but I will be a much better pen tester for it.
    Currently reading: Syngress Linux + and code academy website (Java and Python modules)


    "All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'
  • the_hutchthe_hutch Banned Posts: 827
    One great area to get into is vulnerability scanning. Skills with scanners like Retina or Nessus are very valuable. Not every company concerned with security wants to submit to a full penetration test. Those that do, usually do it only once every few years. But almost all big enterprise organizations want to keep tabs on their network vulnerabilities. This is what I currently do, and I think that it will offer me great opportunities when I get out of the military.
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