New in the civilian IT world.

greddy52greddy52 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone. I'm new in the civilian field and could use some direction. I served 6 years in the Army, all of which I worked and gained experience as my units head Information Management Officer, Information Assurance Systems Officer, and Technical Area Security Officer. I am also a Operation Enduring Freedom veteran for which I received an Army commendation medal for my performance in these areas. Have experience with various programs including Rumba, Oracle, Active Directory, etc. I also have an active Secret clearance with the Department of Defense. Now I am fresh out and want to seek a civilian career in the Information security field. I have no idea where to start or if any of my military experience would be considered in a job interview. I was recommended by a friend to take A+, Network+, and Security+ to jump-start my civilian resume. I have already began studying for A+ and am planning on signing up for a Security+ class, which is the direction I want to take. Any suggestions? Would a company consider my military experience at all?


  • DarrilDarril Member Posts: 1,588
    greddy52 wrote: »
    Any suggestions? Would a company consider my military experience at all?

    Absolutely. If you willing to pursue a government contractor job, your Secret clearance is tremendously valuable. Some people say that and a pulse can get you a job. I won't go that far, but it does emphasize the value. Contractor advertisements often ask for the moon and few people have all the qualifications. If it looks interesting, apply anyway. Even if you don't get that job, they might find another one for you.

    All that said, a Security+ certification is a must for a DoD contractor job. The A+ and Network+ are good to lay a foundation, but the Security+ is a must. With your background, you may be able to pick up a book, study for 30 days, and take and pass the test. I am intriguedthat you're recently out of the Army working IT and you don't have a Security+ cert.

    Outside of a government contractor job, the Secret clearance isn't worth much but your experience should be. However, you'll need a more direct match with your experience for a specific job. The trio of A+, Network+, and Security+ is good and will show you have the basic knowledge, but you may like to set your sights higher. I'm not saying don't get them, but you may be able to self-study and get these certs and spend your training money to get a higher certification depending on what you want to pursue. For example, instead of paying for a Security+ class, you may like to pay for a VMWare class and get a VMWare certification.

    Hope this helps and Good Luck.
  • yamaj615yamaj615 Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I agree with everything Darril said. I myself am recently separated from the military. I applied for positions and gotten job offers from both the private and government sectors. I also hold a security clearance as well.

    What the government contracting jobs are looking for are individuals with a security clearance (which you already have) and the DoD baseline required certifications for a particular position. If you meet the requirements you stand a great chance of getting hired. An IT related degree wouldn't hurt as well. Below are some requirements for a FEW particular government contract positions:

    Help Desk Administrator
    8570 Certification Requirement (oneis needed): A+, Network+, SSCP, Security+ and
    CE Certification Requirement (oneis needed): A+, MCP, MCTS
    Note: A+ Certification willsatisfy both the 8570 and CE requirement

    Information Assurance (IA) Specialist
    8570 Certification Requirement (oneis needed): GSED, CISSP, SCNA, CISA, GCIH*** and
    CE Certification Requirement (oneis needed): Any Computer Certification: Microsoft, CISCO, ITIL or Any higher

    Network Administrator
    8570 Certification Requirement (oneis needed): Security+, GSEC, SCNP, SSCP and
    CE Certification Requirement (oneis needed): CCNA, CCNP

    Systems Administrator
    8570 Certification Requirement (oneis needed): Security+, GSEC, SCNP, SSCP and
    CE Certification Requirement (oneis needed): MCSA, MCITP Server

    Information Systems Engineer
    8570 Certification Requirement (one is needed): Security+, GSEC, SCNP, SSCP and
    CE Certification Requirement (one is needed): MCSE, MCITP Enterprise, CCNA, CCNP

    The private sector is much different. The requirements are different from company to company. Lower level IT positions like Help Desk probably only require A+ and/or little to none related experience. More middle to senior level positions (Network/System Engineer or Administrators, Project Managers, etc.) especially nowadays will require a combination of college degree (there is a really great recent post discussing this topic), related experience, and related certifications. You may get by without a degree but you would be far less competitive against those that do have one. I have a BS in IT degree so it's hard for me to speak on this topic. But from my experience more reputable companies will recommend having one.

    I recently interviewed with one of the Top ISP's in the US and received calls from other companies having seen my resume. And MOST of them only seem to focus on my CCNA. That is what really caught their eye and it seems nothing else really mattered. But i'm sure the combination of my experience both mil and civilian, degree, and certs helped alot when it comes to my opportunities.

    Having worked several IT positions in the private sector prior to joining the military I must state the following. The private sector is FAR more competitive than the gov sector. And you MUST know your stuff to stay afloat in these positions. Mistakes are not tolerated and just one could cost you your job. I noticed the gov sector is far more lenient in that area. And people in the gov sector are far more receptive in mentoring and helping each other.

    To conclude, I ended up taking a contract position overseas because the situation was exactly right for me. I am comfortable in a military environment and I wanted to make use of my security clearance. I hope my experience and advice is to some use to you. BTW good luck with your endeavors!!
  • greddy52greddy52 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks guys, I really do appreciate your input. I am considering to pursue a degree since from what I have read it is true, higher positions do focus alot on your education. I will be living in the Atlanta area, any good credited universitys I may attend as a part-time student in the area, or even online would be fine as well? Thanks!
  • MrBishopMrBishop Member Posts: 229
    yamaj615 thank you for that information. I begun studying Information Assurance just because I wanted to go into the private sector. I heard some good things and bad things about working for the government. I find that job security is a big plus along with them having to give you an increase in pay for certifications you hold. The only bad thing I heard is that your normal pay isn't much different then your overtime pay if you're high up on the pay grade. With all that being said, I would still want to work for the private sector at some point; if I can get pass the security clearance.
    M.S. Internet Engineering | M.S. Information Assurance
    B.S. Information Technology | A.A.S Information Technology
    Currently pursuing: CCIE R&Sv5
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