Career changer needing advise

ethelroseethelrose Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Good day everyone,

I am an English teacher switching over to cyber security and I am truly in need of advise. I just obtained a masters in cyber security but have absolutely no hands on IT experience. I am very nervous and not sure whats a good place to start. Should I look into certs before starting? Any advise would be so much appreciated.

Comments

  • cisco-usercisco-user Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    ethelrose wrote: »
    Good day everyone,

    I am an English teacher switching over to cyber security and I am truly in need of advise. I just obtained a masters in cyber security but have absolutely no hands on IT experience. I am very nervous and not sure whats a good place to start. Should I look into certs before starting? Any advise would be so much appreciated.

    Welcome to the club. Logistics specialist here, who wants to switch to Networking...

    Never give up.
  • ErtazErtaz Posts: 885Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    ethelrose wrote: »
    Good day everyone,

    I am an English teacher switching over to cyber security and I am truly in need of advise. I just obtained a masters in cyber security but have absolutely no hands on IT experience. I am very nervous and not sure whats a good place to start. Should I look into certs before starting? Any advise would be so much appreciated.

    What do role you want to end up doing? You will have a good education base to start just about anywhere. Are you in a metropolitan area with a lot of opportunity or in a rural area where you will need to either commute or telecommute?
  • ethelroseethelrose Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am located in the DC area. I was thinking some type of entry level to get experience? I am hoping to end up in the government, but I know that takes time and experience.
  • ThomasITguyThomasITguy Posts: 181Banned
    ethelrose wrote: »
    I am located in the DC area. I was thinking some type of entry level to get experience? I am hoping to end up in the government, but I know that takes time and experience.

    Govt contracting is a good start. All you need for that is a Sec+ and you are in. If you want to go that route check out BAI, or look up jobs on dice, monster, or craigslist.
    It's not about if you win or loose..... its how you play the game.
  • ThomasITguyThomasITguy Posts: 181Banned
    ethelrose wrote: »
    I am located in the DC area. I was thinking some type of entry level to get experience? I am hoping to end up in the government, but I know that takes time and experience.

    With Govt contracting once you get a clearance you are good to go. You will most likely have to work at a company for at least a year but after that you can get a better job with more pay.
    Try to get with a company that will sponsor you to get a clearance. there are plenty out there since you are in the DC area, you should have no problems getting a govt contracting job.... Look in alexandria, reston, vienna, fairfax, Ft Belvoir, and maybe Quantico if Quantico is not that far.
    It's not about if you win or loose..... its how you play the game.
  • pevangelpevangel Posts: 342Member
    Look into certs as you're looking into your first job. You may have to take some low-paying entry-level IT job since you have zero experience, but think of it as a temporary sacrifice to get your foot in the door. You already have the degree portion checked. Get more experience and certs and you will be able to escalate your career pretty quickly.
  • ethelroseethelrose Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you so very much for that. I do realize that the first year or two might have to be a sacrifice pay wise but hopefully it will all pay off. Any advise on what certs I should work on to start with?
  • ThomasITguyThomasITguy Posts: 181Banned
    Pevangel is right. Getting a low paying entry level job is fine since you don't have any experience. And they can also pay for your certs.
    Look into jobs with Prizm, Kforce, BAI, Booze Allen, and Northdrop Grumman. All of those have contract jobs at either Quantico, or Ft Belvoir. and maybe the Pentagon if you want to get into govt work being a contractor is often the first step... unless you can get into a govt civillian job which does take time to get.
    It's not about if you win or loose..... its how you play the game.
  • ThomasITguyThomasITguy Posts: 181Banned
    ethelrose wrote: »
    Thank you so very much for that. I do realize that the first year or two might have to be a sacrifice pay wise but hopefully it will all pay off. Any advise on what certs I should work on to start with?

    Since you mentioned Govt work... according to the DoD you need at least Sec+ and a MTA to get a help desk job with a govt contractor. Or you can start with your A+ which is fine.
    It's not about if you win or loose..... its how you play the game.
  • ethelroseethelrose Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Not to sound shallow, but when you say low paying any idea what type of number we are looking at? of course as a teacher, my salary is not the very best, but its always good to have an idea what changes I can expect. I am very interested in the Security + cert. I bought the books a few months ago and would like to try it this summer. Thank you all so much for the advise, I truly appreciate it.
  • ThomasITguyThomasITguy Posts: 181Banned
    ethelrose wrote: »
    Not to sound shallow, but when you say low paying any idea what type of number we are looking at? of course as a teacher, my salary is not the very best, but its always good to have an idea what changes I can expect. I am very interested in the Security + cert. I bought the books a few months ago and would like to try it this summer. Thank you all so much for the advise, I truly appreciate it.

    It depends on the job. since you are in the DC area (same area as me) It will most likely be between 14-16 an hr. Or possibly 25-30k a year starting out... but that depends on the company. some pay more others don't but I would at least apply to jobs now... some require a cert others require you to get the cert within 3 months of hire. How I got in was I got a job then got a cert... but you also have schooling which you can use to get your foot in the door then get your certs... it depends.
    It's not about if you win or loose..... its how you play the game.
  • ThomasITguyThomasITguy Posts: 181Banned
    ethelrose wrote: »
    Not to sound shallow, but when you say low paying any idea what type of number we are looking at? of course as a teacher, my salary is not the very best, but its always good to have an idea what changes I can expect. I am very interested in the Security + cert. I bought the books a few months ago and would like to try it this summer. Thank you all so much for the advise, I truly appreciate it.

    Also read the job desriptions. I have seen a lot of job postings for the DC, northern VA area that will substitute a degree for work experience...
    It's not about if you win or loose..... its how you play the game.
  • pevangelpevangel Posts: 342Member
    A lot of entry-level jobs are in the teens per hour. The Security+ is a good start since you'll need it if you want to work for the federal govt.

    What's your background? You say you don't have professional experience, but have you built/fixed your own computers, fixed family/friend's computers, setup your home network, etc?
  • ethelroseethelrose Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Oh yes I have experience setting up systems at home. Of course with my degree experience there as well but nothing out side of that. I could not survive with that type of income decrease, even if its only for about a year, icon_cry.gifso I truly need to think of how to go about making the switch.
  • ErtazErtaz Posts: 885Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    ethelrose wrote: »
    Oh yes I have experience setting up systems at home. Of course with my degree experience there as well but nothing out side of that. I could not survive with that type of income decrease, even if its only for about a year, icon_cry.gifso I truly need to think of how to go about making the switch.

    I think with prior professional experience in teaching you'd be a shoe-in to do something with technical education for an organization. Especially if you cert'd up. I think your starting pay would also be higher because of your advanced degree.
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Posts: 1,403Member
    do you want pen testing or policy making?
    CISSP = policy maker
    CEH/OSCP = pen tester
    CHFI = forensic
  • ethelroseethelrose Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would be more interested in the policy making. But doesnt CISSP require to have 5 years of experience before you are eligible? Good to know that my past experience could count towards something.
  • billDFWbillDFW Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    great thread....I am monitoring it as I am in similar situation. 4 years will return from military, have TS clearance, and will aim to have Networking+ and Security+ within the next 2 years. College degree

    Built my own PC, tinkered around the house. No full time, IT experience tho. TS clearance and positive attitude, and at least Sec+ in hand when I retire tho
  • DarkmanX-DarkmanX- Posts: 16Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Math teacher here, with the same aspirations. Where did you complete your masters?
  • diggitlediggitle Posts: 117Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    @DarkmanX- Math teacher | Reverse malware engineer / Pentester :) --> Sec+ , CEH/eJPT, SANS, OSCP
    ethelrose SANS and associate of ISC^2 would probably do it.


    @Everyone don't forget to NETWORK! Got to; Bsides in your area, hackers conferences, etc

    http://www.meetup.com/topics/hacking/ (good place to learn information security concepts, and meet new people in the field)
    c colon i net pub dubdubdub root
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