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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Default what certification should I go for as a student?

    I'm a student who recently got into college and I'm really stressing over which certification would be good for me, either going to CompTIA A+ or Cisco CCNA. I have a deep passion for cybersecurity. So far I have heard is that getting A+ is good for people who want to enter into IT field, but I believe I have already had the basic knowledge of operating the computer and fixing them. Back when I was in high school my teacher even give a book for A+ and I have studied over it, and watch YouTube videos about it. So I have pretty solid knowledge of A+ but as for other certification, I have not studied them but willing to study them. All I am asking is which certification should I be going for as a person who is passioned about cyber security but did not actually have job experience. One more thing I'm low on money, so I want my first certification to be beneficial to me with my financial situation. Also, I don't want to be a customer support but a person who get his hands dirty. Thank you.
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  2. SS
  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    I'm going to have to break some bad news to you:
    It's highly unlikely any cert is going to get you into cybersecurity without experience in the IT field.

    That's actually a pretty rational thought process. Who would trust a new guy with no experience to defend their company networks against hackers and their tools?


    The 3 basic certs (A+, Network+, Security+) would be good to get your foot in the door, but not really in Cybersecurity. If you're tight on cash, maybe do only A+ or Net+ and take the Security+ close to the end of the 3 year period the A+/Net+ is good for. Also try to scrounge up maybe 3 months of volunteer work as an IT tech for a non-profit or 3, as the experience would go further than your certs(but you might need at least the A+ to get volunteer work).

    Customer support is kind of necessary at the bottom rung of the ladder. It may vary greatly depending on who you decide to work with(MSPs get the most, in-house gets the least), but you're going to have to interact with "clients" one way or the other. It's usually the upper rungs that move further away from customers like a System Administrator or any position within a data center. I did notice that even SysAdmins will need to deal with managers in a company to try to convince them to upgrade their hardware/software.
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  4. Junior Member
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    #3
    I think the answer comes down to what you want to do.

    I think it would be a great move for you to get your CCNA and your Security+. While N7 is right about cyber security not being an entry level job, there are definitely cyber security roles that are entry level, they just aren't what always come to mind when talking about cyber security. An example is becoming a pen tester - simply put a pen tester is not an entry level role and it will not be. A good pen tester may have a background in system administration as these skills translate over very well into a pen tester role.

    If you let us know what interests you, we can probably help you better. I still say getting the Sec+ and CCNA are knowledge that must be learned, and would be a great first step.
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  5. Junior Member
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by b0Ris View Post
    I think the answer comes down to what you want to do.

    I think it would be a great move for you to get your CCNA and your Security+. While N7 is right about cyber security not being an entry level job, there are definitely cyber security roles that are entry level, they just aren't what always come to mind when talking about cyber security. An example is becoming a pen tester - simply put a pen tester is not an entry level role and it will not be. A good pen tester may have a background in system administration as these skills translate over very well into a pen tester role.

    If you let us know what interests you, we can probably help you better. I still say getting the Sec+ and CCNA are knowledge that must be learned, and would be a great first step.
    I'm really interested in finding the vulnerability within the software, like computer forensics where they disassemble the malware code and find the solution for it. Pentester is another thing that I'm interested in. I also agree with N7 where he stated,"Who would trust a new guy with no experience to defend their company networks against hackers and their tools?" I have not been in the field of I.T professionals, so I need to get some starter experience and build my reputation with it. That way my skills will grow and I would gain more skills along with it.
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  6. Junior Member
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by N7Valiant View Post
    I'm going to have to break some bad news to you:
    It's highly unlikely any cert is going to get you into cybersecurity without experience in the IT field.

    That's actually a pretty rational thought process. Who would trust a new guy with no experience to defend their company networks against hackers and their tools?


    The 3 basic certs (A+, Network+, Security+) would be good to get your foot in the door, but not really in Cybersecurity. If you're tight on cash, maybe do only A+ or Net+ and take the Security+ close to the end of the 3 year period the A+/Net+ is good for. Also try to scrounge up maybe 3 months of volunteer work as an IT tech for a non-profit or 3, as the experience would go further than your certs(but you might need at least the A+ to get volunteer work).

    Customer support is kind of necessary at the bottom rung of the ladder. It may vary greatly depending on who you decide to work with(MSPs get the most, in-house gets the least), but you're going to have to interact with "clients" one way or the other. It's usually the upper rungs that move further away from customers like a System Administrator or any position within a data center. I did notice that even SysAdmins will need to deal with managers in a company to try to convince them to upgrade their hardware/software.
    Thank you for your recommendation, I will going forward with taking A+.
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    Something that you will enjoy. Follow your own path not another man's.
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  8. Senior Member scaredoftests's Avatar
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    #7
    ^^^^^what databasehead said...
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
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  9. K-9
    K-9 is offline
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DatabaseHead View Post
    Something that you will enjoy. Follow your own path not another man's.
    Amen, brother! Learn many things and find what you love.

    I really love database work, but it isn't popular and it isn't for everyone.
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  10. Senior Member
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    CISSP-ISSAP, HCISPP GPEN, GSEC, GSNA, GCIH, E|CH, ECSA, Security+
    #9
    @versole;

    Almost all of us actually start or have started on the help/support desk and gotten our hand very dirty in the process. If your serious about trying to break into security (outside of whatever you have heard thus far) you'll be fortunate to land a position on the security help desk - otherwise known as the SOC.

    - b/eads
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