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Thread: IT security

  1. Member
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    Default IT security

    I was checking out security jobs and pretty much all of them specified a degree in cs or related... is security more dependent on degree then networking and administration? Also if you work in security do you have coworkers with unrelated majors?
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  3. Senior Member shochan's Avatar
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    #2
    Doubtful IMO, but it shirley helps, lol. I feel that regardless of what type of degree you have, if you have more hands on experience it will probably get you in the door & thru the interview.

    I actually don't ask other co-workers what degrees/certs they possess...I can usually tell if they are inexperienced if I work with them on a project.
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by denis92 View Post
    is security more dependent on degree then networking and administration?
    Nope people just like to have employees with degrees in areas if they can. If you fill most, maybe over half, of what a job ad is asking for and you would like that position. Apply
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  5. Senior Member YuckTheFankees's Avatar
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    #4
    Some security jobs may ask for a degree but from my experience, companies would prefer actual real world experience over anything else. Go to Job Search | Indeed, search security jobs in your area and check out what skills they are wanting...then focus on them.

    When I worked for a security vendor, a lot of my team members did not have a bachelor degree...
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    #5
    As a hiring manager, a major in the field or a related field is good, but not necessary. I'd prefer a drive and long-term ambition to be good at what that role does and some level of experience showing that you aren't just making the drive up for the job interview but rather have had it for a few years already. I work in infosec and dont have anything near a IT related degree
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    Every company is different. Some HR depts won't even let your resume get to the hiring manager unless it fits their template. When I hire security folks I don't require a degree, what I require is a lot of drive and interest. If I see one person with a degree with no other interest in security, and another without a degree, who hits up every local conference, is a member of related Meetup groups, has a home lab and can tell me about it, etc., I'm way more interested in the second person.
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  8. Senior Member LordQarlyn's Avatar
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    #7
    This especially! These days with ATS, it can be hard to get your application pass the HR gatekeepers and into the hands of the hiring manager. Experience without question is the most important factor followed by passion for Information Security. But, certs and degrees are sometimes necessary just to get to the hiring manager. I've been noticing these days even if I know or have contacts with the hiring manager, their hands are tied unless my application goes through their online application process and gets pass the HR screening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danielm7 View Post
    Every company is different. Some HR depts won't even let your resume get to the hiring manager unless it fits their template. ...
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  9. Senior Member aderon's Avatar
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    #8
    I would say that for the majority of security jobs, any IT degree is fine. But, for certain ones, a computer science degree would be more desirable but not mandatory.

    A lot of the older security guys where I've worked had degrees in non-IT subjects. Which makes sense, considering there wasn't exactly a ton of IT degrees back then to choose from. For the younger generation though, due to the lack of experience, I think you'd definitely want an IT degree over a non-IT one.
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    #9
    Security jobs are often filled by professionals with diverse backgrounds, at least in my workplace that's the case. I work with plenty of professionals who come from all walks of life. Backgrounds in business, natural science, firefighters, military, etc. Many of them have technology degrees, but a handful either never went to college or just kind of fell into technology by accident.

    I could care less what degree's or certs a person has, because I've worked with plenty of people who only care about that stuff and they were horrible at their jobs. Anyone with some common sense and a strong desire to learn can be successful in this field.
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    #10
    I highly prefer Computer Science and experience or no experience at all to a "Security" degree. CS people have a better background in understanding the underlying mechanics of operating systems, kernels, drivers and .dlls, etc than someone trained to see a CVS number and how to superficially work a GUI.

    Get the IT experience first then move on to security if you still have the interest. Otherwise we have lots of once popular IT degrees like Data Processing and MIS that today look embarrassingly faddish. Not that security won't or could but may very well be reabsorbed back into IT as a whole.

    For all you naysayers, I say this. We have seen this happen so many times before. We have proven ourselves wrong many times before - No matter what colleges and universities insist upon.

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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by beads View Post
    I highly prefer Computer Science and experience or no experience at all to a "Security" degree. CS people have a better background in understanding the underlying mechanics of operating systems, kernels, drivers and .dlls, etc than someone trained to see a CVS number and how to superficially work a GUI.

    Get the IT experience first then move on to security if you still have the interest. Otherwise we have lots of once popular IT degrees like Data Processing and MIS that today look embarrassingly faddish. Not that security won't or could but may very well be reabsorbed back into IT as a whole.

    For all you naysayers, I say this. We have seen this happen so many times before. We have proven ourselves wrong many times before - No matter what colleges and universities insist upon.

    - b/eads
    A technical background helps, but is not required for all security jobs.
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    #12
    Completely agree. I'm older, was a sysadmin for many years and my degree is a liberal arts degree. I decided on a career switch to cyber security and nobodies degree is in cyber so it isn't necessary.
    Last edited by MIME; 12-29-2017 at 01:05 PM. Reason: typo
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by NetworkNewb View Post
    Nope people just like to have employees with degrees in areas if they can. If you fill most, maybe over half, of what a job ad is asking for and you would like that position. Apply
    + 50 % match is a good start.
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    #14
    People don't really care about your degree here.
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    #15
    @ITSec14;

    Never said its a requirement for all security positions only my personal preference as to how I set up and run a security department. This department is a deep dive into SIEM statistics, penetration levels, compromised machines, malware and a good bit of DevOps/SecOps on a daily basis. Now, where you practice security may not have particularly rigorous needs is not the only answer, I presented the only viable answer for my organization which by nature is heavily steeped in mathematical models and statistics. Other organizations have their own unique needs.

    Let's try not to paint every position with the same brush.

    - b/eads
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    #16
    Part of the demand or desire to have bachelors degree is to create a homogamous environment. This has been proven to work.
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  18. Member cbdudek's Avatar
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    #17
    As someone who has done hiring and decision making on hiring in IT, I can tell you that a degree helps but isn't required. The problem is that many HR departments filter out candidates depending on if they fill the prerequisites. The big 3 things that employers look at are experience, education, and certifications. They are in order of importance. So if they get 50 resumes, but 8 of them have the experience, education, and certifications, they will look at those 8. I am sure there are some of the 42 candidates that would do the job better, but if you think about it, if you can get all 3 from someone, why not interview those people first?

    I mention this because many people on various forums get pissed off when they get bypassed for jobs. They are probably great people, but there are some people out there that have invested a lot of extra time into their education and certifications and make them very attractive candidates over people who just work their jobs and don't have a degree or certs. In order to be truly marketable in this job market, you have to be strong in all 3 areas. The only time this isn't necessary is if you know someone doing the hiring. Then exceptions can be made. Otherwise, you are facing an uphill battle against candidates that have more than you do.

    This part of the reason why I went back and got my MBA, and then some major security certifications. Its also the reason why I have other certifications on my short list to get this year.
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    #18
    Well explained/said cbdudek! While there are many opportunities in InfoSec, there is much competition for the top/best paying roles! To garner such top roles, one must strive for continuous improvement and keep building upon one's portfolio/resume!
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