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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Default New to IT/security career

    Hello everyone.
    I have absolutely zero experience or degree in IT. Based on inputs from some people I know, I decided to pursue a career in security. I recently passed Network + and now studying for security +. After passing security + I might go for CEH or Project+ or CISSP (really don’t yet). I have few questions:

    1. Which certification should I go for after security + ? Something that is more realistic for me to pass since I don’t have any IT experience.

    2. Are network + and security + enough to get me an entry level job? If yes, how much is the decent starting salary ?

    3. If above 2 certs not enough to get me job then please advise what should be my next step to get me in the industry ?

    Any advise will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks guys.
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  3. Senior Member
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    GWAPT, GSEC, Associate of (ISC)2, C|EH, CCNA:Security, CCNA:R&S, CCENT, Security+, Network+
    #2
    1. CEH requires 2 years experience or to take a pricey course...probably not worth it on your own dime. CISSP would provide you zero value until you can actually claim it (4-5 years)...unless maybe in DoD but even then you won’t get much out of it yet. Since you have zero experience it depends who is paying. If you have a company that will pay...get SANS training and do GIAC certs. More than likely a realistic route is to get CCNA and MCSA (server). This will put you somewhere around 1.5-2 years and you will have a foundation of knowledge. Honestly you shouldn’t worry about past that yet, but also at that point your path becomes a little clearer because you know what you like. Without a foundation of knowledge, you will have a hard time being a solid contributor.

    2. Maybe...I’ve seen people get into the DoD world $50-60k...in the private sector you might have to go into help desk and could be $25-40k. The area you live and the company impact what the pay will be. You really just need to get in a tech job to start...help desk, sys/net admin, IA...something to get you going. The real good money can start rolling in around the 4-5+ year mark assuming you keep advancing. You have to get your foot in the door and start building the resume.

    3. See recommendations in step 1 response. Security typically isn’t the start game for a lot of people at least traditionally. The more you learn about systems and networks will help you down the road...you don’t have to be an expert system/network administrator but the knowledge is valuable because security builds on it.
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  4. Senior Member
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    #3
    A lot will come down to what aspect of security you are interested in. There are a lot of financial people who switched into the IT compliance side of security, because of the similarities in the compliance world.

    As was said above, security is something you tend to branch into after having experience already in place. IT is just too broad and complex of a field to jump into security without having some practical knowledge of what you are securing. There are lots of paths that can branch into security, but it is a branch nonetheless. Some more background on your experience, and why security, may help clarify a bit more
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  5. Junior Member
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    #4
    Thanks a lot !!! That really helps.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Yeah, you really need to be able to define what security means to you and your career before deciding your going to become a "security" person. We have SecOps, DevOps, administrators, engineers and architects here all working in various different areas of security but only one "security" person tying it all together. A huge field but you will need a firm foot in IT first.

    We see people, much like my summer intern this year getting advanced degrees in security, no IT experience and find themselves shocked by the twin realities that first: They aren't going to be ushered into the C-suite upon graduation; Second, the aren't hire-able without firm IT skills but armed with plenty of opinion as to how I should proceed with the organization's security.

    Good luck but define security first then ask us.

    - b/eads
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  7. Completely Clueless TechGromit's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by technew View Post
    1. Which certification should I go for after security + ? Something that is more realistic for me to pass since I don’t have any IT experience.
    All really depends what are of IT you want to specialize in. SInce you have no experience, you really can't make an informed decision what you enjoy doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by technew View Post
    2. Are network + and security + enough to get me an entry level job? If yes, how much is the decent starting salary ?
    The first part yes, but also depends on what job your going for. Entry level help desk, your chances are pretty good. Entry level Cyber Security, lousy. Second part, A. Depends on the position you get, and B. In Manhattan even the bums pan handling make around 30k a year, but in the Midwest, 30k is a pretty decent starting salary.

    Quote Originally Posted by technew View Post
    3. If above 2 certs not enough to get me job then please advise what should be my next step to get me in the industry ?
    To break in? You could try some short term contract work, it's lousy pay and your a disposable employee, tossed like trash on collection day when the contract is up, but it's experience, and experience often leads to Full time positions.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
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  8. Completely Clueless TechGromit's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGuru80 View Post
    If you have a company that will pay...get SANS training and do GIAC certs. More than likely a realistic route is to get CCNA and MCSA (server).
    I don't know without some basic IT experience, I don't think even a GIAC cert in your pocket could get you a job.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
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  9. Junior Member
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    #8
    Thanks guys .... kinda eye opener for me! I really appreciate everyone’s comments.

    Thanks again
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  10. Senior Member The_Expert's Avatar
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    #9

    Default Experience is the key...

    I'm glad to see some great answers in this thread... it seems just about everyone now wants to make a leap into Security without a having built a solid foundation of knowledge and experience.

    Best advice here - get started in IT. Security is not an entry point. Focus on the basics... you need to know if you will like working with computers on a daily basis. The salary increase will come with the experience and knowledge you gain over the years.

    Don't just focus on a job, because it pays well. You won't last very long.

    I truly enjoy working with technology and have done so for 20+ years. And I still continue to learn every single day.

    Focus on basic certs, and leave the advanced stuff for when you are ready.
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  11. Member
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    #10
    similar situation but
    over a year of helpdesk experience
    with 2+ years of deskside with some web admin experience

    looking to get into info sec
    getting ccna security and security +

    a higher level cert would be nice
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