Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Didier Stevens

SANS ISC: New Kid on the Block seeking advice - SANS Internet Storm Center SANS ISC InfoSec Forums


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New Kid on the Block seeking advice
So, greetings and salutations all! I'm new to the infosec realm and returning to the IT world in general. When I graduated high school I had a job for an electrical company as an IT tech that grew till I quit do to some misinformation and misrepresentation of the industry along with having a dumb kid moment. Now a decade later I am returning to school. However to do so I have to make 2 decisions that will help sculpt the future; I have to get a decent level certification to start the wanted degree program and also decide once and for all if I really want to live in InfoSec or programming. Programming was my first love but InfoSec and Linux admin has become where my heart seems to lie in my later years. So I ask you all for advice into whether I would benefit most between the Comptia A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+ certs, CCNA, CCNA Security certs are all included in the program and would help me get through easier and faster, however the GIAC certs will get me in as well. Second of all, I'm still a little back and forth between programming and InfoSec, So if anyone has any resource that would give me a "life in the day of" type experience that would be great. Everything I find as of current seems to be based around a game or individual tasks that don't really give a good idea of the security life.

Thank you in advance for all your help and advice,
jfischer.
Jfischer

2 Posts
As a first advice, I'd recommend to ask yourself in which security field you are feeling confident. Infosec has many branches and jobs are completely different... Are you most focussing on offensive or defensive security? A technical job (with hands on) or more theoretical?
Your point about programming and infosec is interesting: this is a field where there is a gap between people (developers vs infosec). This could be a good path for your career?
Xme

451 Posts
ISC Handler
Don't get bogged down on certs; All they mean is you read a lot of books and passed a lot of (difficult) tests...especially if your heart is not into what the cert leads one to believe you are. However, combined with good work experience, certs will add a lot of credibility to the words you speak and write as well as to provide you the assurance and peace of mind that you are making good informed decisions/recommendations. You need to ask yourself what you enjoy doing; What is your passion and then pursue that. Your going to spend 50+ hrs a week the rest of your life doing something so why not make it something you enjoy doing and, consequently, you probably will be very good at it as well $$$. The correct field and certification track should be obvious then. Anonymous

You all make some great points. I'm really trying to follow my passion to the best I can. I am really interested in the idea of Forensics, Pen Tester, CEH... and programming. It all kind of goes hand in hand, and the more information and practice I get has only encouraged me to pus further in. As far as the certification list is concerned - it's only a major concern as it will get me into the program to cover a "IT experience" prereq that I am trying to cover. Thank you all for your time and information. Jfischer

2 Posts

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