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Balu

Cyber Security

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Hi guys, I'm potentially looking at a job in Cyber Security. I have no background in Cyber Security, or IT/computers in general. My only real IT experience is day to day use and playing games. I am leaving the armed forces and have a chance to do a Cyber Security course. It sounds interesting but I'm not sure what it entails and if its something I would enjoy. Does anyone know much about this field or have any insight they could give?

 

I've read that its an ever growing industry with plenty of jobs. In doing these courses I would be qualified to get a job, but would i need a degree in this field to make some real money? Doing a degree would be a possibility. Any information would be great.

 

Thanks

 

Balu

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Degrees are useful in the sense that they provide you with solid fundamentals and possibly more, depending on the course providing you make the most of your course, connections which are very important. If you feel you'll learn better in a more structured way by all means go take a comp sci degree w/ a security module. Do you need a degree? Definitely not, most of the best hackers I know don't have a degree, in fact many of them dropped out of high school, certifications and being active in the community (blogs, twitter, forums, IRC, etc) are much more important than degrees. One advantage of having a degree is that the degree is more structured so you wont have anywhere near as many knowledge gaps.

 

You didn't mention what part of security you want to specialize in, security is so big that it's improbable to be a true expert in more than one field, it's ever-evolving. Good security professionals are in HUGE demand right now and it's only going to go up.

 

You want to get paid well? Apply yourself and become knowledgeable then take certifications that apply to whatever you want to specialize in (there's plenty of easier ones you can take too), I usually recommended these exams to someone who has no background in IT and doesn't want to go to uni https://certification.comptia.org/certifications?level=core, they're well regarded as one of if not the best beginner courses that are easily accessible and provide SOLID foundations without taking 4-6 year degrees, some companies even require Sec+ even if you have a degree for junior positions eh.

 

For a pentester cert wise this path is popular *this is assuming you already have solid fundamentals e.g a university degree or CompTIA fundamentals, A+, Network+ and something in this order: *Harvardx CS50 if you didn't get a degree for programming fundamentals (or other related course), Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker, EC Council Certified Analyst, Licensed Penetration Tester. There's loads of other decent certifications though. Your training is never over in anything IT related, let alone security, You'll be learning new things on a daily basis until the day you die.

 

Don't expect to be paid a lot until you've truly became a professional, you'll be paid much worse in government based jobs but of course that has other benefits 007, privately the pay is great providing you have the skills (£60k++) for someone with skills and experience. 

 

Definitely create a blog and become active on twitter, forums etc once you're intermediate. Being active in the community is worth its weight in gold plus you'll learn at a much faster rate. Don't ask questions that can be Googled easily, people in IT in general get annoyed by it. Make use of your character names and use search engines next time, there's petabytes of information out there written by people more knowledgeable than anyone on this forum. You need to get good at using Google, you're going to be using it a lot! Time to change your name back to Mr-Google! Good luck!

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