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Re: Need for college, verses formal training and certifications, in the security field.
From: Michael Douglas <mick () pauldotcom com>
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2010 23:01:36 -0400

You don't mention where you're at, so I'm not sure if your market is
somehow more starved for security folks than other places.

While having the diploma will go a long way toward opening doors, (and
hopefully maximizing your earning potential) you also want to be sure
you get solid experience under your belt too.  Many schools have
internship programs.  USE THEM.  When we interview people, there is a
clear difference between folks who are only "book smarts" and those
who've been out in "the real world".

Also I recommend you just mess around and see if you can make
something...  Just because you're a student doesn't mean you can't do
something really cool.  Case in point, Ryan Dewhurt made Damn
Vulnerable Web App while in Uni.   Maybe you're not a coder, find out
what you love and just do it -- go nuts even... that exploratory
freedom IMO is what college really is all about.



HTH,
- Mick


On Sat, Sep 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM, Michael Dickey <lonervamp () gmail com> wrote:
Both types of experience will be helpful, with a slight emphasis on
practical experience. Definitely go after a security+ and if you have the
free time, try to snag any security or even any tech support/technical sort
of part-time job. That job can not only help get you some hands-on tech
experience and resume bullets, but some extra spending money to have a good
time in school and afford some gear or travel money to cons or party money
to hang out with local security geeks.

As far as mentors, you're starting in a good place on this mailing list!
Might want to include what school you go to, or whereabouts ya live. :)

Lastly, and maybe more importantly, enjoy your time in school. Have fun,
take it easy, and work onĀ  your goals when you can.


On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 10:36 PM, Brandon McGinty
<brandon.mcginty () gmail com> wrote:

List,
I am currently a sophomore in college.
I have been studying firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS),
systems hardening, Cisco security (though I do not yet have equipment to
test this), and general network, server, and workstation security.
I am wondering what your collective thoughts are, in regards to
university experience, verses practical experience in the security field.
While university courses certainly give one a more broad understanding
of the world, there is a good deal of preparation before one can take
any security classes.
I'm wondering if there are other possibilities that would help me gain
employment, or at least a foot in the door.
I am in a position where it would be possible to study, and become
certified in several of the current programs, Security+,
CISA, GIAC, and CISSP, to name a few.
I have also considered trying to find some security professionals to act
as mentors, but I am not sure where to start, or if that would be
beneficial.
What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
Brandon McGinty

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