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Re: [PEN-TEST] college or not ?
From: David Alexander <dalexander () TRISKELE CO UK>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 12:22:55 -0000

I sort of sat on both stools at once. I studied for an MSc. in Computing
with the (UK) Open University which you do by correspondence and study in
your own time, with exams at regular intervals. I got a degree while holding
down a full-time job in IT and having had 6 years full-time experience
before I started.

In my view the experience was a big help, and the study was a big help too.
I was able to apply my studies to my work and use my work as case studies on
the course - a really great arrangement.

just my 2c.

David Alexander
Project Manager & Information Security Consultant
Qualified BS7799 Lead Auditor
Triskele Ltd.

Office  01491 833280
Mobile 0780 308 3130


-----Original Message-----
From: Gregory McCann [mailto:greg () CAMBRIA COM]
Sent: 08 November 2000 05:49
To: PEN-TEST () SECURITYFOCUS COM
Subject: Re: [PEN-TEST] Education. Formal or not?


Dear ph00dy,

I'm not a full-time security professional, but I'm in a
closely related field doing system administration and
e-commerce development for a number of clients.  I quit
college about 13 years ago when one of my professors
recommended me for a programming job (dBase) and everything
has been on-the-job training since then.

You mentioned that everything you learn in school is 2-3
years behind.  That's typical.  It probably stays that way
until you get into post-graduate work (which I never did).
Then you might actually end up being *ahead* of the curve.

I have mixed feelings about not having a degree.  On the one
hand, I have done well without it  and I have enjoyed the
challenge.  On the other hand, a lot of doors are much easier
to get through if you do have that piece of paper.  Most
corporate hiring managers are college graduates themselves
and they must have that "stamp of approval" on everyone who
comes through their door.

To get by without a degree you have to be independent, well
above average, and very hard-working.  But there is a lot of
satisfaction in being able to succeed that way.

Greg

On 11/7/2000 at 10:00 PM ph00dy wrote:

My questions are:

1.Is college a waste of time for pen-test/auditing/risk assessment
professionals?
2.If so how does one prove what they know to a perspective employer?
3.What is the practical value of a college degree in our
field? What about
in the long run?

______________
Gregory McCann
http://www.calypteanna.com

"Acquire the spirit of peace and thousands around you will be saved."
     - Saint Seraphim of Sarov


David Alexander
Project Manager & Information Security Consultant
Qualified BS7799 Lead Auditor
Triskele Ltd.

Office  01491 833280
Mobile 0780 308 3130

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