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Cyber-security/Network Specialist - baristabanger - 01-19-2014 08:21 PM

Figured I'd use some of the collected knowledge/experience on here for a little career path insight.

24, recent vet, so tuition is paid for. I'd go into ATC (Air Traffic Control, what I did in the USAF), but I was disqualified after a post-deployment flight physical. Narrowed it down to a cyber-security BS at ITT tech that looks like it could offer me a decent 100k salary after a couple years of school and rubbing elbows with some goverment fellas. All in all, I'd be about 30 by the time I'm well established.
OR
An AAS as a network specialist with an entry-level salary in the area of about 50k. Network specialst offers less school and a decent living right out the gate with good job opportunities around here and could transistion into consulting after some infield experience.

My dilemma: spend the extra time
for the bigger salary in cyber-security or get in and out for a decent salary as a network specialist. Job market seems decent enough in both areas.

Curious what those in IT fields would say.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - TravelingDoc - 01-19-2014 09:45 PM

I don't want to through cold water on your dream but where did you get the $100k after ITT from? The school? I had a look at the ITT website and can't find detail info on what they will teach you. From their website, it state that what they teach you will not qualify in law enforcement. Cyber Security may sound like a nice title that cover one area but actually is very very large. One of the best advice I got before I got started. "Pick the smallest and most specific area that interest you, have a look around and you will be surprise how wide and deep that subject is. Once you get bored, look around at something that is related and it will surprise you at how wide that area is."

If you are set on Cyber Security, go to University first. And start working on CISSP, CISM. http://blog.executivebiz.com/2009/09/top-10-universities-preparing-future-cyber-security-professionals/ It is not an easy area, expect to be challenged.


For Network Specialist, the tough part is getting pass the middle level. It is a chicken/egg thing. How do you get access to mission critical system when you have no experience? How do you get experience when you have no access? Some people get their break early and some take 10-15 years before they have a chance at the large system. (Consulting/project work is the best way to get around this).

What ever you choice, expect that you will be continuing to study for the rest of your career until you move to the management side. Get some foundation now before you start (basic programing, scripting, linux) will you not have time to learn this after you start work.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - Cattle Rustler - 01-19-2014 09:54 PM

(01-19-2014 08:21 PM)baristabanger Wrote:  Figured I'd use some of the collected knowledge/experience on here for a little career path insight.

24, recent vet, so tuition is paid for. I'd go into ATC (Air Traffic Control, what I did in the USAF), but I was disqualified after a post-deployment flight physical. Narrowed it down to a cyber-security BS at ITT tech that looks like it could offer me a decent 100k salary after a couple years of school and rubbing elbows with some goverment fellas. All in all, I'd be about 30 by the time I'm well established.
OR
An AAS as a network specialist with an entry-level salary in the area of about 50k. Network specialst offers less school and a decent living right out the gate with good job opportunities around here and could transistion into consulting after some infield experience.

My dilemma: spend the extra time
for the bigger salary in cyber-security or get in and out for a decent salary as a network specialist. Job market seems decent enough in both areas.

Curious what those in IT fields would say.

ITT Tech guarantees you debt and no job. Have you seen local ads? Some job ads state "no ITT/UoP*" graduates. For-profit schools are expensive and return on investment is low.

Go to a community college and get an AAS degree in computer networking or security. What matters is experience and your network. Get school done as fast as possible and start working, try to get a similar job while in school. Employers will give you brownie points for being a vet (disciplined).

* - University of Phoenix

Edit: I know an Army vet who went to ITT Tech and then got a 10K/month gig in Afghanistan for a defense contractor. Considering the US is pulling out, those jobs are not coming up.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - Parlay44 - 01-19-2014 10:04 PM

IT and Engineering is rough. Sure there's tons of work but only the strong survive. It's not so much a matter of getting the degree to get the better job. It's a matter of being at the top of your game. You have to constantly be reading and up on all the new technology.

It's not like being a lawyer where you go to law school and walk into a 100k job. How often does the law change? How often do you have to renew your knowledge and get recertified? Not often if ever.

Go into IT and Engineering because you love what you do because it will consume your life.

I'm at the point now where I can reuse a lot of my collection of code I've written and tested. So doing programming isn't hard for me anymore. But I get paid for my knowledge, experience and ability to troubleshoot and debug difficult systems and situations. And that requires a lot of brain power and long hours and lost weekends.

My advice to you ...do the associates degree and get some industry certitifications like Cisco or whatever and go for the 50k job. In your spare time work towards a business degree. Management or business ownership will break you out of the 70k ceiling you'll hit in 5 years time. Good luck.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - baristabanger - 01-19-2014 10:28 PM

Appreciate the good responses.

@ TravelingDoc: Had a friend in Comm back in the service who got out and finished things up at ITT for the BS in cyber-security and maintains/implements network security for some company down in Chicago, said he was making 110k after a little negotiating. Could
be exaggerating a bit though.

I didn't really know about the whole businesses barring ITT grads, but it kind of makes sense after looking a little more into it.

Some solid advice dropped here. Will definitely start getting into basic programming. I understand it's a field that always takes learning and progressing, kind of the appeal to me. Air Traffic and most of the other little jobs I've carried out stagnated as soon as you had the material down and a technique developed. Challenging, competitive, consuming, seem like good deals to me. Thanks again.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - TravelingDoc - 01-19-2014 10:50 PM

@baristabanger: Your friend, that do happens, just not too often. I also went to something like ITT. Most people coming out of those school are not really good at beyond basic because they shouldn't had been enroll in those program at all. Over the years, I have know people that come out of ITT or like and do really good (250k+). BUT they are the exception. I think the best way to use ITT is to take it after you get a 4 year computer science degree. University teach you the basic, theory and thinking. ITT teach you how to do the work and applied the knowledge. Lots of people comes out of U and have no idea how to apply the skill they learn. Or after U, join a startup and jump into the deep end. Smile


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - Brisey - 01-20-2014 03:09 AM

I'd agree with the other comments about the industry certifications. Certified Ethical Hacker is worth checking out, I think there are some certs for Backtrack as well.
Concerning CISSP, this is not that technical and more of an overview of the different security aspects. CISM is more managerial.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - billbudsocket - 01-20-2014 10:27 AM

If you aren't passionate about it, I wouldn't get into it. To stay competitive in IT you have to be constantly learning the latest technology, and when you burn out on it your skills become obsolete fast. I was very passionate going into it and then coasted on my skills for about 10 years but now I'm stuck with a very niche skillset.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - baristabanger - 01-20-2014 09:27 PM

^ I totally understand passion goes a long way in almost anything you do, but another 12hr midshift at a call center is all the motivation I need to dive into it, sink or swim. On the bright side, if i get through the AAS program and just get some help desk job working my way up to network admin. and for some reason think it's hell on earth, I have enough free education to go back for something else.
There's an IT fella at the call center I work at I'm going to see if I can gather some intel from too.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - Cattle Rustler - 01-20-2014 09:53 PM

(01-20-2014 09:27 PM)baristabanger Wrote:  ^ I totally understand passion goes a long way in almost anything you do, but another 12hr midshift at a call center is all the motivation I need to dive into it, sink or swim. On the bright side, if i get through the AAS program and just get some help desk job working my way up to network admin. and for some reason think it's hell on earth, I have enough free education to go back for something else.
There's an IT fella at the call center I work at I'm going to see if I can gather some intel from too.

Call center jobs suck, but at least they're stable. One of my buds used to work at a call center and when submitted a transfer to the helpdesk position, the IT department found out he was studying computer science and took him in. Dude went from 11/hr call center to 16/hr work from home position in 8 months.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - baristabanger - 01-21-2014 03:46 AM

That's not a bad deal. Anywhere in the $15-$25 dollar range is pretty comfy for me, equals my E-4 pay when I got out, and I was living downtown San Antonio in a cushey loft. Ahhh the latinas.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - Fox McCloud - 01-21-2014 04:04 AM

IT is really great, in highschool I worked in IT and made $15 an hour, which was pretty awesome for an afterschool job. The way to make more money is to get Oracle Certifications, I'm actually surprised nobody has mentioned this yet. Companies want to know that you understand the niche IT work that you are doing, and this is how they assure themselves. I have met plenty of dumbasses making $50 an hour because they researched and got the right certs, sometimes they become one of only maybe 5 people in the country with the correct skillset for a certain job.

http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=39

You probably want to stick with the IT certs, idk about java, I think the only reason that Oracle provides those is because they own the rights to the programming language and develop it. Keep in mind that if you think Microsoft is the devil, Oracle is way worse. I would recommend something along the lines of systems specialist/administrator/database something. Do a lot of research before you spend the time and money, I'm not even qualified to tell you because I'm a programmer now. Hopefully there's a real IT guy lurking around that has better advice.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - TravelingDoc - 01-21-2014 05:54 AM

Actually for vendor programming job. SAP pay the most, more than Oracle. Used to be that with 1-2 year experience, you can get $150K. Now it seem only get $95-110K. ERP programming are some of the best paying job around. Have a look around Monster.com. Job that post req 4-5yrs experience will take 1 with the right certs. If you get Oracle and SAP, you are golden (specialize in integrating Oracle with SAP).

For every 50 java programmer, there may be 1 SAP programmer (pulling numbers out of my ass). Truthfully, over the years, I had only met 1 SAP programer. Tons of Java people, only ten or so Oracle guys.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - baristabanger - 01-21-2014 08:38 PM

I'm seeing "programmer" thrown around a bit here and on job sites. Might it be more
beneficial to to see what I can learn/get certified on as a programmer/analyst? I spoke with our IT guy here and he's a "Systems Analyst" and began with programming and software development.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - TripleG - 01-21-2014 09:03 PM

(01-19-2014 10:04 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  IT and Engineering is rough. Sure there's tons of work but only the strong survive. It's not so much a matter of getting the degree to get the better job. It's a matter of being at the top of your game. You have to constantly be reading and up on all the new technology.

It's not like being a lawyer where you go to law school and walk into a 100k job. How often does the law change? How often do you have to renew your knowledge and get recertified? Not often if ever.

Go into IT and Engineering because you love what you do because it will consume your life.

I'm at the point now where I can reuse a lot of my collection of code I've written and tested. So doing programming isn't hard for me anymore. But I get paid for my knowledge, experience and ability to troubleshoot and debug difficult systems and situations. And that requires a lot of brain power and long hours and lost weekends.

My advice to you ...do the associates degree and get some industry certitifications like Cisco or whatever and go for the 50k job. In your spare time work towards a business degree. Management or business ownership will break you out of the 70k ceiling you'll hit in 5 years time. Good luck.

Parlay44 has the best advice so far. I have about 12 years of experience in the IT industry working primarily in a Microsoft Centric environment for a large NGO. This is not even counting the 8 years I spent in school pursuing multiple bachelors degrees and then a master's degree in MIS and InfoSec. Have done many certifications such as MCP, MCSE, Security +, A+, Network + and now am studying for my CISSP (it is a tough beast, way too many domains to study).

The problem with this field is that you have to be dedicated to this craft. ITT would not be sufficient if you wanted to be employed by a fortune 500 company or the federal government (except for a contractor). Forget the Snowden example...after that fiasco ALL government/private sector contractors will be scrutinized so much more closely and so will their credentials. Anyways, while the network engineering or cyber-security field pays very well (depending on the project I am always making $30+ per hr) the pressure to stay on top of your skills and study is crazy!!! I am coasting on my experience but it can't last for long. Are you ready to give up your weekends and evenings (any other job you could be using that time to exercise, go on dates, do other hobbies) for work? Most of my colleagues pull 50+hour weeks even when they are supposed to work only 40 hours. This field is not for the faint of heart and frequently I regret not having a flexible schedule and not being able to travel and party with friends. It has taken a heavy toll on my social life, caused depression and made me loose out on some good relationships.

In all honesty if I had to do it all over again I might have picked a different field, one which does not have as many changes.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - baristabanger - 01-22-2014 12:50 AM

I am keeping the options open, haven't signed any dotted lines yet. Apparently dental hygienists make decent money, and unless we undergo a huge evolutionary change in the next 20 some years, doesn't seem like
it would be changing much. Good
opportunities there if one can get certified in local anesthesia too.
I suppose it really depends on how
the job market turns in the next few years. All those places requiring experience are going to start getting hard up for that after all those folks laid off during the recession start to dwindle, and the only prospects are fresh graduates.
The economic pendulum as my father says.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - Brisey - 01-22-2014 01:57 AM

(01-21-2014 09:03 PM)TripleG Wrote:  
(01-19-2014 10:04 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  IT and Engineering is rough. Sure there's tons of work but only the strong survive. It's not so much a matter of getting the degree to get the better job. It's a matter of being at the top of your game. You have to constantly be reading and up on all the new technology.

It's not like being a lawyer where you go to law school and walk into a 100k job. How often does the law change? How often do you have to renew your knowledge and get recertified? Not often if ever.

Go into IT and Engineering because you love what you do because it will consume your life.

I'm at the point now where I can reuse a lot of my collection of code I've written and tested. So doing programming isn't hard for me anymore. But I get paid for my knowledge, experience and ability to troubleshoot and debug difficult systems and situations. And that requires a lot of brain power and long hours and lost weekends.

My advice to you ...do the associates degree and get some industry certitifications like Cisco or whatever and go for the 50k job. In your spare time work towards a business degree. Management or business ownership will break you out of the 70k ceiling you'll hit in 5 years time. Good luck.

Parlay44 has the best advice so far. I have about 12 years of experience in the IT industry working primarily in a Microsoft Centric environment for a large NGO. This is not even counting the 8 years I spent in school pursuing multiple bachelors degrees and then a master's degree in MIS and InfoSec. Have done many certifications such as MCP, MCSE, Security +, A+, Network + and now am studying for my CISSP (it is a tough beast, way too many domains to study).

The problem with this field is that you have to be dedicated to this craft. ITT would not be sufficient if you wanted to be employed by a fortune 500 company or the federal government (except for a contractor). Forget the Snowden example...after that fiasco ALL government/private sector contractors will be scrutinized so much more closely and so will their credentials. Anyways, while the network engineering or cyber-security field pays very well (depending on the project I am always making $30+ per hr) the pressure to stay on top of your skills and study is crazy!!! I am coasting on my experience but it can't last for long. Are you ready to give up your weekends and evenings (any other job you could be using that time to exercise, go on dates, do other hobbies) for work? Most of my colleagues pull 50+hour weeks even when they are supposed to work only 40 hours. This field is not for the faint of heart and frequently I regret not having a flexible schedule and not being able to travel and party with friends. It has taken a heavy toll on my social life, caused depression and made me loose out on some good relationships.

In all honesty if I had to do it all over again I might have picked a different field, one which does not have as many changes.

The CISSP is a pain in the arse to maintain as well, you have the yearly maintenance fees and have to get 60 CPE (continuing professional education) credits every 3 years. It's the same with the CISM.
The Shon Harris All in One book is an excellent resource for the CISSP and all you need to pass the exam.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - roid - 01-23-2014 11:36 AM

(01-19-2014 10:04 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  IT and Engineering is rough. Sure there's tons of work but only the strong survive. It's not so much a matter of getting the degree to get the better job. It's a matter of being at the top of your game. You have to constantly be reading and up on all the new technology.

It's not like being a lawyer where you go to law school and walk into a 100k job. How often does the law change? How often do you have to renew your knowledge and get recertified? Not often if ever.

Go into IT and Engineering because you love what you do because it will consume your life.

I'm at the point now where I can reuse a lot of my collection of code I've written and tested. So doing programming isn't hard for me anymore. But I get paid for my knowledge, experience and ability to troubleshoot and debug difficult systems and situations. And that requires a lot of brain power and long hours and lost weekends.

My advice to you ...do the associates degree and get some industry certitifications like Cisco or whatever and go for the 50k job. In your spare time work towards a business degree. Management or business ownership will break you out of the 70k ceiling you'll hit in 5 years time. Good luck.

Damn you Parlay. Why do you always give out good advice?

Edit:

A BS detection Heuristic.
You can tell if a discipline is BS if the degree depends severely on the prestige of the school granting it. I remember when I applied to MBA programs being told that anything outside the top 10 or 20 would be a waste of time. On the other hand a degree in mathematics is much less dependent on the shool (conditional on being above a certain level, so the heuristic would apply to the difference between top 10 and top 2000 schools).

Source: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=13012333374&story_fbid=10151881639063375


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - playa_with_a_passport - 01-25-2014 07:05 PM

(01-19-2014 10:04 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  IT and Engineering is rough. Sure there's tons of work but only the strong survive. It's not so much a matter of getting the degree to get the better job. It's a matter of being at the top of your game. You have to constantly be reading and up on all the new technology.

It's not like being a lawyer where you go to law school and walk into a 100k job. How often does the law change? How often do you have to renew your knowledge and get recertified? Not often if ever.

Go into IT and Engineering because you love what you do because it will consume your life.

I'm at the point now where I can reuse a lot of my collection of code I've written and tested. So doing programming isn't hard for me anymore. But I get paid for my knowledge, experience and ability to troubleshoot and debug difficult systems and situations. And that requires a lot of brain power and long hours and lost weekends.

My advice to you ...do the associates degree and get some industry certitifications like Cisco or whatever and go for the 50k job. In your spare time work towards a business degree. Management or business ownership will break you out of the 70k ceiling you'll hit in 5 years time. Good luck.

This.

I have a BS/MS in CS and I work in cyber security in a managerial position. I am getting older and learning new shit is just getting harder. Specially on this economy, regardless of how good you think you are, there's always somebody else whose smarter and work harder than you do. I have a 5 year plan to get out.

I am very bullish on IT, its so commoditized that's it not even funny. Barriers of entry are relatively low specially for programming work. With youtube and torrents for development software, you can pretty much learn to program any language that's "hot" out there. Also, IT was dead when the Computer Science major started to be cannibalized by the dozens of sub degrees and certifications out there.

I can't say I blame them, why take calculus 1,2,3, physics 1,2 and a host of other hard time consuming hard classes when you can just take some bullshit certification and get the same job?

For the OP, I am not sure what State you are in but I think it would be a more constructive use of your time if you pick up a trade and learn it really well. There's an old joke that Its easier to find a good COBOL programmer than a good plumber. By "good," I mean showing on time and sober. Also, trades pay overtime, not that bullshit "time on the books" that a lot of those IT jobs have.

(01-21-2014 05:54 AM)TravelingDoc Wrote:  Actually for vendor programming job. SAP pay the most, more than Oracle. Used to be that with 1-2 year experience, you can get $150K. Now it seem only get $95-110K. ERP programming are some of the best paying job around. Have a look around Monster.com. Job that post req 4-5yrs experience will take 1 with the right certs. If you get Oracle and SAP, you are golden (specialize in integrating Oracle with SAP).

For every 50 java programmer, there may be 1 SAP programmer (pulling numbers out of my ass). Truthfully, over the years, I had only met 1 SAP programer. Tons of Java people, only ten or so Oracle guys.

Bust a data sheet homes, break this down. Show us some sample ads that pay this with 2 years experience.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - baristabanger - 01-25-2014 07:39 PM

^In WI. There's actually quite a niche for CNC machinists and electro/mechanical techs. Shit seems pretty cool as far as trades go. I've heard more bad than good about IT. Even our company's systems analyst hates
it.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - WestIndianArchie - 01-25-2014 08:53 PM

(01-19-2014 10:04 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  It's not like being a lawyer where you go to law school and walk into a 100k job. How often does the law change? How often do you have to renew your knowledge and get recertified? Not often if ever.

LOL.

IT might not be a picnic, but Law is not what it's advertised.
The median lawyer salary in this country is 57,000.
The debt load for lawyers is often over 6 figures.

Once you figure out the take home pay for an average lawyer, and realize he has to pay student loans with after tax money...you'll wonder how smart the lawyer actually is.

I know I question myself all the time.

WIA


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - Soma - 01-25-2014 09:41 PM

(01-19-2014 10:04 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  It's a matter of being at the top of your game. You have to constantly be reading and up on all the new technology.

Parlay44, what resources (web or otherwise) do you use to read up on the latest network, etc. technologies, especially hardware?


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - Parlay44 - 01-25-2014 10:04 PM

(01-25-2014 09:41 PM)Soma Wrote:  
(01-19-2014 10:04 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  It's a matter of being at the top of your game. You have to constantly be reading and up on all the new technology.

Parlay44, what resources (web or otherwise) do you use to read up on the latest network, etc. technologies, especially hardware?

See this is tough. I'm friends with a lot of geeks and they're experts in many different fields. I'm talking guys with Master's degrees in Computer Science and PHDs in lasers and photonics. I also know a lot of guys that are computer hobbyists and just all around network nerds. I'm kind of at the intersection of all those places. I find them all interesting so I ask a lot of questions. You are the average of your 5 closest friends. Then I have my "regular friends" and my artist and musician friends. I have lots of circles. Laugh

I read a lot at Lifehacker, Wired, Techrepublic. I read the news section at Extratorrent. The Geek section at Fark.

Mostly I talk shop all day long at work. We turn each other onto all the cool things going on then I google and learn what I can.

My latest projects have been hacking my WiiU to play games from a usb hard drive. I just setup VMWARE Workstation on my laptop to run, Windows 7, Bactrack Linux, and MAC OSX 10.8. Next ting I wanna do is setup a media player on my mother's TV with a way for me to push videos to it remotely from my place. I'm thinking of doing it through Dropbox then using a script to move the file to a movie folder periodically. Haven't quit worked it out yet.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - roid - 09-29-2015 04:56 AM

(01-25-2014 08:53 PM)WestIndianArchie Wrote:  
(01-19-2014 10:04 PM)Parlay44 Wrote:  It's not like being a lawyer where you go to law school and walk into a 100k job. How often does the law change? How often do you have to renew your knowledge and get recertified? Not often if ever.

LOL.

IT might not be a picnic, but Law is not what it's advertised.
The median lawyer salary in this country is 57,000.
The debt load for lawyers is often over 6 figures.

Once you figure out the take home pay for an average lawyer, and realize he has to pay student loans with after tax money...you'll wonder how smart the lawyer actually is.

I know I question myself all the time.

WIA

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Attorney_%2F_Lawyer/Salary/37e0092e/New-York-NY

I don't think so.


RE: Cyber-security/Network Specialist - Unfadable - 09-29-2015 11:34 PM

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Attorney_%2f_Lawyer/Salary

Your search puts the median at 95K based off of 660 individuals, but only shows statistics for New York. According to the site you posted the nation-wide median is 77k(13,000 reports). It is still above 57k, I just wanted to point that out for anyone that may have missed it.