May 24, 2021

18 and wanting a career in Cyber Security. Am I going down the right path or what should my future look like to get there.

I’m 18, from the UK, England and just about to finish my Level 3 in Information Technology and am I wanting a career in Cyber Security mainly doing offensive Operations, Ethical Hacking, Pen testing Etc. My plan is to do another 2 year in college to get my Level 4&5 in Information Technology, HNC & HND (Higher National Certificate/Diploma) then go to University and study the my final Year in University at Manchester to get my BSc(Hons) degree in Cyber Security then probably try and get a full time job in the Cyber Security field at a graduate level. I’m also looking into MTA exams etc. to try and become a CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) what else can I learn/do to help me get my career in Offensive Cyber Operations?



Hi, cybersecurity student here, what I have heard quite often is that certificates are not everything. Sure you will want a Security+ and then a CEH, but you will need experience to back these. I could be absolutely wrong and it could be different in the UK. I keep seeing people say learn Linux, Learn PenTest Tools, Learn Python and get a CCNA. Which sounds like a strong base when applying for some cybersecurity positions. If you have a discord, message me through reddit and we could chat sometime, I know a lot of educational resources and easy to do CTF’s that would help you learn Linux tools.


I would love to learn about how the levels work in the UK.


So it looks like you are in a good space to get your education and start the career. Can’t say much about the job prospects in the UK, however I do know I have spoken with several companies where they are in dire need of security personnel that are based in Europe.

That said, do not think you will be able to start off a job in Pentesting (Offensive Cyber Operations). Usually that requires you to get some experience to do “other” security hats, however it also depends on the company. Most companies I know, don’t like to train for the sheer reason it cuts into their profit because they can’t bill you out to a customer with no experience. Get some experience and the certs will show you have some specific knowledge. That should help you switch into pentesting in a year or two after the entry position.

On the side note, I’m sure GCHQ would probably want some young dedicated personnel. You can go the military route and work at MI-5 and MI-6 but I heard that was actually quite difficult. Good luck in your endeavors. If you come state side, maybe we’ll interact at some point.

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