Little background on me before I get to my question. I’m a 30 year old disabled Veteran currently working on my BS in Cybersecurity. I got out of the Army in 2016 and immediately started on my degree and I am currently on track to graduate in December of this year.
Currently I work for a IT infrastructure company that primarily designs and installs structured cabling in the commercial and data center sector as well as AV, DAS, and Security systems as well. I am their Ops coordinator and I pretty much schedule all the work my company does for the most profitable part of the company. On a day to day I manage roughly 200+ technicians. This obviously has nothing to do with cyber security but has paid well and has afforded me the opportunity to focus on school and they have been very flexible with me and because of that I have a 3.8 GPA in school despite working full time and going to school full-time as well (not that many employers ask or even care about your GPA).
I have an active security clearance and I am currently signed up and preparing to take the NET+ exam at the end of April and if I pass I plan on immediately signing up and studying for SEC+ which I’ll be getting on my dime because I believe in investing in myself. My goal is to have NET+, SEC+, and perhaps eJPT before I graduate in December.
Recently a friend who works in the industry on a Red Team encouraged me to start applying for jobs now; and I have. I started back in February and I have applied to probably over 32 different jobs so far which I felt despite my lack of experience I could still be successful at and prove my worth. All of these jobs are “junior” or “entry level” positions despite some of them asking for 5+ years experience…. Because that makes sense right? So far I have received about 14 rejection emails and 1 “cognitive assessment” from one company which I took last weekend and have no heard back from yet. The other 15 or so jobs I applied too I have either just not heard back from yet or they have ghosted me completely.
My question is; am I wasting my time? Am I being naive in listening to my friend who told me I should start looking? I feel that employeers will see that I have no certs, I have not officially graduated despite only having 18 credits left to graduate, and no industry experience making me a very easy No. I also feel like some of these jobs I’m getting rejected from I could easily be a good candidate for after getting some certs and my degree in December and I’m afraid if they reject me now they will not give me a second look in the future after I’ve updated resume with my earned credentials.
The Army was my first real job that wasn’t under the table out of high school and I got my current job after my first interview with the company so I have very little to no experience in finding a job and interviewing and I’m just unsure if I’m being foolish in trying to find a job right now considering the circumstances I laid out and I’m just looking for outside objective options….
Don’t spare my feelings you won’t hurt them, it’s the truth I’m after.