April 12, 2021

Elder Millennial seeking career shift

Hi all,

I am, what I would call, a middle manager in my current field (wholly unrelated to Infosec) but with few prospects for upward mobility. I also don’t feel that what I do matters.

I have a BA in Military History (yea, I know) and throughout college worked for two tech support companies doing very broad network and device support/troubleshooting. One was an ISP the other a general help tech position working (primarily) with Windows products and devices.

I currently manage a large portfolio of Homeowners Association communities as a Community Association Manager. While not relevant to information security–I hope that anyone who has ever lived in an HOA can understand that it is a relentless field that is very underpaid for the 60+ hours you put in. As a middle manager I make $42k a year. My household being supported more so by my work as a Realtor than my primary job. But, I have zero passion for either long term.

I have been looking at the Masters program at WGU. But, in my research, have also discovered that this degree is really for building off of a foundation of knowledge that is already there and to put that feather in the cap should an employer be honing in on a recruit with a masters.

I guess I have 3 main questions:
1) Can the WGU MS be completed without a strong working knowledge of material (or rather should it)?
2) Would certifications and home-study be of greater use?
3) Should I marry both a Masters and Certs at the same time and as able–to catch up and be viewed as worth hiring?

I am 34 years old and when I dedicate myself to something–I am voracious in learning–but I am also not naive in the sheer volume and scope of info sec and what is now being more generally called cybersecurity. I don’t want to rush and make too many mistakes–but am aware that at my age I am likely behind the eight-ball.

Comments

Ghawblin

CyberSecurity is a specialization of Sysadmin/Networking. Are you interesting in those? Basically, do you do any IT stuff in your free time. If not, you’re going to have a really hard time jumping straight into infosec. Can’t secure a network if you can’t even administer one. Can’t secure a server if you’ve never laid hands on one.

>Would certifications and home-study be of greater use?

I personally think so. I got my certifications with time, a $40 McCraw book, and the exam fee. Nothing else. A lot of people here have done the same.

>Should I marry both a Masters and Certs at the same time

You don’t need a masters degree for this field. Hell you really only need an associates in something tech related to get past most HR requirements. The bachelors you have now *might* work.

What really gets you in the door in this field is experience, followed by certifications. Entry level CyberSecurity typically wants 1-2 years of general IT/sysadmin/Networking experience. Good news is that most entry level CyberSec jobs will earn about what you make now; bad news is the basic IT experience you would need would be 30-50k depending on where you get in.

CompTia A+ certification will cover basics of IT/Networking, and will help you get that basic sysadmin type job.

CompTia Net+ certification will cover intermediate networking, and will help you get network engineering type jobs.

CompTia Security+ certification covers basics of CyberSecurity, and is basically a requirement to enter this field. It also assumes you either have an A+ and Net+, or already know about the topics covered by those exams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note: By filling this form and submitting your commen, you acknowledge, agree and comply with our terms of service. In addition you acknowledge that you are willingly sharing your email address with AiOWikis and you might receive notification emails from AiOWikis for comment notifications. AiOWiksi guarantees that your email address WILL NOT be used for advertisement or email marketting purposes.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.