July 9, 2021

Question 12,468,655 of Where Do I Start?


First, I’d like to apologize as this question gets asked over and over again. That being said, I feel each individual’s question has personal information woven throughout it which makes it unique, and mine is no different.

I’m a veteran and will be celebrating that glorious 40th birthday this year. I served in the Navy for 11 long years as an intelligence analyst. During that time, I earned an associate’s in general studies, and a bachelor’s in intelligence analysis from American Military University.

I’ve never truly used my degree and quickly realized that there isnt much potential in getting a job in the field now that my security clearance is essentially gone and I have no desire to move to one of the Intel hotspots.

I’ve always had a bit of compassion for computers and took a two year networking course when I was in high school. Granted, this was way way way back and most of that knowledge has either expired in my head or is no longer relevant.

So I was like, hey I’d love to do something with computers. Let’s try coding. I used a portion of my GI Bill to take a full stack dev course, and while I graduated from the course and have a certificate from it, I can’t tell you shit I learned. Honestly, without the group projects, I doubt I would have made it through the course.

To the present: I have the option to go back to school once again with my gi bill to a local college and get an associate’s in cyber security and forensics. Many of my previous degree credits apply to this and I’d mainly only have to do the focus credits. I could be done with it in less than a year.

I have a family to try to support, going to a brick and mortar type educational environment would provide some extra income for us while I work on this career change, so it is almost a necessity to do so.

So here comes the question, finally right?

If I take this leap onto this path, will I potentially be able to get a job out the gate with an associates in cyber security and a bachelor’s in an unrelated field? Or will there be more things (certs, courses, sacrifices to various gods), that need to be done prior to getting employed in a relatively good paying position?

TLDR: I’m an old veteran that wants to get into cyber security. I have limiting factors and some major concerns trying to move forward with this and worry about not getting a job and being able to take care of my family. Please help.

Thanks in advance for your help. Please use layman’s terms when responding.



Interesting question. You already have a Bachelor’s degree, so you check that box. Most Cyber jobs I’ve been looking at want a certification such as CISSP. I took a Master’s Degree program through WGU which included the Certified Ethical Hacker cert from EC-Council. I’m not certain how highly that is regarded, but know CISSP is big. If you can find a program that enables you to receive a certificate of that level, I believe companies will be interested in you, especially considering you are a veteran and have 11 years of intelligence experience.

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