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Think I'm going back to University

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Mecha, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Mecha

    Mecha Bit Poster

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    I've been pndering the decision over the past 2 or so weeks about going back to uni, and I've decided I think it's going to be good for me..

    I graduated last year from a Computer Networking degree, and got a job as an IT administrator in London. Whilst I do enjoy the job a lot I just don't know if I am happy in the future route. I know the degree route is hard but I think it's worth it for the degree I want.

    It is a MSc in Information Security at the Royal Holloway University which is very good for the MSc and has a lot of speakers, etc who help out at the university. It's a very good course but I am unsure if I can do it part time right now. I work in South London and live in Bedfordshire and the travelling is gruelling as it is, so doing 1 day a week at uni will finish me off.

    Anyways, I know degrees here are not in everyone's high list, but I REALLY have the urge to do this and get my masters, and possibly gain an analyst job in network security, or general information security. Has anyone else taken this route, or is anyone right now in a security job? I know the benefits of working from scratch, but I have seen a large increase in governmental jobs looking for penetration testers, network intrusion technicians, etc

    Anyways, it's exciting! and expensive (£4k) :(
     
    Certifications: BSc Networking, A+ (601)
    WIP: MSc InfoSec, S+, CISMP, IA ISO27001
  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I'd recommend doing it... but not at the expense of getting full-time real-world experience. Few companies are gonna hire a degreed "network security guy" who has neither secured nor administered networks.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  3. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    That course is very well regarded in the UK by academics and commerce.

    My only comment would be the same as BM's tho' - experience is the key, especially where security is concerned.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  4. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Could you not just look for a related masters closer to you and do it part time? My local uni's (liverpool, john moores, hope) all do part time masters that take 2 years instead of 1. That way you can stay employed while you learn. It also enables you to apply for IT Sec jobs in the mean time as any day job shouldn't be a problem if you are studying part time.

    I know its going to be a lot of work but right now I work full time plus do easy 20 hours study of my own a week and I manage. Jim
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  5. Mecha

    Mecha Bit Poster

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    My closets uni is Bedfordshire, where calsses start at 6pm, the closest near where I work is probably University of Royal Holloway, again classes start at 6!

    I finish work @5.30, so you can kinda see where my problem is!

    I'll reply better when I'm back from work.
     
    Certifications: BSc Networking, A+ (601)
    WIP: MSc InfoSec, S+, CISMP, IA ISO27001
  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Every employer I've ever had has been willing to be flexible on hours to allow me to improve myself. Have you asked?
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  7. Mecha

    Mecha Bit Poster

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    I know about the real world experience part of things (as in I know it's beneficial, not that I have the real world experience!) but to be honest mate, I'm fed up of the catch -22 system. I'll strugle to find real world experience with the lack of knowledge, and that's why I wanted to go back to do the masters. I did do my Networking BSc and found a job involving a heavy amount of networking (completly different to what I learnt albeit), but I do believe that this country favours a huge amount in graduates in specified technical courses.

    This is more than a network security course, it's a lot more than that with more aspects. But I do take your advice with no jest. I'm still 50/50 whether to do the university/work route, or just work to try and gain experience then certs, but I'm can't get it with this current job! What I'm doing now is essentially 1st-3rd line, but really it's 2nd-3rd line, there are only 2 of us who use the helpdesk, that stretches to 3/4 if serious issues arise like MPLS, firewalls, etc. I do administer networks, but we have so many around the world that it's only a small part I play right now which is cool, but I still feel this job is getting me prepared to get more in another role/company, rather than progression in this role/company (because there isn't, right now).

    I still feel with the announcement that the UK are going to be pushing the national computer security issue in a HUGE way in the next 5 or so years that this will be extremly beneficial. Recent news has also pushed the fact that UK will be looking for younger talent people to train, and not only this, the jobs I have been looking at have noted exclusively that there will be weeks worth of training. GCHQ, Mi5, HSBC and more importantly, other government departments also provide training, provided you have a masters.

    So I'm not really TOO worried about not having extreme hands on experience, as this is a different kettle of fish to just "security". They also do it as a BSc, so I am guessing an 18-year old student wouldn't have a huge amount of experience either?

    Here's more info on the course: http://isg.rhul.ac.uk/msc
     
    Certifications: BSc Networking, A+ (601)
    WIP: MSc InfoSec, S+, CISMP, IA ISO27001
  8. Mecha

    Mecha Bit Poster

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    I've linked you to the wrong news story! But it contains a slight amount of info there about GCHQ
     
    Certifications: BSc Networking, A+ (601)
    WIP: MSc InfoSec, S+, CISMP, IA ISO27001
  9. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Why not apply direct to GCHQ now ?

    Last time I looked they weren't exactly paying Masters level salaries. They probably also have their own training scheme meaning that a security masters may not be necessary ?
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  10. Nursa

    Nursa Bit Poster

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    Sorry to hijack your thread but I've been after some advice from some one who has studied a degree in computing. If you have time could you have a quick scan of this thread I made - http://www.certforums.co.uk/forums/thread33679.html

    The course I was looking at was a part time foundation degree but it covers a wide area of IT which some I'm not intrested in eg programming (link to course in first post). You said you studied a degree in networking which is the route which I would like to take in my IT carrer. Could you leave me some advice / share your experience in my thread regarding to your course please!! It would be massively appreciated :D
     
    Certifications: BTEC in Computing
    WIP: A+
  11. Mecha

    Mecha Bit Poster

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    I Have done already! The jobs available are pen testing, network intrusion detection, etc. 10 weeks of training. I just have to wait to hear back from them, if I ever will. I guess if I don't then I'll make the MSc a more of a possible goal.
     
    Certifications: BSc Networking, A+ (601)
    WIP: MSc InfoSec, S+, CISMP, IA ISO27001
  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    There's really no Catch-22, mate. You start at the bottom (where 99% of people without experience start), then you gain experience while working your way up, and next thing you know, you're securing administering networks. Just takes time - time that it seems you're not willing to spend... but you ARE willing to spend on a course??

    Now, see, that information helps me to give you better advice. You're GETTING the experience you need NOW. A Master's degree isn't going to automagically give you a huge advantage... but that experience will. MORE degrees and MORE certifications won't automagically cause employers to hire you to secure networks until you get experience helping to secure networks. Again, there's no Catch-22... you are getting experience now. Might not be MPLS or firewalls every day... but you're learning as you administer it. Once you feel like you've learned all you can, make a job switch - a lateral one if you must - that enables you to get MORE of that experience. Eventually, you'll be doing it on your own at one job or another... and mentoring your own batch of "newbies".
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  13. dazza786

    dazza786 Megabyte Poster

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    This word will never cease to amaze me... it's just brilliance.
    I use it whenever I can!
     
    Certifications: MCP (271, 272, 270, 290, 291, 621, 681, 685), MCDST, MCTS, MCITP, MCSA, Security+, CCA(XA6.5)
  14. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    :thumbleft

    Can't remember where I got it from. Feel free to use it!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!

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