Here is what I plan to do:
Since I am working full time, I can only do part-time courses for now. First, I am doing an Advanced C and Unix course (focusing on system level programming). Along with this, I am reading extensively on network fundamentals (I did not have a lot of Comp/ IT subjects in my college curriculum). Once I complete the C and Unix Course, which is about 6-8 months long, I plan on doing a CCNA certification.
I feel that by doing the above two courses, I will have the required knowledge to either get an entry- level job in a security capacity in an IT firm or be in a position to apply for a Master's program in InfoSec from a reputable university in the USA or Europe. The course that I have found most interesting is the one offered by the Information Security Institute at the Johns Hopkins University. Please can you also tell me which other colleges I can apply to? I would appreciate any guidance that you can offer me. As you may have realized from what I have said so far, my plans are kind of long term, but I want to be sure that I am moving in the right direction. Thanks in advance.
That said, the tendency to hire entry-level people who don't already have an advanced degree or at least four-five years of IT experience (usually as a network or systems administrator, in a job with some security component, if not an outright security focus) is pretty darn low. That's why I have to applaud your decision to pursue a master's in information security. You can add any of the so-called "National Centers of Academic Excellence" recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) to your list of candidate schools. Read more about these at http://www.nsa.gov/ia/academia/caeiae.cfm.
With a degree from one of these programs under your belt, you'll get access to the school's outplacement office and find doors to all kinds of interesting jobs opening to you. Good luck in your career and certification planning.
Additional Expert Help:
Be sure to check our Answer FAQ for more expert advice.
For faster answers, visit ITKnowledge Exchange.
Dig Deeper on Microsoft Certifications
Related Q&A from Ed Tittel, Networking Career, Certification Expert
The cyber security skills shortage comes from an aging workforce and lack of interest in security among students. Emphasis must be put on education ...continue reading
Career expert Ed Tittel offers his thoughts on the value PRINCE2 has in today's IT job industry.continue reading
Career expert Ed Tittel provides advice for the best way to get started when entering the IT job market.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.