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Planning a career in information security. Any tips and recommendations for me?

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Green

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:44 pm

Planning a career in information security. Any tips and recommendations for me?

Greetings

I'm currently at my last year in high school (I think, translated to the American school system), and I'm planning to study something called Science in Information Security at Gjøvik here in Norway when I’m finished. This degree supposedly has to do with computers and information security, and I in theory this should suit me fine.  I don’t think there are any equivalents to this degree in Norway, but theres probably one somewhere else in the world. ;) The school in Gjøvik claims to be famed for their work in information security and has supposedly been doing great things with biometrics and the like, and I’ve heard people say it’s a great school even slightly renowned.

Anyway, I chose this degree because it seemed to me to be pretty much a Computer Science degree, but more related to security and to be something that would lead me to a career in information security, and I also thought it would be a better than a degree in Computer Science and Computer Engineering for starting working with information security. But I could of course be wrong, so that’s why I’m asking here. 

Would studying something like Science in Information Security be a good way to start a career in information security or are there other degrees that are actually more preferred? I’m planning on taking the degree because I’m interested in computers and security, and I also actually know a guy who works with information security and he have told me a lot about infosec and it seems interesting. But how does information security differ from things like Computer Science? What Computer Science skills are applied in information security and which are not? And how is information security and math? I’m sorry if all this seems a bit incoherent, but I’m a bit confused with all the choices and the subjects and field overlapping each other. So I would be very happy if people could tell me if my plan above is a good one for starting working with information security? I should maybe be a bit more precise about what exactly I want to work with in infosec and I think penetration testing and system administrator things related to security seem like the most interesting. And last, is the pay any good compared to for example a programming job? 

Many thanks in advance
- Green
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Dengar13

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Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:36 pm

Re: Planning a career in information security. Any tips and recommendations for me?

Howdy Green...welcome to the forum.

Would studying something like Science in Information Security be a good way to start a career in information security or are there other degrees that are actually more preferred? 

I think that depends on the job market where you are.  If you were in the United States, I would say it would help you get in the door for an interview.  You are on your own from there.

But how does information security differ from things like Computer Science? 

I find that computer science concentrates harder on programming, and object oriented programming, imo.  Information security would probably focus on forensics, incedent handling/management, etc.

What Computer Science skills are applied in information security and which are not? 

Kind of hard to say.  Depends on what your function is in the information security field.

And how is information security and math? 

I don't think I quite follow.  Are you asking the difficulty or the quality?  If you are starting out as a Freshman (first year student in the U.S.) then it may be rudimentary or pretty tough depending on your professor.

And last, is the pay any good compared to for example a programming job? 

Depends on the targeted job market.  I have seen some really good paying jobs for both.  Sorry if that is wishy-washy, but these are hard questions to answer not knowing the job market, job functions, etc.

Well, I tried to answer all of your questions and wish you good luck in whatever you choose.  The best thing to do is research each school, see if you can find job forecasts in your area, secrh the current job market, try to gain experience any way you can, and study your ass off.  If you do this you will do quite well.

Later!
A+, Net+, MCP, CEH
MCSE: Security/Messaging
MCSA: Security/Messaging
Former U.S. Marine and damn proud of it!
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oneeyedcarmen

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Post Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:04 pm

Re: Planning a career in information security. Any tips and recommendations for me?

Martin Mckeay interviewed Mike Murray and Lee Kushner over on the Network Security Podcast regarding their DefCon talk about this exact topic.

Highly recommended for anyone just getting started.

Happy listening
Reluctant CISSP, Certified ASS
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dalepearson

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Post Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:44 pm

Re: Planning a career in information security. Any tips and recommendations for me?

Personally I think any study will help you identify if InfoSec is something you have a flare and passion for, so its a great step in the right direction. Obviously I cant comment on the place of education you will be visiting, but here in the UK it appears there are not many InfoSec specific degrees, and those that mention it seem to be abit out dated in my mind (something I am trying to improve locally, by offering my time).

I would say what ever you do, if you have an interest you will be fine, as you will make further study in your own time, or up to date, current InfoSec issues, tools and more.

As for the pay, I HATE programming, always have :) but I find programmers seem to earn more money in the early days, and then sort of hit a block, where in InfoSec the good money comes later.

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