Thanks for taking my question seriously, guys. I was afraid that I'd get criticism for asking such a basic question.
tturner wrote:Bottom line, suck it up, do your time in the trenches.
I'm all about paying my dues (despite the fact that I'd be 26 by the time I graduate ... 2 yrs in military and 2yrs in non-tech job). If I have two years left until I graduate, do you think that I'd be able to do my time in the trenches at a Help Desk Level I before graduating? I really want to start at Level II at the least after graduating...
While you might get lucky enough to find somewhere that'll hire you or start you directly in security, you'll usually find that the folks, who are even remotely 'active' and well-versed in security, are those who have seen and worked in standard IT roles. You get a feel for users, networking, problem remediation, etc, that just going straight from a security course or book, very likely, will NOT teach you.
I don't believe I'll be that one "lucky" guy to get hired straight into a security job. Just not gonna happen - skills would be insufficient, and, I also believe these jobs ought to be viewed as a privilege.
But speaking of things that courses and books cannot teach you, is it a waste of time for me to take two pre-requisite math courses just to take some network security courses? I mean, I already have Calculus sequence down, but the "security" courses that I want to register for require a sequence of analytical and mathematical courses. Would I be better-off just doing self-study for security/hacking skills? I ask, because I'm sorta questioning the practical importance of mathematics in a security career.
But if you say that I should "understand" how computers work, would the following courses be relevant?
2.) Verification/QA Testing
3.) Database Application Development (A sequel to a comprehensive database course).
Or am I better-off using this time on self-studying directly relevant material (personal projects, security concepts, hacking, etc.)?
If I REALLY put my heart into it, how long would it take for me to climb my way up to a network administrator position? I understand the answer to this question is always "it depends", but I'm just seeking a rough approximation - as in "Help Desk I/II - X years" ---> "Help Desk III - X years" --->
? ---> Network Admin ---> Profit.