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Questions From a Retiree

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CyCurious

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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:46 am

Questions From a Retiree

Hello guys and gals of EH!

I've noticed that for some reason it is the younger folks and folks in the middle of their careers that are asking questions over here; why is that? Just kidding

I've recently taken a medical retirement and have been searching for the meaning of life. Ok, ok, I've been looking for something meaningful--and challenging--to do, which would, ideally, also supplement my disability income. And here I am.

There are a few questions that I'd like to ask, but most of them are conditional on the one that I'm going to start with. But first, let me give you some relevant background.

After having completed my degree in electrical engineering in the early 80s, I worked as an engineer for about eight years, then changed careers and did a couple of advanced degrees in totally unrelated fields. Yet, I had to move in 1999 and changed track again: in 2000, I completed a two year diploma in programming (C, C++, VB, HTML, Hardware, Networking) and worked for a year as a programmer analyst. Had to move again and returned to my old, unrelated, career until retirement. I'm 55, and here's my question.

Assuming I did a lot of reading etc., did a few levels at the Hacking Dojo, took an online course from Offensive Security, and eventually took and passed a certification exam, such as OSCP, do you think it would be possible at all for someone like me, who didn't really have any meaningful career in the industry, to find a part-time freelance job in penetration testing?

Many thanks.

P.S. I'm located in Canada
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sternone

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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:09 am

Re: Questions From a Retiree

Sure, why not. In life, everything is possible. The Question is: How hard do you want it, and how much sacrifice are you willing to deliver ?

Nothing comes easy. There are way more easier things to choose in life than being a good Pentester. Pentesting demands it all from you, and then even more.
Try harder....hmpf!!
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CyCurious

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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:22 am

Re: Questions From a Retiree

Having always been a workaholic and having studied a lot in my life, I'm not afraid of sacrifice if by that you mean the time and energy. Pentesting seems like an exciting and challenging work, and that's what looks attractive to me.
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Grendel

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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:29 am

Re: Questions From a Retiree

Currently there is a dearth of professional penetration testers in the field - companies are finally realizing that they need to improve their security posture in order to stay competitive (it's not just an expense for them anymore - it's a business incentive).

Considering a lot of work in this field is also being done remotely and through the use of conference calls, I think age, handicaps and limitations of any sort will soon be immaterial in this job. So yeah, go for it.
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CyCurious

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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:34 am

Re: Questions From a Retiree

Thanks for the encouraging post, Grendel.
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Jamie.R

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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:09 pm

Re: Questions From a Retiree

I think its possible for anyone to do anything if you just follow your heart and work hard it will come maybe not a day a week or a month but once people see your pashion about something that counts for a lot.
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hayabusa

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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:39 pm

Re: Questions From a Retiree

Grendel wrote:Currently there is a dearth of professional penetration testers in the field - companies are finally realizing that they need to improve their security posture in order to stay competitive (it's not just an expense for them anymore - it's a business incentive).

Considering a lot of work in this field is also being done remotely and through the use of conference calls, I think age, handicaps and limitations of any sort will soon be immaterial in this job. So yeah, go for it.


<what he said ^ >
~ hayabusa ~ 

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'


OSCE, OSCP , GPEN, C|EH
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jjwinter

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Post Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:56 pm

Re: Questions From a Retiree

If you can pull off a certain amount of gravitas, your age could be a bonus. I would think that most potential clients would really just care that you seem to know what you are doing, and you present yourself well. And that you can document your findings in a way that management can grasp, and enough technical knowledge to demonstrate expertise to their internal IT staff.
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Jamie.R

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Post Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:15 am

Re: Questions From a Retiree

Yes I cant agree with jjwinter more its all about how skilled you are and how you come across.
| OSWP | eCPPT Silver and Gold | eWPT |

I'm an InterN0T'er
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CyCurious

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Post Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:26 am

Re: Questions From a Retiree

Thanks for you feedback, guys! I'm still excited about PT, and I think I'm going to start by reviewing my TCP/IP, Assembly, UNIX, C++, and perhaps by giving a shot to the Dojo for a month to see if I like it over there. I'd be interested in reading a more up-to-date comparative review of the training courses, but perhaps I should create a new topic on a different board for that.

Thank you all
Last edited by CyCurious on Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dynamik

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Post Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:08 am

Re: Questions From a Retiree

CyCurious wrote:Thanks for you feedback, guys! I'm still excited about PT, and I think I'm going to start by reviewing my TCP/IP, Assembly, UNIX, C++, and perhaps by giving a shot to the Dojo for a month to see if I like it over there. I'd be interested in reading a more up-to-date comparative review of the training courses, but perhaps I should create a new topic on a different board for that.

Thank you all


That'll all give you a solid foundation. The Dojo is probably a good place for you to start. It can be beneficial to have someone to ask questions to when you're just getting started. There's several other high-quality training providers out there, but the majority are self-study. While they often have forums and/or IRC channels available, you're usually left to your own devices and told to try harder. That's great if you're trying to take your skills to the next left, but it can be discouraging for novices who are just starting out.
The day you stop learning is the day you start becoming obsolete.

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