I am in the military. Been in for about 11 years now trained as a network/system administrator. I currently own (lead) about 5 networks supporting 80 people with day to day operations and maintenance with some repair/rebuilds as required. I work on Server 2003, cisco routers/switches/redhat/solaris/slackware/ubuntu/win XP/mint and various other OS's including VMware.
I am sick and tired of the customer service part of this job. I only have 2 guys underneath of me, and its not going to get any better for a while. I get to retire in 10 years and in those 10 years I want to improve my resume enough where i can walk out of the military and become a strong freelance pen tester/consultant. I have a multitude of resources at my disposal and the military will pay for me to get any of these certifications:
A+ (taking in 2 weeks)
Sec+ (taking in 3 weeks)
All of the homeland security certs
Fiber installer (FOI)
Fiber Technician (FOT)
Oracle/Solaris 10 SA
So as you can see I have a ton of resources to get all the study material and knock out certifications. I know its not about certifications and in 10 years many of these will not matter and the tech is going to evolve and change. I am a complete newb in terms of programming (i can do basic linux programming) and need a place to really start my research and grow into it. going through the security + student guide has really opened my eyes to how much I want to do this stuff. I just need to know which string I should start pulling first. Server maintenance, workstation trouble calls are taking the life out of me. I have been playing with McAfee Host Prevention system and its a cool program. Very detailed and dependent on databases. but its still feels like maintenance and defense. I am ready for some offense, or at least wanting to learn how to be offensive in security. Thanks for the help.
oh yeah first post. sorry if I missed a post that states my answer, but most of the "i need advice" posts were individuals junior in IT. I have built many networks from scratch in the middle of the desert to having people setup talking on video teleconference phones the following week over voip.
A+ | Sec+
So much more to learn...