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  1. #1
    PhoenixHD is offline Registered User
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    Suggestions? Cyber Security.

    Hello! Pleasure to meet you! Anyhow, let's get down to business shall we?

    I am interested in getting a degree in Cyber Security, always found it interesting. Thanks to movies and the like. Now, I understand that there is A LOT of difference between movies and life, just that got me interested. I have no experience but willing to work my butt off to study and understand Cyber Security. So here is some questions for those knowledgeable.

    1: Okay, first off, since this will be the first time into the IT / Tech related field. Is there any books, online videos, etc. that would help me to prepare?

    2: What colleges offer an online Bachelor's in Cyber Security / Information Security / Information Analysis, etc.? I was thinking of DSU, thanks to other threads that I have read.

    3: In your experience, how much did Financial Aid pay for you tuition? How long did it take you to pay? Things like that.

    Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks for reading and hope to read a plethora of responses. Look at me and some of the big words.

  2. #2
    instant000 is offline Registered User
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    1.

    Books: Concentrate on books that describe computing in general, then dig into specific hardware and software, and understand the technology behind those, then go further. You might get a better idea on the type of books you would want to read, after looking at the videos below. Since you're so new, I'd just say find a basic technical school curriculum, and emulate it.

    Also, research laws surrounding computers/privacy/etc.

    Online Videos: Professor Messer, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Linux, Microsoft Certification Training

    This has a good series of free videos, to help you understand some basics.
    I would recommend viewing in this order: A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Windows

    Etc.: Make a home lab. It won't take much. You might want to figure out virtualization.

    2. I'd recommend Fort Hays State or WGU for your purposes. Please note that WGU is not likely to admit you since you do not appear to have a certification, which would reflect on your ability to self-study, since it is such a hands-off style of education .

    3. Student loans covered the entire tuition. WGU is so inexpensive, that I paid off my student loans within a month of completing the courses.
    MS, Information Security and Assurance, Western Governor's University, 2013
    BS, Information Systems, American Sentinel University, 2010
    CISSP | CCDP| CCNP | CCDA | CCNA | CCNA Security |ITILv3F | MCSE | MCSA | MCP | Security+ | A+ | Network+ | Server+
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from DegreeInfo.com!)

  3. #3
    PhoenixHD is offline Registered User
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    Instant,

    Thanks for the response. =D What do you mean by a home lab? Also, if building a couple of computers, etc. Would that also help when dealing with hardware and software? Watching the Videos you linked as well. As for Fort Hays and WGU , not sure about WGU , as you said they will not likely admit me. As for Fort Hays, they offer a "Bachelor of Science in Information Networking and Telecommunications Computer Networking ". Not sure if it's specialized in anyway. In your opinion, how much would a Certificate cost? I mean for everything, I am interested in that if WGU would be the way to go.

  4. #4
    PhoenixHD is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by instant000 View Post
    1.

    Books: Concentrate on books that describe computing in general, then dig into specific hardware and software, and understand the technology behind those, then go further. You might get a better idea on the type of books you would want to read, after looking at the videos below. Since you're so new, I'd just say find a basic technical school curriculum, and emulate it.

    Also, research laws surrounding computers/privacy/etc.

    Online Videos: Professor Messer, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Linux, Microsoft Certification Training

    This has a good series of free videos, to help you understand some basics.
    I would recommend viewing in this order: A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Windows

    Etc.: Make a home lab. It won't take much. You might want to figure out virtualization.

    2. I'd recommend Fort Hays State or WGU for your purposes. Please note that WGU is not likely to admit you since you do not appear to have a certification, which would reflect on your ability to self-study, since it is such a hands-off style of education .

    3. Student loans covered the entire tuition. WGU is so inexpensive, that I paid off my student loans within a month of completing the courses.
    Thanks for replying. Watched some of the videos from Professor Messer, have him bookmarked and going to watch some more. When you say home lab, may I ask what you mean? Also, would building computers be part of the hardware and software that you mentioned? I've also looked at the degree you are talking about at Fort Hays, just not sure if it's more a specialized or a general type IT course. Yeah, wish I was able to apply to WGU but not able to, not certification or prior College education /experience. Speaking of certification, how much is one? Say the CompTIA A+ one, wondering if I should try to get it first before doing a degree.

  5. #5
    MichaelRea is offline Registered User
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    Everything instant said. You need a strong foundation in networking before you should really even think about security.

    Now for instant2000, what was your thoughts on WGU 's program?

  6. #6
    instant000 is offline Registered User
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    MichaelRea:

    My thoughts on WGU 's program is that it is probably most appropriate for someone with experience in the field who is also an individual learner. I tried to sway the original poster from WGU , since I figured he/she did not have any certifications yet.

    PhoenixHD:

    1 - Home Lab? By this, I mean making your own computing environment. Due to virtualization technologies, it is possible to emulate server/network resources within a host.

    2 - Would building computers help? Yes, building computers would help initially, to figure out how the components work. Keep in mind that the components are a lot more intricate that most people really deal with on a day-to-day basis. Also, it's so inexpensive to replace the parts, that you won't be usually doing in-depth diagnostics for a PC.

    3 - How much does a certificate cost? To be clear, the certifications that I was referring to, A+, Network+, Security+, are generally inexpensive, around $300 each or so, I believ. The link to their costs: Exam Prices . I say this is generally inexpensive, because I'm pursuing one right now that's over $1,500. What you need to consider is the return on investment for the certifications. If you want a cheaper one, A+ is less than $200 right now. (Disclaimer: these certs have maintenance fees, too!)

    3 - Which cert to pursue first? I would recommend that you figure out how computers and stuff work first, and then worry about a certification. I don't want you placing the cart before the horse. After getting a general background, then maybe A+. I would advise waiting first, though, as you may decide A+ isn't for you. This is why I recommended viewing the videos first, so you could get an idea of what you were really interested in.

    4 - Fort Hays bachelor degree specializations:
    You can do the B.S. in Information Networking (looks interesting)
    Information Networking & Telecommunications (Computer Networking) - Fort Hays State University

    Or, you can do a general studies degree, and make-your-own:
    General Studies INT - Fort Hays State University

    There's also web development on their site, if you're into that.

    Hope this helps.
    MS, Information Security and Assurance, Western Governor's University, 2013
    BS, Information Systems, American Sentinel University, 2010
    CISSP | CCDP| CCNP | CCDA | CCNA | CCNA Security |ITILv3F | MCSE | MCSA | MCP | Security+ | A+ | Network+ | Server+
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from DegreeInfo.com!)

  7. #7
    instant000 is offline Registered User
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    Hah.

    I appeared to get stuck on three above.

    That made me think of this:

    Classic Tootsie Roll Commercial - "How Many Licks" - YouTube
    MS, Information Security and Assurance, Western Governor's University, 2013
    BS, Information Systems, American Sentinel University, 2010
    CISSP | CCDP| CCNP | CCDA | CCNA | CCNA Security |ITILv3F | MCSE | MCSA | MCP | Security+ | A+ | Network+ | Server+
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from DegreeInfo.com!)

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  9. #8
    jhp
    jhp is offline Registered User
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    Look into Delaware's Wilmington University "Network and Computer Security" degree.

    You can do it 100% online, and their $/credit is one of the lowest I have seen. Same for in or out of State students.

  10. #9
    PhoenixHD is offline Registered User
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    Is there any other Colleges that are recommend besides Fort Hays that would be a good starting point for the IT career? Seeing as Dakota State would probably be to specialized for me to follow at the beginning, unless I had prior IT knowledge relating to their classes.

    As for building computers, I have actually done that. Ordering all the parts online, putting them together, getting everything up to date with drivers, software and the like.

  11. #10
    dlbb is offline Registered User
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    The responses you received inadequately responded to your question. The books recommended were poor and had no relationship to Cyber Security, although they would serve to build a basic understanding of IT.

    I would recommend the following:
    The Web Application Handbook
    The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws: Dafydd Stuttard, Marcus Pinto: 9781118026472: Amazon.com: Books

    The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing, Second Edition: Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Made Easy
    Amazon.com: The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing: Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Made Easy eBook: Patrick Engebretson: Kindle Store

    Metasploit: The Penetration Tester's Guide by David Kennedy, Jim O'Gorman, Devon Kearns, and Mati Aharoni

    I would start with the first two before touching the third. The first deals with hacking web sites. The second concerns network penetration. The third involves a powerful hacking program, but you should have the knowledge contained in the other two books first. The books recommended to you would have little to no coverage on cyber security. Cyber security is not something that IT professionals simply intuitively know if they have a foundation in other areas of IT/CS.

    As for videos, I would read the above mentioned books and look for online tutorials for concepts in them.

    You do want to try and replicate these in a home lab, such as VMWare Player. I would recommend downloading Backtrack 5 r3 or Kali Linux. These are special Linux operating system distributions that are designed for cyber security / penetration testing. If you do not have experience with Linux, it may be confusing, but follow along in the books, while searching google and youtube when in need of help about specific topics.

    While my advice above is specific for where to go if you want to learn about cyber security, you do also need - as some of the others have stated - a foundation in the basics. This would including networking as well as general computing. If you do not have knowledge of the basics, knowledge of cyber security would be of limited use.

    I would not recommend WGU to someone who doesn't already have a degree and is trying to gain an education . That is designed more for people who already are educated and are good at self study and want a credential.

    I would start with a community college perhaps and take some lower level computer colleges in person, if you are able to do so. I think computer courses would be easier done in person for a novice. If that is unavailable or unthinkable for you, there are lower level courses offered through a variety of schools, including many community colleges. Then think about transferring to a state school with an online presence, such as DSU. I did look at DSU's site and do note that they have offer some online associate degrees in related fields. Again though I would recommend if possibly taking some courses in person to see how well you take to learning the material. Try one or two online classes to see if you have the discipline and time management skills. Then move forward with an online program if you so desire. Avoid any for-profit schools or schools that are not regionally accredited. I would avoid anything associated with what people on this board call "the big three ." Education is not a credential. It is an opportunity for you to gain knowledge and mastery of a discipline to serve you in building a career and future for yourself.

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