Paranoids are just people with all the facts.

Thank you, Uncle Warren, for teaching me that at a young age.

I’m screaming inside. A long, keening scream that doesn’t seem to be stopping.

Half of the scream is abject terror. I graduate in less than two months. I need to find a job, anywhere in the world, that I want to do and will feed my family. I have only so much money to do so.

I’m graduating with a two year degree in as a Network Security Specialist from Madison Area Technical College. I’m a fairly smart man, and am doing well in my classes. However, the main thing I have learned is that I don’t know a damned thing about security.

The field is too huge. I think/know I want to move into Risk Assessment and Pentesting, but I certainly don’t know enough to begin with that right now. I’m unsure where to go to get the work experience I’ll need to move into those fields. If I can’t find something, I’ll end up in some backend IT office, doing gods know what.

The other half is screaming with joy.

I’ve been wanting to go to college for computers since I was 16 years old. I had great ACT scores and crap grades, because I was bored and angry in high school. So, schools I could not afford (no matter the financial aid involved) accepted me. Schools I could afford waitlisted me. I moved into the workforce, and never got to look back. When scraping together enough money for whiskey, rent, and ramen take up most of your time, school is far from your mind.

Here I am! I got laid off, and got to go to school! Sure, it’s not a four year degree, but how much better would a BS in Computer Science really be? Either way, you come out of school and need two years experience to get your CISSP.

I finally get to do what I’ve always wanted. I love the puzzle of computer security, and I love the idea of helping people with their information. It’s the information age, and the web is one of the more incredible (and more dangerous) things in our lives.

I just hope I can make this work.

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~ by Benjamin Kenneally on March 24, 2011.

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