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Career Change, Looking for a place to start?



Hello all!

It has been a while since I have posted as I have been busy with IRL.

I was wondering if you enigmatic people would be able to help me with something.

So long story short. I currently work in the field of healthcare. I have been doing it for 4 years post military. I have come to realise that this is not the career for me.

Now I have always been interested in security / pen-testing (Physical/software/infrastructure). However I have no formal education in this and I would probably be the first to admit that I have got lucky and brute forced a few old routers for the wifi password all my own hardware but still.

I have been told that a good place to start is obtaining CompTia Securty+ certification. I would like to slowly migrate to security consultancy however I am bare bones no clue where to start.

Do you guys think you could point me in the right direction?

Also I have noticed for many IT jobs you need to have experience to start. How do people obtain the first 3-5 years experience?


Ultirian. :slight_smile:


1st thing you need is computer repair and networking
while you dont have to be world class it you do need familiarity of them.
second you need to choose good quality forensic distros, and get a collection of rescue, partitioning, and wiping software.

caine, parrot, Kali, Cyborg hawk,
these are 4 very powerful forensic distros (but there are quite a few more).
Viking Iso, rescatux, hirens boot cd, are good rescue and recovery (but there are a lot more also).
Parted magic, partition wizard, Gparted are 3 very good partitioning software (and are often included in a lot of distros).

D-ban (Dariks boot and nuke) (wipes a drive 37 times, far beyond DoD requirements) I use this to forensically sterilize drives.
but drive wiping apps are included in many distros or can be downloaded from their repositories

these ones are linux and Free,
Im sure you can find windows based or mac based apps as well but your going to pay hefty costs for them


@Gnuuser Thanks for the heads up, I will look into these things,

Do you know of any courses that can help me get my foot in the door or?


there are numerous places you can start
Cie Bookstore, Kahns acadamy, Mit open courses, Ics, to name a few
but there are also a lot of professional online courses you can take as well that can provide you with degrees in IT. and computer sciences.
Kahns acadamy and MIt open courses are free, but cie bookstore and ICS does cost a bit (But not a large amount by any means)

but Ics may be a bit outdated as far as their materials are concerned


Thanks for the heads up @Gnuuser much appreciated. :slight_smile:


i highly doubt that.

i switched careers in 2017 and even tho i know how to fix PCs that did a) not qualify me for any job (expect the kind of low paying soulless jobs you dont want to have) and b) it is not a requirement for most IT jobs.

If you want to go into Sec/Net, get familiar with how and why you are doing what you are doing AND you need something to show a potential employer to proof that you actually have the knowledge.

I would suggest you get yourself some certificates.


there are certificates that are truly beneficial (LPIC-1/-2) Linux Certs and some that are bullshit and will not get you far (Comptia Linux+).

You will need at least LPIC-2 (or similar) to enter a sec position and something regarding networking, but im not sure what kind of Cert is valuable in that regard.

At least thats my suggestion since thats how I did it.

Good luck buddy!


Ok you said you are ex-military but not interested in health care but something more easy to qualify for and probably pays good are you also looking at working for security companies both small and large and even working overseas?


Thanks for the info. As I am starting from scratch I do not really want to be wasting money on pointless certs really. :slight_smile: Many thanks.


@CPUBG Yeah do not mind where I work in the world. I dont really mind if its tricky to get the qualification I can work towards it. I was more looking for a starting point to start from as I am a bit lost. When you google stuff you get hammered hard with a bunch of certs. Many look pointless etc.


computer repair may not be necessary but does not hurt a bit to have that knowledge.
while working IT there is times that skill will come in handy.


Where do i start buddy


by necroing a thread with a rhetorical question without content, I assume.



Im not sure where to start what to start with , but i really need to do something in this field. I was just looking up exactly what you mentioned. I never knew about these certs because no one tells you, they just tell you to get certs and that’s about where the conversation ends. but i like how you named LPIC-1/-2 , which now i’m going for thanks to you, I’m genuinely asking for help

  1. figure out what exactly do you wanna do.
  • Networking?
  • Security?
  • Operations?
  • Support?
  1. find out what certs and other skills will be most beneficial to that exact field you chose
  • google the shit outta that topic
  • look for job openings to find out what the requirements are
  • make a list of tools / technologies / kind of actual work that position would do
  • find out what certs mostly match the job requirements
  1. learn that shit like your life depends on it because it does
  • read books about that topic
  • do projects
  • try stuff
  • play around with it
  • do it 12 hours a day
  • get active in this and other forums to find out more from people who work with that tech on a daily basis
  1. actually get the job you want
  • feel like the man
  • make money
  • live a happy life
  • dont stop
  • get better
  1. become more than you were by becoming your destiny
  • get immortal
  • become god

im at step 4 right now, working towards step 5.

step 1-3 are tough.

step 4 is awesome

step 5 is the burden of men.

(im kinda joking about step 5)


I hear you brother , every time i deterred from this field in hopelessness nothing good happens. It’s fear, i don’t want to get the wrong certs, or the certs i could have just not done.

As a person in that world, would networking still be a good choice? i have been hearing about networking since 2013, along with QA *software testing) bootcamps and stuff. just really not trying to go for something that won’t be worth it.

How long did steps 1-3 take you? cause i’m on step 0


So the result is that you dont do any certs, dont get any knowledge and dont make any progress.

I know how that feels and I would suggest without getting too personal or getting into your shit (at all): Look at it like something you are doing because that is what you should be doing. That doesn’t mean its fun. That doesnt mean its easy and that doesnt mean that you will feel like shit when you fail at it.

But staying stationary is worse: you dont move but deteriorate while everybody else moves forward.

I would rather say networking than qa. qa is fairly low paying without much possiblity of raising. Networking on the other hand is way better because it opens up more potential to get deeper into it and make yourself more valuable.

Broke, depressed af & unenemployed without any skill / qualification in mid 2016. Started do play around with linux on my old macbook. started certs in march 2017. finished a month early with lpic-1, itil foundation, comptia linux+ and borrowed money from my parents to pay for the exams for lpic-2. did all those, got hired after that, right away into 1rst/2nd support for a hosting company. worked my way up as quick as possible (not willingly but just because i like working and the job and tried to be as good as possible at it) and switched jobs. now im doing 3rd lvl support and consulting. pay went up 30% from starting IT to now, in a year.

so step 1-3 was a year.

when i was doing certs:

everybody would do the stuff the teacher (it was a trainingcourse with exams at the end) told them to do on debian. I use fedora since i started on my macbook, so while at the training i would have debian and a vm with fedora and did every task on both distros. for 8 hours, double workload, went home and either read more about linux and hosts and stuff and played with linux for another 2 hours, everyday. weekends the same. before every exam i ran so many test runs until i got a solid 95% for 10 runs straight. I havent failed a single exam in 5 month totalling 7 exams, so every 3 weeks an exam i passed first try.

for 5 months without any pay worked like obsessed for 60+ hours a week because i want to get everything i could out of it, and i did.

and that was extremely hard, wasnt fun, didnt went out, didnt do anything beside linux.

do that but with what you got and work your fucking ass off.

you will get there


you have to become your master of your own destiny and take control over it.

otherwise you wont have the strength to do it.

here are somethings that seem unrelated but truly, truly arent:


Jordan peterson, insightful guy. man i wish i found his lectures in 2015

It’s amazing what you did man , mid 2016.

That took a lot to rise from the ashes. You know i’m right there right now, broke and unemployed.
This is why i entered the conversation, i promise you i’ll remember this.


What country are you in?


US OF A, i’m in new york city. What’s up Eden we spoke a long time ago


Four years ago I went from an assistant system admin to being a heavy equipment operator and to tell the truth I’ve never been happier. The work environments in IT anymore are just too toxic.

Now I work with some cool guys running a dozer every day.