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Job Guaranteed ( Nervous Wreck ) Where do I start/look ?


Ximal
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So, I am going to college and only in my second semester and last semester ( my first college semester ever ) I was offered a job in IT-Security for a startup company. So how this job came about is something like this :

Teacher: Today we are going to the classroom across the hall so you all can view a presentation about reporting and news.

*Students head over to other classroom*

*I sit down unknowingly behind my future employer*

* classroom chatter and talking about computers*

Employer Turns around and speak to me after class saying how he overheard me talking about networking and biometric security and encryption/firewall safety on networks. He even asks me a few easy to answer questions (Exa: What type of internet would you supply a company with / Ans : Straight connection to the provider itself or fiber optic t-line level isp or business level cable modem, but prefer to use two companies in case one has a disruption in the area to ensure 24/7/365 operation of in-house network and wan-web connection)

After a few other questions he tells me he is working on putting together a company that will handle high-end clients etc and tells me he needs someone to wire the building and setup security, including network security, cameras and some form of biometrics and/or facial recognition as well as setting up the computers with needed software for anti virus and security work. Now, I am unsure of a few things, but as paranoid about network and computer security as I am I know I will definitely be able to do the job once I've researched and found enough information that I need.

So my problem is: Being this is my first year, and the employer knows my current situation and my background (which for anonymity I choose not to disclose), do I go ahead and start the job with my current skills and slow down my college Computer Information & Technology / Information Security Degree or do I finish it out first and pass up this job. Keep in mind, this employer is willing to allow me to go to school and work in doing both at my preferred pace and the job has a payout of nearly 50k a year to start. He quoited no less than 40k per year. And with my record the company is also willing to draw up an independent contract for me should the normal hiring process not permit. And I reallllly want this job because believe it or not, looking through data all day and reading is one of my favorite things to do and picking apart what's working and trying to make it run better or repairing it is something I love also. What do you guys think ?

Second part of this question is as follows :

What kind of firewall do you guys think would be best ? Hardware & Software or a combination of both ?

What company should I go through for the cables and if any company provides at least a finger(biometric) scanning system: Which one ?

What type of internet provider would be best to acquire for the company as I doubt I want to mess with Nynex(Verizon) or AT&T ( prefer a cable internet provider as the backbone with a sattelite internet provider as backup using business class or better on both)

What is the best company to find security cameras for the amount they will cost?

Basically, where is a good resources to find alot of this information as I would love to take this job and am lucky to have met the connections I have while in school my first semester let alone being in my second and the man is writing a guaranteed letter of employment/contract when I leave my current situation ??? Not to mention this kind of thing isn't covered at the junior college I am attending. Are there any suggestions on college courses that might teach this and at which school they are offered so I can check them out? that maybe cover this field/subject that I am trying to find out about ?

Please forgive the nature of my needy question since I am new here, as just being pointed in the right direction with a ton of links would be awesome even if no answers are to be given I would gladly read for days but google and bing are not very friendly with these search terms of corporate isp and security etc...

Thanks in advance.

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I've asked around and talked with the IT guys on campus to ask about what T-Level they use and they are kinda tight-***ed when it comes to talking about security configuration understandably because of the risk the information being given could cause. I am just trying to get an idea of how deep this *h*t will be when I finally put on my golloshes(water-wading-boots) and step into the big deep pile... It's really scary to me and just feels like more than happenstance that I got this job... ( yes a bit of paranoiya and untrusting alarms ) but hey, if it pays the bills and I don't get a charge over it I will do the work... oh and if it's legal too... hah !

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If the person hiring knows you are are still in school, ask if you can take the position while continuing your studies and finishing school(and if seems possible, ask if they pay for any reimbursement on tuition but that may be pushing your luck). If you're in school learning the things they want, don't drop out just for a paycheck. While I know that sounds harsh, and jobs are hard to come by(trust me, been looking for 4 years while running my own business at the same time), if he knows you and wants you, he should take you on part time and also find more people while you finish your school. "Work !> School" in every situation. Unless you know everything already, which from the sounds of it, you're not sure you do, I'd stick to school and see about maybe him letting you come on part time for now with the chance to move up in the company after being able to go full time. Doing both would be mutually beneficial, but I see dropping school for the other as something you may regret later.

I would jump in head first if already out of school and trained, and if things didn't work out, you could at least learn as much as you could at the job for the experience to move to your next, but if you're just starting out with your studies and this is a career path you are majoring in I'd stick with school over the position. See if he'll allow you to do both school and work somewhere within the company until you finish your education though. Never hurts to ask.

I made the mistake decades ago(yes I'm an old fart now) to give up school to work full time 6 days a week after a year of college, only to end up going back to school like 20 years later, and am now way behind the curve on things I need to know. Especially now, since I've been working from home running my own business the last 4 years, I had to take an IT Assessment test today for a job I'm trying to get, which fortunately I aced from what I was told, but only because in 2008 I went BACK to school for IT and various certifications and training to ensure I knew what I was doing. I haven't used much of those skills other than for small jobs, local businesses, friends and family since I moved into Web and Graphic Design full time as my main job, but having been to school for the things I had to go through today, it helped me much more than had I not gone back to school at all and just tried to guess my way through it and learn on my own(which most of anything these days you do with computers and IT is still going to be self taught and constantly evolving). Wake up call was I realize now how much more I want to go back to school and not only brush up on my existing skills, but also get updated on today's newer technologies and systems I've never touched or had hands on experience with supporting or using.

Just my opinion, but don't cut your school short unless you're certain you know what you'll be doing and can handle the required tasks. I know some people like that, who are more than capable and some who did leave school early, but they we're already way ahead of the classes they were taking when they moved to the job they accepted, so I would try and kill two birds with one stone, see if he'll hire you while letting you continue school to get experience and your education. Hopefully he'll respect that and also look at that as an asset to his company that you're continuing your education instead of leaving school just for a paycheck.

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Digip is spot on. If you can combine it. You should try it. But that litle paper on the end of your education is so important for many companies. Like Digip i didnt finish my college. And it surely hurd when finding jobs. Even if i was allowed to do the test and got the better scores they still prefered the persone with that litle piece of paper.

Now on the other side. If you can combine it. And you can leave college with a nice degree and have experience because of combining. If you would need to find a other job. Youll have a hard to beat resume ;)

Mind all the IF's :D

Now the firewall part. My boss likes pure HW firewall ( wich actualy are mini pc's with software most cases ). Im more of a combination. Own hw with deticated firewall OS on it. ( mainly because good HW firewalls cost a lot. and needs support contracts ) For the other stuff ill leave it for the more educated under us. ( or people who actualy know the isps over there )

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Digip and GuardMoony are right - There are great success stories of people who dropped out of school and made it big, but these are good stories because it's rare. For most people, building up via a good education and then experience is the way to go, and most decent employers know this and will support it.

"Putting a company together" doesn't sound that solid to me, but if they will pay you a contracted wage while at the same time continuing your education...

Was the potential employer also in school or what? Why were they there?

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If the person hiring knows you are are still in school, ask if you can take the position while continuing your studies and finishing school(and if seems possible, ask if they pay for any reimbursement on tuition but that may be pushing your luck). If you're in school learning the things they want, don't drop out just for a paycheck. While I know that sounds harsh, and jobs are hard to come by(trust me, been looking for 4 years while running my own business at the same time), if he knows you and wants you, he should take you on part time and also find more people while you finish your school. "Work !> School" in every situation. Unless you know everything already, which from the sounds of it, you're not sure you do, I'd stick to school and see about maybe him letting you come on part time for now with the chance to move up in the company after being able to go full time. Doing both would be mutually beneficial, but I see dropping school for the other as something you may regret later.

I would jump in head first if already out of school and trained, and if things didn't work out, you could at least learn as much as you could at the job for the experience to move to your next, but if you're just starting out with your studies and this is a career path you are majoring in I'd stick with school over the position. See if he'll allow you to do both school and work somewhere within the company until you finish your education though. Never hurts to ask.

I made the mistake decades ago(yes I'm an old fart now) to give up school to work full time 6 days a week after a year of college, only to end up going back to school like 20 years later, and am now way behind the curve on things I need to know. Especially now, since I've been working from home running my own business the last 4 years, I had to take an IT Assessment test today for a job I'm trying to get, which fortunately I aced from what I was told, but only because in 2008 I went BACK to school for IT and various certifications and training to ensure I knew what I was doing. I haven't used much of those skills other than for small jobs, local businesses, friends and family since I moved into Web and Graphic Design full time as my main job, but having been to school for the things I had to go through today, it helped me much more than had I not gone back to school at all and just tried to guess my way through it and learn on my own(which most of anything these days you do with computers and IT is still going to be self taught and constantly evolving). Wake up call was I realize now how much more I want to go back to school and not only brush up on my existing skills, but also get updated on today's newer technologies and systems I've never touched or had hands on experience with supporting or using.

Just my opinion, but don't cut your school short unless you're certain you know what you'll be doing and can handle the required tasks. I know some people like that, who are more than capable and some who did leave school early, but they we're already way ahead of the classes they were taking when they moved to the job they accepted, so I would try and kill two birds with one stone, see if he'll hire you while letting you continue school to get experience and your education. Hopefully he'll respect that and also look at that as an asset to his company that you're continuing your education instead of leaving school just for a paycheck.

Yes, they are going to let me work for them and go to school. This was my stipulation when talking to the gentleman to begin with.

Edited by Ximal
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Digip and GuardMoony are right - There are great success stories of people who dropped out of school and made it big, but these are good stories because it's rare. For most people, building up via a good education and then experience is the way to go, and most decent employers know this and will support it.

"Putting a company together" doesn't sound that solid to me, but if they will pay you a contracted wage while at the same time continuing your education...

Was the potential employer also in school or what? Why were they there?

Yes... The guy goes to school with me and he is part of a company will be providing security guard detail for fortune 500 clients or better once we get the building up and running.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Cool - Sounds like you're on a win win as long as they are ok with you continuing school, paying you, and not asking you to put in money for shares or anything. Slightly weird that a full-time student is in a recruiting position, but as long as both you and they know what's what.

Once you know the requirements, budget and scope for your techie questions, we'll be happy to add some recommendations. For example, you don't specify what you are trying to secure behind the firewall, but assuming it's the Internet connection for a medium size business, then Cisco ASAs or Check Points have been good scalable solutions for me. Again, it depends on the office size, but unless it is a combined "all-in-one" box for a small business, you'd then be looking for some kind of proxy/web-filtering device to sit behind the FW with AV scanning, etc. I can give you 20 product names, but budget, scope and requirements?

Edited by Dec100
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I'd say go for it so long as you both know and understand that school comes first which may very well mean that during school crunch time, you won't be around to wipe their ass.

If you get a contract, make sure it doesn't bind you to a minimum amount of worked hours below anything you don't think you can get away with.

Work on your planning skills. Even if they're already great, keep a close eye on them. Finals are a bitch and the last thing you want is your employer getting in your face about your TPS report. If your contract says you have to work X hours a week/month/whatever that means you cannot work on your education for that same amount of time and so you need to plan your school work aswell.

*SAVE YOUR MONEY*!!! Once you become dependent upon that income during your school time it'll be that much harder to get away from them if that need arises. If you save your money you'll have a buffer should they have to let you go or in case you have to quit to focus on your studies. Put what you can in a savings account as a graduation bonus to yourself or something.

All pretty much obvious observations, but important ones to remain aware of until you're done with school.

When school's done and you have your papers you'll be pretty much set for a bright future in IT, with actual work experience since before graduation day (I find companies want you to have the paper, but actually value the experience more).

Until that time you need to be able to get out unscathed should you need to. You also need to be as independent from them aswell. Any company can go bust at any time and if that were to happen, where does that leave you and your education?

So, again, go for it, make proper arrangements that will secure your education and make the most of the experience. I'm sure you'll enjoy every second of it.

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