Is this network certification path good for an aspiring ethical hacker?

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Hi there! :D I am a student that's currently getting a degree that focuses on networking and ethical hacking. I am working to earn a few certifications while holding a part time job for experience. From beginner to expert, I am aiming to achieve the following certifications (in order): 1) CompTIA Network+ 2) CCENT 3) CCNA 4) CompTIA Security+ 5) MCSA Security 6) MCSE Is the path right for a student that has some hands on experience doing labs, but no working experience? Yours sincerely, B.

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Dear B:
I’m a little puzzled: by definition, an ethical hacker generally works with software from a development/hacking perspective as well as from a user/admin/superuser perspective. I don’t see anything in your list that hits any software development buttons. Otherwise, it looks OK, except that MCSA and MCSE are on their way out. You should substitute some suitable <a href=”http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcts/default.mspx”>MCTS </a>(MS Certified Technical Specialist) and <a href=”http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcitp/default.mspx”>MCITP </a>(MS Certified IT Professional) credentials instead. Visit the <a href=”http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/default.mspx”>Microsoft certifications page</a> to get an idea of what falls under those headings
Once you get through this list, you might want to check out the various MS programming certs (also MCTS) but also <a href=”http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcpd/default.mspx”>MCPD</a> (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer). Then there’s the certified ethical hacker (<a href=”http://www.eccouncil.org/ceh.htm”>CEH</a>) and related stuff from EC-Council, and all the various penetration testing certs and stuff from <a href=”http://www.giac.org/”>SANS </a>to look at, too.
All in all, you’re off to a pretty good start here. By the time you chew your way through this you will also no longer be able to claim “no experience,” either!
Good luck with your career planning.
–Ed–

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  • NetworkingATE
    [...] Read the rest of this great post here [...]
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  • Kevin Beaver
    The best thing you can do right now is focus on getting some hands-on experience. The certs are cool and tangible but getting your hands dirty with this security stuff is something that'll last a lifetime and is way more important than any of these certifications. I'm not saying don't pursue them. Just make sure you have your priorities straight. I've written about this topic extensively here: www.principlelogic.com/careers.html
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