Question Career advice for Cyber Security/ Pentesting


Dec 1, 2015
I want to go into cyber security and would greatly appreciate some advice. Here is my background:

I am currently a sophomore in high school. I will have my A+ certification in a month or two, have experience in a bunch of coding languages, built my first system at age 11, and am somewhat familiar with pentesting tools and applications, as well as cyber security topics. I am the president of the Hack Club at my school and have taken every single CS class they have to offer. I have a huge interest in CS/IT and plan to go to university for a CS degree (most likely Penn State, or CMU if I can make it).

The reason I am getting certified and trying to find internships in HS is so that I can work in IT while in college (part time), thus graduating with years of work experience. Hopefully this can get me in the door as a SysAdmin or Network Engineer right out of school, so I can transition to Cyber Security within a year or two. However, since I don't know anyone in the IT field, I don't know if this plan makes any sense. I feel like in trying to find my way in a dark room when it comes to all this career planning stuff.
I know where I'm starting, and I know where I want to end up (CERT, hopefully) but I have no idea how to get there. If there is anyone with experience in working in IT that can give me a few pointers, that would be fantastic.

(I know it isn't necessary to do all this so early (people are always telling me to "enjoy being a teenager") but this is honestly all that I truly enjoy doing. Most of my friends skip school because they are hungover or just lazy; I skip school so I can code. It's an obsession.)

Thank you


Jun 11, 2008
YES! That plan is exactly the way to do it. Get your 4 years undergrad then maybe get a year or 2 of work experience. Then go back to school for security based masters training like

When you get out, you'll be able to go in to almost any IT field.
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