Question regarding career direction

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mtwistercapitalist
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Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

Hi everyone,

I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side. I've learned about this industry in multiple ways and have become slightly disillusioned. It seems that a lot of it is just boring -- and boring IT especially. Maybe it is just a function of being in my particular employer [a state agency] but I'm starting to doubt that I can do this for the next 35 years. To be blunt = I'm miserable. Investigate phishing email this, crunch a security alert this, consult on some tool that, do some adjustment of configurations, monitor your network, adjust the firewalls, push some paperwork, pass an audit.

I also would like to note that I can type code like a software engineer since I've been doing it since age 13. But "computer science" people who just type "if-else" and are programmers are over-saturating that field as well. Besides, just generic software development isn't as interesting nor as specialized.

I currently am interviewing for a FAANG company in their cybersecurity team and would probably accept an offer for a job if I get it to see if my frustrations are just with that particular employer and the work they can offer -- and to get the FAANG name on the resume -- or if it is an overall industry problem.

I am of an engineering mindset and am fantastic with math and science. Let's say one wants to leave that field and try their hand at something else.... what do the options look like? Do you all even like what you do for careers for decades on end before retiring? I'm struggling.

Thanks in advance!
bluebolt
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by bluebolt »

Pursue a career in DevOps. Much more varied problem-solving, but the security background is useful.

https://about.gitlab.com/topics/devops/
Topic Author
mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

bluebolt wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:52 am Pursue a career in DevOps. Much more varied problem-solving, but the security background is useful.

https://about.gitlab.com/topics/devops/
I've seen a bunch of DevOps stuff outsourced to India from my experience. or is such not the case per your view of the industry?
MarkRoulo
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by MarkRoulo »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am Hi everyone,

I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side. I've learned about this industry in multiple ways and have become slightly disillusioned. It seems that a lot of it is just boring -- and boring IT especially.
... snip ...

I am of an engineering mindset and am fantastic with math and science. Let's say one wants to leave that field and try their hand at something else.... what do the options look like? Do you all even like what you do for careers for decades on end before retiring? I'm struggling.

Thanks in advance!
Does "engineering mindset" mean that you want to build things (where software counts as a thing)?

I've been in software for 35 years (not in IT or cybersecurity) and building things and delivering working products is what I enjoy about the field. You? Or do you mean something else?
Topic Author
mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

MarkRoulo wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:59 am
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am Hi everyone,

I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side. I've learned about this industry in multiple ways and have become slightly disillusioned. It seems that a lot of it is just boring -- and boring IT especially.
... snip ...

I am of an engineering mindset and am fantastic with math and science. Let's say one wants to leave that field and try their hand at something else.... what do the options look like? Do you all even like what you do for careers for decades on end before retiring? I'm struggling.

Thanks in advance!
Does "engineering mindset" mean that you want to build things (where software counts as a thing)?

I've been in software for 35 years (not in IT or cybersecurity) and building things and delivering working products is what I enjoy about the field. You? Or do you mean something else?
Building things or doing mathy stuff.... I even flirted with the thought of doing accounting briefly but that probably would be AI-ed away with automatic programs reviewing stuff.... I'm even thinking of getting into embedded systems/firmware since I took an undergraduate class programming FPGAs and enjoyed it. Outside of defense [which I'm not in as an industry], it seems niche (automobile & medical devices mostly) -- and it probably is more constraining in terms of options for career
stan1
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by stan1 »

It sounds like you have an entry to mid level position as a technical performer with user support roles. What is your goal in ten years? Your next job should help you get there. There are tens of thousands of CISO, CIO, and CTO positions or deputies in the US. Those positions likely aren't going to be outsourced. They do blend business and technical roles, and involve line supervision of other employees and direct accountability to senior executives. Communication skills and people skills are as important as technical skills. If this is your goal look for team lead roles and opportunities to become more involved in project management and forward looking decisions.

If you desire to remain a technical performer and move on to more interesting work, you are going to need to stay technically current with AI/ML (and whatever comes next). The rote work will be outsourced, the technical leadership of whatever work is being done will be outsourced less frequently. You'll likely end up building some specialized skills. Employers don't always move quickly though; there's going to be jobs for Oracle database administrators for a long time still. COBOL programmers got about 30 years of work as relatively high paid specialists (although sometimes they were doing gig type work and faced layoffs or periods of unemployment before the next relatively high paid gig came along).

There's lots of opportunities between working for a state agency and actual FAANG/Mag 7 companies. There's tens of thousands of employers in the middle. Don't limit yourself with binary thinking (current job or working for Microsoft).
avidlearner
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by avidlearner »

work for a FAANG or a product company the work will be more rewarding and challenging, also young in the career you will be able to switch teams.
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mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

stan1 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:07 am It sounds like you have an entry to mid level position as a technical performer with user support roles. What is your goal in ten years? Your next job should help you get there. There are tens of thousands of CISO, CIO, and CTO positions or deputies in the US. Those positions likely aren't going to be outsourced. They do blend business and technical roles, and involve line supervision of other employees and direct accountability to senior executives. Communication skills and people skills are as important as technical skills. If this is your goal look for team lead roles and opportunities to become more involved in project management and forward looking decisions.

If you desire to remain a technical performer and move on to more interesting work, you are going to need to stay technically current with AI/ML (and whatever comes next). The rote work will be outsourced, the technical leadership of whatever work is being done will be outsourced less frequently. You'll likely end up building some specialized skills. Employers don't always move quickly though; there's going to be jobs for Oracle database administrators for a long time still. COBOL programmers got about 30 years of work as relatively high paid specialists (although sometimes they were doing gig type work and faced layoffs or periods of unemployment before the next relatively high paid gig came along).

There's lots of opportunities between working for a state agency and actual FAANG/Mag 7 companies. There's tens of thousands of employers in the middle. Don't limit yourself with binary thinking (current job or working for Microsoft).
Thanks for the response. My goal in life is to save up as much money as one can before retiring, and to hopefully have some fun along the way. I know it's kind of a sad way to look at things but... that's the reality of life.

I personally am leaning against management roles in any domain. This is because I (1) am historically not a people person (2) know the struggles that middle line managers face and (3) think that being a skilled individual contributor is much more resealable than a manager on the market.

So the FAANG company I'm interviewing with now is a brand name on resume, so I'd take the offer even if one or two years down the line I'd want to change careers entirely. The question is .... what exactly I should do in terms of the particular field I am in.

I think that I potentially need to change careers entirely. Cybersecurity seems especially boring due to it being part of corporate IT environments and from what I experienced is such a soul-suck. I've seen it in my agency -- how management collects b.s. metrics to try and "sell" whatever they want to do to the upper rungs of decision makers. This is done whether to justify headcount, get some budget, prove or "prove" that a new tool works, etc.
MarkRoulo
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by MarkRoulo »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:01 am
MarkRoulo wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:59 am
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am Hi everyone,

I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side. I've learned about this industry in multiple ways and have become slightly disillusioned. It seems that a lot of it is just boring -- and boring IT especially.
... snip ...

I am of an engineering mindset and am fantastic with math and science. Let's say one wants to leave that field and try their hand at something else.... what do the options look like? Do you all even like what you do for careers for decades on end before retiring? I'm struggling.

Thanks in advance!
Does "engineering mindset" mean that you want to build things (where software counts as a thing)?

I've been in software for 35 years (not in IT or cybersecurity) and building things and delivering working products is what I enjoy about the field. You? Or do you mean something else?
Building things or doing mathy stuff.... I even flirted with the thought of doing accounting briefly but that probably would be AI-ed away with automatic programs reviewing stuff.... I'm even thinking of getting into embedded systems/firmware since I took an undergraduate class programming FPGAs and enjoyed it. Outside of defense [which I'm not in as an industry], it seems niche (automobile & medical devices mostly) -- and it probably is more constraining in terms of options for career
I think you want to make a list of various software (and software adjacent) sub-fields and think about which might be of interest to you.

I really short (partial) list might include:
  • GUI programming (either for phone apps, desktops or web front end)
  • Backend server (ie, "business logic")
  • Database programming. Not DB admin, but writing the queries, optimizing them, designing schemas, etc.
  • Writing device drivers (e.g. video card device drivers). Lots of companies have custom H/W that needs drivers, too.
  • Game programming (I don't recommend this, but it is a thing ...)
  • Embedded systems (much broader than automotive an medical devices ... I work on semiconductor equipment with millions of lines of embedded code ...)
  • Algorithm development
  • Performance optimization (e.g. GPU/CUDA programming, vectorization on CPUs, assembly if needed).
Any of these sub-field can involve delivering actual products to real customers even if your mom doesn't know what you do for a living. Software is in A LOT of products that folks don't normally think about. Someone has to write that software.

IT, cybersecurity, network administration, DB administration are a different skillset and mindset.
JPM
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by JPM »

Nursing is a common second career. Barriers to entry are low, it pays well, and is highly respected in the broader community. It's a little mathy, nothing like engineering or CS, but not getting the decimal point correct on the dose of a med you administer can have serious consequences.

If you are a sincere humanitarian and you love science, you can become a physician Assistant and do a lot of the same work a doctor does after only a 2 year masters degree program. Then to develop your skill over time, you may study the same stuff the doctors study.
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mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

MarkRoulo wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 1:48 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:01 am
MarkRoulo wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:59 am
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am Hi everyone,

I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side. I've learned about this industry in multiple ways and have become slightly disillusioned. It seems that a lot of it is just boring -- and boring IT especially.
... snip ...

I am of an engineering mindset and am fantastic with math and science. Let's say one wants to leave that field and try their hand at something else.... what do the options look like? Do you all even like what you do for careers for decades on end before retiring? I'm struggling.

Thanks in advance!
Does "engineering mindset" mean that you want to build things (where software counts as a thing)?

I've been in software for 35 years (not in IT or cybersecurity) and building things and delivering working products is what I enjoy about the field. You? Or do you mean something else?
Building things or doing mathy stuff.... I even flirted with the thought of doing accounting briefly but that probably would be AI-ed away with automatic programs reviewing stuff.... I'm even thinking of getting into embedded systems/firmware since I took an undergraduate class programming FPGAs and enjoyed it. Outside of defense [which I'm not in as an industry], it seems niche (automobile & medical devices mostly) -- and it probably is more constraining in terms of options for career
I think you want to make a list of various software (and software adjacent) sub-fields and think about which might be of interest to you.

I really short (partial) list might include:
  • GUI programming (either for phone apps, desktops or web front end)
  • Backend server (ie, "business logic")
  • Database programming. Not DB admin, but writing the queries, optimizing them, designing schemas, etc.
  • Writing device drivers (e.g. video card device drivers). Lots of companies have custom H/W that needs drivers, too.
  • Game programming (I don't recommend this, but it is a thing ...)
  • Embedded systems (much broader than automotive an medical devices ... I work on semiconductor equipment with millions of lines of embedded code ...)
  • Algorithm development
  • Performance optimization (e.g. GPU/CUDA programming, vectorization on CPUs, assembly if needed).
Any of these sub-field can involve delivering actual products to real customers even if your mom doesn't know what you do for a living. Software is in A LOT of products that folks don't normally think about. Someone has to write that software.

IT, cybersecurity, network administration, DB administration are a different skillset and mindset.
[*] Embedded systems (much broader than automotive an medical devices ... I work on semiconductor equipment with millions of lines of embedded code ...)
[*] Writing device drivers (e.g. video card device drivers). Lots of companies have custom H/W that needs drivers, too.

Off top of head these two seem to be the most interesting. I was reading an ARM Processor documentation yesterday and found it fun.... The question is getting that potential switch done in this market is going to be *extremely* painful..... many more experienced people are already struggling to get something. Embedded systems seems to appeal the most... but as of now I'm not interested in defense [burnt by governmental work]. What other options are there apart from medical devices and automobile overall? Can you tell me more about this semiconductor equipment you're working on? Seems interesting.
mrb09
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mrb09 »

I think in FAANG companies, there are four roles in security: security architects who define next generation of security (folks who defined OpenID connect) and may set internal standards for product, developers/leads working on product that understand security well (define authentication and policy enforcement points), folks who work with auditors doing primarily forms and evidence collection, and ops folks who monitor/investigate incidents and may respond to them. Sounds like you’re not happy with the last two roles.
shm317
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by shm317 »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am Hi everyone,

I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side. I've learned about this industry in multiple ways and have become slightly disillusioned. It seems that a lot of it is just boring -- and boring IT especially. Maybe it is just a function of being in my particular employer [a state agency] but I'm starting to doubt that I can do this for the next 35 years. To be blunt = I'm miserable. Investigate phishing email this, crunch a security alert this, consult on some tool that, do some adjustment of configurations, monitor your network, adjust the firewalls, push some paperwork, pass an audit.

I also would like to note that I can type code like a software engineer since I've been doing it since age 13. But "computer science" people who just type "if-else" and are programmers are over-saturating that field as well. Besides, just generic software development isn't as interesting nor as specialized.

I currently am interviewing for a FAANG company in their cybersecurity team and would probably accept an offer for a job if I get it to see if my frustrations are just with that particular employer and the work they can offer -- and to get the FAANG name on the resume -- or if it is an overall industry problem.

I am of an engineering mindset and am fantastic with math and science. Let's say one wants to leave that field and try their hand at something else.... what do the options look like? Do you all even like what you do for careers for decades on end before retiring? I'm struggling.

Thanks in advance!
I used to love my career as a corporate bond investor until I burnt out 20 years later. Super math intensive and fast paced work. Very stressful though. Great for someone young and hungry
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mhadden1
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mhadden1 »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side.
What is your bachelor's degree?
Retired 12/31/2015, age 58 years 77 days (but who's counting?)
Topic Author
mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

mhadden1 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:59 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side.
What is your bachelor's degree?
Computer science. In retrospect should have done computer engineering and be closer to hardware
Topic Author
mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

mrb09 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:48 pm I think in FAANG companies, there are four roles in security: security architects who define next generation of security (folks who defined OpenID connect) and may set internal standards for product, developers/leads working on product that understand security well (define authentication and policy enforcement points), folks who work with auditors doing primarily forms and evidence collection, and ops folks who monitor/investigate incidents and may respond to them. Sounds like you’re not happy with the last two roles.
You hit the nail on the head. The last two suck!
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mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

shm317 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:52 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am Hi everyone,

I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side. I've learned about this industry in multiple ways and have become slightly disillusioned. It seems that a lot of it is just boring -- and boring IT especially. Maybe it is just a function of being in my particular employer [a state agency] but I'm starting to doubt that I can do this for the next 35 years. To be blunt = I'm miserable. Investigate phishing email this, crunch a security alert this, consult on some tool that, do some adjustment of configurations, monitor your network, adjust the firewalls, push some paperwork, pass an audit.

I also would like to note that I can type code like a software engineer since I've been doing it since age 13. But "computer science" people who just type "if-else" and are programmers are over-saturating that field as well. Besides, just generic software development isn't as interesting nor as specialized.

I currently am interviewing for a FAANG company in their cybersecurity team and would probably accept an offer for a job if I get it to see if my frustrations are just with that particular employer and the work they can offer -- and to get the FAANG name on the resume -- or if it is an overall industry problem.

I am of an engineering mindset and am fantastic with math and science. Let's say one wants to leave that field and try their hand at something else.... what do the options look like? Do you all even like what you do for careers for decades on end before retiring? I'm struggling.

Thanks in advance!
I used to love my career as a corporate bond investor until I burnt out 20 years later. Super math intensive and fast paced work. Very stressful though. Great for someone young and hungry
Is it NYC wall street style stuff? Or elsewhere in the states?
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Watty
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by Watty »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years
..... Maybe it is just a function of being in my particular employer [a state agency] but I'm starting to doubt that I can do this for the next 35 years.
Why 35 years?

I retired out of corporate IT so my information is not current but I was under the impression that some cybersecurity positions pay VERY well. They may not pay great at a state agency but if you can get a top paying job I would think that you might be able to retire in more like 10 years instead of 35 if you are willing to retire outside a high cost of living area.

Maybe my idea of what the pay potential is or the work you are doing is not at that high of a level but you should really dig into what sort of pay you could get.
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am I am of an engineering mindset and am fantastic with math and science. Let's say one wants to leave that field and try their hand at something else.... what do the options look like?
Look at the software tools you use and consider what it would take to work for those companies. For cybersecurity there may also be restrictions that the work needs to be done in the US which could be to your advantage, assuming that you are in the US. It was not in cybersecurity but I have been a software developer for a company which was selling software and that is much different than working for a company which buys software.
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mhadden1
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mhadden1 »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:11 pm
mhadden1 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:59 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side.
What is your bachelor's degree?
Computer science. In retrospect should have done computer engineering and be closer to hardware
I have a BS CS as well - during my software career I encountered plenty of software people that thought they ought to be in hardware, and hardware people that thought they ought to be in software. Honestly if you like to code there should be many interesting things out there for you to work on. Good look while looking around, sorry I don't have anything actionable.
Retired 12/31/2015, age 58 years 77 days (but who's counting?)
shm317
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by shm317 »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:12 pm
shm317 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:52 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am Hi everyone,

I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side. I've learned about this industry in multiple ways and have become slightly disillusioned. It seems that a lot of it is just boring -- and boring IT especially. Maybe it is just a function of being in my particular employer [a state agency] but I'm starting to doubt that I can do this for the next 35 years. To be blunt = I'm miserable. Investigate phishing email this, crunch a security alert this, consult on some tool that, do some adjustment of configurations, monitor your network, adjust the firewalls, push some paperwork, pass an audit.

I also would like to note that I can type code like a software engineer since I've been doing it since age 13. But "computer science" people who just type "if-else" and are programmers are over-saturating that field as well. Besides, just generic software development isn't as interesting nor as specialized.

I currently am interviewing for a FAANG company in their cybersecurity team and would probably accept an offer for a job if I get it to see if my frustrations are just with that particular employer and the work they can offer -- and to get the FAANG name on the resume -- or if it is an overall industry problem.

I am of an engineering mindset and am fantastic with math and science. Let's say one wants to leave that field and try their hand at something else.... what do the options look like? Do you all even like what you do for careers for decades on end before retiring? I'm struggling.

Thanks in advance!
I used to love my career as a corporate bond investor until I burnt out 20 years later. Super math intensive and fast paced work. Very stressful though. Great for someone young and hungry
Is it NYC wall street style stuff? Or elsewhere in the states?
I’m doing in PA. A lot of shops in NY, but also scattered everywhere else. It’s a key component of most asset management firms. Look up the CFA program and see if the material interests you. Getting that license would be first step.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I think you have some good options that have been touched upon. I want to address one of them. Embedded systems. First, this is a huge field. Companies with huge chip offerings focused on this, just off the top of my head: Microchip, Texas Instruments, ST, Analog Devices. I worked for several of these and while my focus was something else (power electronics....yes, I can actually bias a transistor), my colleagues would accompany me to customer visits speaking many times with the embedded engineers. My take from a sales side (I was field applications) and also from the design side (my colleagues did this embedded programming) was that the engineers doing this work either did a wide range of work from hardware design/build and test to software development and testing on the boards. In huge companies, there were sometimes embedded programmers who didn't do much with the hardware. Embedded controllers are in nearly everything these days. You want to look at the latest Wiz Bang Intel or ATI computer.....it probably has 8 embedded controllers taking the tasks off that Intel huge, expensive chip. And someone's got to program it. Want to buy a 1kW UPS that can take input from 120Vac, 240Vac, 400Hz aircraft, 24V or it's own internal battery? Not only is an embedded controller the smarts for the whole UPS, in the company I worked for, the power supplies internally are controlled by locked embedded controllers. Oh, and by the way, Huawei was a customer and although they're the biggest thieves of IP in the world, they could not get into these things.

I would think you could even sway your grad course towards a Masters in Engineering and get some of the hardware courses done.

I'll also say that if you can talk with people (this is maybe 10% of engineers), then you could consider a career as a field applications engineer. For chip companies, you can make good money. If you look at base salaries, they don't look all that great but when the bonuses, perks, ESPPs and paid for things are added in, at least for me, it doubled my salary. Bigger companies have smaller territories. For big companies, all my customers were driving distances. Smaller companies, the regions are larger, so you might be on a plane 1/4 of the time. I've done both. Companies have a very hard time finding people for these positions. Something to consider.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
MarkRoulo
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by MarkRoulo »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:32 pm ... snip ...

What other options are there apart from medical devices and automobile overall? Can you tell me more about this semiconductor equipment you're working on? Seems interesting.
I have PM'd you.
MathWizard
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by MathWizard »

There will always be boring parts to any job.

Automate all the boring parts that you can. These are the things ripe for AI implementation ,maybe you come up with a good AI solution to cyber security.

Improve cyber security by
preventing attempts at intrusion, phishing, or Denial of Service
remediate those attempts that do get through
develop a scheme for sharing information about zero day attacks in real time to allow cyber security teams to Marshal combined resources.

Design a system that examines program source for portions of the program which can be exploited, like for SQL injections, etc .
I did some of that for a national agency, but more could be done.

There are lots of places for innovation by a bright , inventive person that AI will never be able to come up with .



Design an email system that identifies and quarantines/sanitizes phishing emails.
The email handler could forward any links to a secure read-only server image that investigates the link, maybe along with a honeypot to see if there is immediate infection.
Prior to sending emails to the recipient,
convert links to plain text with a warning for the recipient
never to click on links in an email, and
never go to sites that you don't know.

Implement multifactor authentication with a good multifactor reset capability.
MrNarwhal
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by MrNarwhal »

If you are open to travel / work-life balance not a priority, maybe a segue into controls engineering at a systems integration firm. Perhaps take a PLC class at a local community college to put on your resume. The technology isn't nice from a computer science background but you'd get to solve problems and make real things work. I've considered this but the high travel lifestyle wouldn't work for me.
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mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:39 pm I'll also say that if you can talk with people (this is maybe 10% of engineers), then you could consider a career as a field applications engineer. For chip companies, you can make good money. If you look at base salaries, they don't look all that great but when the bonuses, perks, ESPPs and paid for things are added in, at least for me, it doubled my salary. Bigger companies have smaller territories. For big companies, all my customers were driving distances. Smaller companies, the regions are larger, so you might be on a plane 1/4 of the time. I've done both. Companies have a very hard time finding people for these positions. Something to consider.
To what degree did you drive to customers versus handle their needs online via Skype/email and the like?
Sam_957
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by Sam_957 »

“Investigate phishing email this, crunch a security alert this, consult on some tool that, do some adjustment of configurations, monitor your network, adjust the firewalls, push some paperwork, pass an audit”

That’s the job. You’ll find this recurring theme with IT people commenting on their career. “I just want to build stuff, be creative, leave me alone.”

Maybe the fangers are building tools to automate this stuff and that will be more purposeful, but you might find yourself complaining about the management overhead / people processes / grunt work there.

Either way, I’d recommend getting into a high paying private job and maintaining work life balance and leave the pension system before you are handcuffed.
My other vehicle is an index fund.
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mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

Sam_957 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 8:00 pm Either way, I’d recommend getting into a high paying private job and maintaining work life balance and leave the pension system before you are handcuffed.
I fortunately never subscribed to the State Pension plan... lol
Sam_957
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by Sam_957 »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:05 pm
Sam_957 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 8:00 pm Either way, I’d recommend getting into a high paying private job and maintaining work life balance and leave the pension system before you are handcuffed.
I fortunately never subscribed to the State Pension plan... lol
You said you worked for a state agency and then mentioned working for many years so I thought you might be headed down that path. By subscribe, I assume you mean you don’t plan to stay long because most govt orgs make participation mandatory.
My other vehicle is an index fund.
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mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

Sam_957 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:18 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:05 pm
Sam_957 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 8:00 pm Either way, I’d recommend getting into a high paying private job and maintaining work life balance and leave the pension system before you are handcuffed.
I fortunately never subscribed to the State Pension plan... lol
You said you worked for a state agency and then mentioned working for many years so I thought you might be headed down that path. By subscribe, I assume you mean you don’t plan to stay long because most govt orgs make participation mandatory.
I never intended to stay there permanently. been there for about 4 years now... 2 years longer than planned
ClaycordJCA
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by ClaycordJCA »

This topic is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (career guidance).
Valuethinker
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by Valuethinker »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:11 pm
mhadden1 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:59 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side.
What is your bachelor's degree?
Computer science. In retrospect should have done computer engineering and be closer to hardware
Could you retrain in the computer engineering area? (I recognise that it's a lot easier to go CE to CS than the reverse).
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mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

Valuethinker wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:33 am
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:11 pm
mhadden1 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 3:59 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:47 am I'm currently in cybersecurity. Have been working in it for slightly more than 4 years while doing my masters degree from a top 10 cybersecurity school on the side.
What is your bachelor's degree?
Computer science. In retrospect should have done computer engineering and be closer to hardware
Could you retrain in the computer engineering area? (I recognise that it's a lot easier to go CE to CS than the reverse).
Could you please clarify what the nature of this retraining would be? Another university degree? or self-study of Computer Engineering topics?
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Security is this niche area with high job security imo.

Any certs like CISSP etc to complete?
Why not get high level security clearance? Could lead to interesting jobs down the road.

I would stick with security for a few more years.
Learn all aspects, stay tech for now. You can retire in 15 more years potentially.
“At some point you are trading time you will never get back for money you will never spend.“ | “How do you want to spend the best remaining year of your life?“
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mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:53 pm Security is this niche area with high job security imo.

Any certs like CISSP etc to complete?
Why not get high level security clearance? Could lead to interesting jobs down the road.

I would stick with security for a few more years.
Learn all aspects, stay tech for now. You can retire in 15 more years potentially.
CISSP i'll do it in a bit probably. Clearance work has its plusses and minuses though.... dealing with the feds and all that. 15 years of doing cyber stuff seems potentially unbearable for me per my experience of the industry currently
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hornet96
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by hornet96 »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:01 am

Building things or doing mathy stuff.... I even flirted with the thought of doing accounting briefly
:shock:

Just chiming in to say that accounting isn’t really about math at all, nor is it about building stuff. Rather, it’s about understanding arcane rules promulgated by a self-appointed regulatory body and using those rules to describe what someone else built, using numbers. If you’re miserable now, I couldn’t see it getting any better in accounting.

Source: myself, an accounting industry vet for 20+ years working in Big 4 accounting firms and F500 accounting departments. :beer
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mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

hornet96 wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:44 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:01 am

Building things or doing mathy stuff.... I even flirted with the thought of doing accounting briefly
:shock:

Just chiming in to say that accounting isn’t really about math at all, nor is it about building stuff. Rather, it’s about understanding arcane rules promulgated by a self-appointed regulatory body and using those rules to describe what someone else built, using numbers. If you’re miserable now, I couldn’t see it getting any better in accounting.

Source: myself, an accounting industry vet for 20+ years working in Big 4 accounting firms and F500 accounting departments. :beer
Many thanks. Do you enjoy what you do in accounting as a personal individual?
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hornet96
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by hornet96 »

mtwistercapitalist wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:56 pm
hornet96 wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:44 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:01 am

Building things or doing mathy stuff.... I even flirted with the thought of doing accounting briefly
:shock:

Just chiming in to say that accounting isn’t really about math at all, nor is it about building stuff. Rather, it’s about understanding arcane rules promulgated by a self-appointed regulatory body and using those rules to describe what someone else built, using numbers. If you’re miserable now, I couldn’t see it getting any better in accounting.

Source: myself, an accounting industry vet for 20+ years working in Big 4 accounting firms and F500 accounting departments. :beer
Many thanks. Do you enjoy what you do in accounting as a personal individual?
I mostly do now, but am at a much higher level of course compared to where I started. A lot of what I deal with now is in support of M&A activities and analyzing complex transactions from an accounting standpoint. So who knows - I know very little about a cybersecurity career pathway, but I’d imagine that your chosen expertise will provide you with future opportunities that you may not even be aware of yet (and that will likely look quite different compared to what you’re doing today).

Good luck! :sharebeer
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mtwistercapitalist
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Re: Question regarding career direction

Post by mtwistercapitalist »

hornet96 wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:02 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:56 pm
hornet96 wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:44 pm
mtwistercapitalist wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:01 am

Building things or doing mathy stuff.... I even flirted with the thought of doing accounting briefly
:shock:

Just chiming in to say that accounting isn’t really about math at all, nor is it about building stuff. Rather, it’s about understanding arcane rules promulgated by a self-appointed regulatory body and using those rules to describe what someone else built, using numbers. If you’re miserable now, I couldn’t see it getting any better in accounting.

Source: myself, an accounting industry vet for 20+ years working in Big 4 accounting firms and F500 accounting departments. :beer
Many thanks. Do you enjoy what you do in accounting as a personal individual?
I mostly do now, but am at a much higher level of course compared to where I started. A lot of what I deal with now is in support of M&A activities and analyzing complex transactions from an accounting standpoint. So who knows - I know very little about a cybersecurity career pathway, but I’d imagine that your chosen expertise will provide you with future opportunities that you may not even be aware of yet (and that will likely look quite different compared to what you’re doing today).

Good luck! :sharebeer
Thank you for the moral support. I appreciate it. Never thought being an adult was this.... unscripted and challenging. Lol, the things one learns in life :sharebeer
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