What have I done so far in Cybersecurity, and where did I begin?

As of right now, I am currently enrolled at the University of Maryland Global Campus. I have been taking college courses on and off throughout my Navy career. I always figured that as long as the Navy is going to pay for it, I might as well squeeze in a class or two when I have time. 

I have always been interested in finance. Well, I have always been interested in finance and computers to be more accurate. One day those two interests eventually led me down a rabbit hole of digital currency and Bitcoin, but I will write about that some other time. The reason that those interests are relevant, is because that is what I chose to focus my degree on. I selected a major in finance, with a minor in cybersecurity. Although, all of the courses I have completed to date have either been concentrated on degree pre-requisites or the finance side. I have yet to take any classes dealing with computers, or cybersecurity. 

On August 19th I start my first computer course. Fundamentals of Networking (CMIT 265), it is a foundation-building course to help with eventually taking the compTIA network+ certification. Honestly, I am just excited to start taking classes geared towards things that I am interested in. As opposed to the dry subjects of humanities or English. 

So if I haven't taken any college-level computer classes, what have I been doing? 

Well recently I have been committed to learning as much as I can about cybersecurity through self studying. I stumbled upon FedVTE one day when doing some research on where to do online training.

Federal Virtual Training Environment, is a Government resource for cybersecurity training. Because I am currently enlisted in the military, I can access all of these training courses for free. Surprisingly, there are a lot of them. I started with a few of the beginner-friendly courses, and now I am going through the CompTIA A+ certification prep course. I hope to capitalize on another Navy program to help fund the cost of the exam.

After doing more research and sifting through lots of unusable information, I found a YouTube channel by a cybersecurity professional that answered many of my questions. I found his channel to be just what I was looking for. His name is Heath Adams, or "The Cyber Mentor". I highly recommend anyone who is looking for a streamlined path, to check him out. I was lucky to have started following him right when he was running a sale for his Udemy course. Ethical Hacking and Penetration testing is a niche of cybersecurity that I have found to be the most interesting to me. This is his forte and he does a really good job with his course breaking down the details. Even to someone like me with entry-level knowledge. 

Last but not least, all of my scouring through the internet allowed me to find a free registration for a cybersecurity boot camp put on by the University of New Haven in conjunction with a website called TryHackMe. Enrolling in the boot camp awarded me a 2 week trial membership to the TryHackMe website, so I felt like I only had something to gain from signing up. 

When I attended the first couple of live streams for the boot camp I was very intrigued, but the information seemed to be over my head. However, I still attempted the homework, which was located in a virtual private classroom on TryHackMe. After being unable to successfully complete the boot camp homework with my knowledge base, I began to look around the website for learning resources. I found out that TryHackMe has an entire section of learning paths, some even started right at the basics.

This website has been amazing and I am learning a ton! It is completely hands-on, which is how I retain knowledge the best. It even has hints and walkthroughs for when I get stuck. I am planning on subscribing to the membership when my free two weeks are up.

So this is what I have been up to... I don't know if I am doing too much at once, or if I should try to knock out one topic at a time. All of this is new to me. I guess only time will tell. All I know is that I am motivated, I have a goal, and I have a year to learn as much as I possibly can. 

This is my Journey Into Cyber Security!



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