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Tips for High School Senior?

Discussion of computer forensics employment and career issues.
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iamapyro
Newbie
 

Tips for High School Senior?

Post Posted: Jul 31, 06 23:43

Any Tips for a High School Senior? Like what I can do to get ahead bvefore college? Like get ahead of the game, or start learning now etc.? Also, what are some good CF books I should read?
Thanks,
Matt  
 
  

keydet89
Senior Member
 

Re: Tips for High School Senior?

Post Posted: Aug 01, 06 00:10

It's hard to tell...what college are you going to? What recommendations I would make really depend on what's available at the school, or near it. For example, if your college doesn't have CF courses, but a community college nearby does, that may be an option.

It's hard to recommend a degree program without knowing the school you're going to, as a lot of really good CF guys don't have degrees, particularly not in the field.

General recommendations I would make include:

1. Don't wait for someone to hand something to you...make your own path, even if that means learning Linux and installing TSK.

2. Pick an area to research, and get started. Take it upon yourself to learn the basics of the area, and then try engaging with the folks you see online who are well represented in that area.

3. Look at obstacles as opportunities, and never wait for someone to hand you something.

hope that helps, at least a little,

Harlan  
 
  

steve862
Senior Member
 

Re: Tips for High School Senior?

Post Posted: Aug 01, 06 16:25

Hi,

My advice may well be inappropriate for the US market as I am in the UK, so read it and take or leave the advice as you see fit.

I wouldn't necessarily go into a computer forensic degree. It limits you straight away to a smaller number of options in IT. You have a whole career ahead of you lasting over 40 years and you may decide to move into differrent fields of IT during that time. My experience in computer forensic work has shown many of the most useful people are the ones that came from mainstream IT. They add value to the team by bringing real life skills that are not covered in any forensic course. Knowing only the computer forensic side could leave you short when you find yourself pitted against an opposite forensic examiner who used to work as a systems admin on the very systems you are examining. If I hadn't worked in IT previously I might always be wondering if this is how people do things in the real world.

A general computing degree will give you more options for work placement and allow you the chance to work for some good companies that may be potential employers for you in the future. Whilst doing a degree of this kind you can develop stronger skills in the field of CF. Main toics you should become familiar with would be: -

1. Disk Geometry (so much boils down to this in the end)
2. Windows Registry artifacts (experiment to find results here)
3. File-systems (how FAT and NTFS vary in terms of recycle bins etc, etc)
4. Linux tools including using dd, grep, xxd (some of hte most important)
5. Apple Macs (not many people are that familiar with them...get the advantage of being someone who is)

This list is not an exhaustive one but a good place to start. It will certainly keep you going for a while to get to know these topics really well.

Having been to court several times and given evidence of a CF nature I found it very helpful to have a background covering main IT subjects. Saying I had worked in IT for 10 years previously was something the defence barrister could not take away from me and I felt more confident to say I didn't know the answer to something, which suggests I really did know the answers to the other questions.

Computer forensic degrees are fairly new in the UK, every one I know in this line of work is either a Police Officer trained into the role or someone who came from mainstream IT. Many organisations here are prepared to send their staff on courses attached to a University so they can gain a degree in forensic computing whilst on the job. It takes years, is hard work but gives you that qualification to go with your experience.

Good luck with your preparations in whatever you do choose to do.

Steve
_________________
Forensic Computer Examiner, London, UK 
 
  

woodland
Member
 

Re: Tips for High School Senior?

Post Posted: Aug 01, 06 20:50

I love the guy's nick: "i am a pyro"

First, make sure not to get yourself arrested for arson or any of that
kind of shit.

And Harlan, this guy is probably going to attend Arizona State if he's
living in Mesa. ASU is a very short drive away.

Second, there is a reason why most universities don't offer a B.S.
degree in computer forensics. I would recommend studying computer
science or electrical engineering. I personally studied EE in college
and although it was a real pain in the ass, it gives you quite a bit more
perspective on a lot of things.  
 
  

iamapyro
Newbie
 

Re: Tips for High School Senior?

Post Posted: Aug 02, 06 02:43

Well, first I'm Going to University of Advancing Technology in Phoenix, Arizona. They are NSA certefied for network security and offer a major in CF (a 4 year program on it) which im psyched for. It's supposed to be one of the best in the nation.

P.S. Yeah I'm not an arson =) Just an old nickname.

UAT Site: uat.edu  
 
  

woodland
Member
 

Re: Tips for High School Senior?

Post Posted: Aug 02, 06 06:36

- iamapyro
Well, first I'm Going to University of Advancing Technology in Phoenix, Arizona. They are NSA certefied for network security and offer a major in CF (a 4 year program on it) which im psyched for. It's supposed to be one of the best in the nation.

P.S. Yeah I'm not an arson =) Just an old nickname.

UAT Site: uat.edu


UAT? LOL! I think I have seen this dubious educational institution
advertise at Defcon before.

Pyro, I strongly suggest that you reconsider your decision to enroll
in a school such as UAT. Go and get a real education at a real
university.  
 
  

iamapyro
Newbie
 

Re: Tips for High School Senior?

Post Posted: Aug 02, 06 21:47

Bah, lol. Ive been to the school and i love it. It seems like it has a good program, plus they're close to home. Confused Is it really that bad??  
 

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