I'm a little late, I'm 21 always been interested in IT and this past year I've looked here and there for computer security, but I don't have a diploma.

I never had any idea on what to do in my life until this year.

this year I'm going back to school and then I'd like to go study computer science to my local university.

I have a little background in programming, I know basic/medium C/C++, same for Python and Java

Now I'm wondering: what should I study by myself to go ahead and learn about computer security?

Can you tell me a "path" to follow? like first TCP/IP Protocol then UDP, then this, then that, a list of subjects to study.

  • 2
    possible duplicate of How do I get started with security? (beginner)
    – Xander
    Jun 19, 2013 at 19:27
  • 2
    Or this: security.stackexchange.com/questions/11522/…
    – Xander
    Jun 19, 2013 at 19:28
  • 2
    Also answered here: security.blogoverflow.com/2013/03/…
    – Xander
    Jun 19, 2013 at 19:29
  • i've checked your links, but no one gives an answer to my question... i'd like to know what things you should start learning as a beginner, not which books you should read first.
    – domenico
    Jun 19, 2013 at 19:34
  • 1
    I'm not sure where you're getting your "books" comment from, the links @Xander posted are actually all highly relevant to your question, you might just not know it yet. But even if the links posted by him only provided you with suggested books to read, this is actually how you'd "start learning as a beginner". And when you'll end up being an expert, you'll still be reading books (or their online equivalents of keeping up to date) to stay an expert. I'm afraid this is true for all the IT world, and a main reason why Amazon was such a success.
    – TildalWave
    Jun 19, 2013 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


If you're an American citizen, I would recommend you investigate the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program. They offer a full scholarship in exchange for your agreement to work after graduation for a Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Government organization in a position related to cybersecurity for a period equal to the length of the scholarship.

This is offered through the National Science Foundation, not the NSA. The NSA is just one of the federal organizations that might hire you on, but there are thousands of opportunities across the country for security experts. Lots of cities need people to help secure their infrastructure systems - traffic lights; water, sewer, and electric plants, etc.

The allure is strong: a free college education, a guaranteed paid job after graduation, and you'll be doing something that you are interested in.

Edit You might also check out this series by Brian Krebs on How to Break Into Security.

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