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Ask HN: Starting a career in security at 40?

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For the security folks out there, what is the market like? How much weight is put on having some of the various certifications out there?

I have always had an interest in security, especially the red/blue team side of things as well as the forensics area. I have spent my entire career in the world of sysadmin/SRE/shitty dev however so nothing on my resume shows "security". The last couple of weeks I have been looking at some of the certification classes and... wow, they can get pretty crazy. The SANS online stuff is like $6k per course!

Being close to 40 and making six figures (not a brag, just using it for background) I am worried that it's too late to make the jump and still be able to provide for my family. It seems like a pretty big risk to drop multiple thousands on certifications only to start at a salary much lower than I currently have. I'm not willing to impact my family by taking a potential 50% pay cut. I realize there are risks with any kind of career change, I just want to make sure I'm not going into this blind.

Does it make sense to go after some of these certifications, even if they are not from SANS? Is the security world hiring and paying well these days? Am I looking for too much and should just except the fact that a major pay cut would be part of the process?

TIA


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