I am considering a midlife career change and would like to get into either pentesting or bug hunting. With little IT experience my intention is to work through compTIA A+ Linux+ Network+ and Security+ (I won’t sit the exams just learn the content) and then move onto the OSCP.
The question I have is is it worth me buying second hand networking equipment and old PCs to build a home network to help me learn or would I be better off using VirtualBox and spending the money on virtual lab memberships?
My goal is to skip the help desk phase if I can and self study while I continue my current job. Not because I am disregarding the experience I could gain, more I have a family with a newborn and mortgage to pay and my current job pays quite well.