In this article, You will learn what to do exactly to pursue a career in cybersecurity.
The sharp rise in the number of cyberattacks reported by public and private organizations has made something evident: the more we rely on technology the more exposed we are to cybercrime.
And, as the risk of falling victim to cyber criminals becomes all the more present, it has never been as important to protect our data, information, and systems from bad actors.
With so much at stake, it isn’t surprising that there is an unprecedented demand for highly-trained cybersecurity experts. But how can you jump-start your Career in Cybersecurity?
Start with the 6 tips for a Career in Cybersecurity.
1. Learn More About the Current State of the Industry
Over the past years, cybersecurity threats to businesses have grown both in frequency and intensity. And, today, it is estimated that over 60% of the companies that report a data breach or loss file for bankruptcy within 6 months of the accident.
What’s more, recent cyberattacks have caused businesses significant reputation damages and loss of consumer trust aside from hefty financial losses.
But while these trends in the industry have triggered a need for cybersecurity professionals, the competition among new talents in the sector has never been fiercer.
So, before diving headfirst into your new career journey, make sure to research the market, competition, and knowledge benchmarks to hone your competitive edge.
2. Research the Different Roles and Career Paths in Cybersecurity
The field of cybersecurity only started developing in the late ‘80s with the invention of the first true antivirus software. But it is only in the last decades that the importance of cybersecurity became evident.
And, as cyber threats become more ingenious and sophisticated, the field of cybersecurity continues to evolve and develop to respond to these risks and keep bad actors at bay. That is why it isn’t surprising that, when choosing a career in cybersecurity, you’ll have more than one path to choose from.
Here is a breakdown of the different roles and career paths in cybersecurity:
- Entry level – cyber security specialist, cybercrime and risk analyst, incident response and intrusion analyst, IT auditor.
- Mid-level – cyber security analyst, cyber security consultant, penetration and vulnerability tester
- Advanced – Cyber security manager, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), cyber security engineer, cyber security architect
It is important to notice that a lot of your career will depend on the entry-level position you decide to pursue.
3. Set Your Expectations Correctly
Whether you are just approaching the IT world for the first time or you are looking to use your current IT skills to pivot your career to cybersecurity, it is important to understand what to expect from the journey ahead.
According to statistics by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry is growing at an unprecedented rate and, expanding at a whopping 35%, the job outlook for information security analysts couldn’t be brighter.
At the same time, not all positions and occupations in the industry are in equal demand or perceive the same salary. So before choosing your career pathway, make sure to review salary expectations for the different cyber security professionals. These may also vary depending on factors such as industry, location, and years of experience.
4. Get the Qualifications You Need
Getting started in the field of cybersecurity does not have to be difficult. After all, each year, there are an estimated 163,000 job openings in the sector just in the US, and all you need to get started is a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field (i.e.: computer science) and basic experience.
However, the competition among your professionals in cybersecurity can be harsh, especially for new entries or inexperienced professionals. That is why it is recommendable to bulk up your resume with internationally-recognized certifications – such as this CISSP Certification Course – and specialized qualifications.
Pro tip – Make sure to choose a reputable training course provider! Your qualifications will precede you, and obtaining a certification from a reputable organization can help you sharpen your competitive edge when running against other candidates.
5. Learn About the Hard and Soft Skills Needed for the Job
Building your skillset is crucial to compete in the industry, but you’ll need more than technical knowledge to succeed!
Some of the hard skills to cultivate include knowledge of programming languages such as C++, Python, and Java, knowledge of firewalls and endpoint security, and an in-depth understanding of hacking, scripting, network security control, and intrusion detection strategies.
In terms of soft skills, you’ll need to hone your problem-solving and decision-making abilities, attention to detail, teamwork, communication, and ability to work under stress.
What’s more, as cyber-attacks become more sophisticated, you might need to think outside of the box to resolve a critical situation – which requires a combination of lateral thinking and a thorough knowledge of the latest cybersecurity techniques!
Pro tip: never stop building your resume and skill set. No matter your current position and career projection, you should continue learning and getting new certifications to maintain your professional competitive advantage. After all, cybersecurity is a field in continuous development.
6. Time To Find an Entry Point!
Once you have built a solid skillset and reputation, you won’t struggle to find an entry point to launch your career in cybersecurity field.
And, you will certainly not be short of options when it comes down to finding the right position for your needs.
Whether you are looking to become part of a team contributing to a prestigious project or are considering the benefits of opening your own cybersecurity consulting firm, the options are truly endless!
Unsure about the best career move for your needs? Consider partnering with a mentor!