How to Start a Career in Cyber Security

Guide Technology

Let,s see how to start a career in Cyber Security?

There is a great demand for Cybersecurity experts in the public, private, and government sectors.

Because they want to protect their important data and systems from cyber-attacks.

Cybersecurity experts predict that there are great chances that cybercrime will cost about $6 trillion annually in the year 2021.

We can estimate the demand for cybersecurity from the US News and World report.

Which listed cybersecurity as the fifth-best job in the year of 2019 on the basis of growth stress, work-life balance, employment rate, salary, and job prospects.

Due to this reason, there is no wonder about the fact that the position of information security analyst gets the median salary of $98,350.

It is the best time to start a career in cyber security due to the high demand and many perks offered to cybersecurity professionals.

 

How to Start a Career in Cybersecurity in 2021?

You need to understand the prerequisites of cybersecurity to Start a Career in Cyber Security.

The general Cyber Security prerequisites are:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or in a similar field of computer science.
  • You must have knowledge about firewalls and different forms of endpoint security.
  • Knowledge of different programming languages such as Java, C++, Python, and Node.
  • You should have enough ability to work under pressure and deliver at the right time..
  • knowledge about the cybersecurity latest trends and problem-solving skills.
  • The latest knowledge about cybersecurity and hacker tactics.
  1. Invest in Your Education
  2. Get Certified
  3. Networking
  4. Learn Coding
  5. Learn about Systems
  6. Learn about Applications
  7. Learn from Others
  8. Build a Lab OR Learning Environment for hands-on Experience
  9. Invest in Personal Projects and Self-Teaching
  10. Doing an Internship
  11. Start your First Job
  12. Start a Cyber Security Courses

 

Invest in Your Education

Usually, the first step to start a career in cybersecurity is earning a degree in cybersecurity.

You will get plenty of options if you have a degree and some experience in cybersecurity.

Mostly the cybersecurity experts and leaders start with an undergraduate degree in information technology computer science and information systems.

The next step after doing an undergraduate degree in cybersecurity is getting a master’s degree in cybersecurity or information technology.

It will increase your career opportunities and chances to get hired for higher positions.

So, you should start the route of cybersecurity engineering with an undergraduate degree in engineering and then you should start to get specialized experience in the field of cybersecurity.

You can either get direct experience in cybersecurity or obtain a master’s degree which only focuses on cybersecurity engineering.

Education is always key even if it does not matter which path you choose.

Education is considered one of the reasons for a large number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs.

According to an estimate, there will be almost 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally in the year 2021 as employers are struggling to find some talented professionals with some advanced education and high-level skills.

The number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs is increasing because cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks day by day and companies are struggling to find cybersecurity experts with some great skills and knowledge to prevent such cyber attacks.

In such a desperate field where so many job opportunities are available due to the lack of qualified candidates, the persons with a degree in cybersecurity have a great advantage over the others.

You will not only get a vast option of jobs rather salaries are also high due to the urgent demand and lack of supply.

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Get Certified

You also need to consider getting certification in a particular area of cybersecurity if you want to get a job in the cybersecurity field.

One of the most famous certifications of cybersecurity are given below:

  • CISA: Certified Information System Auditor
  • CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
  • GIAC: Global Information Security Manager
  • CISM: Certified Information Security manager

Additionally, there are a great number of certifications and among them offered by RSA, Cisco and Symantec are very attractive for employers.

Definitely, what you need and what employers require depends on the roles which you are targeting.

 

Networking

Almost in every field networking is very important and there are no exceptions in cybersecurity.

If you are looking for networking opportunities in cybersecurity then there are multiple avenues available.

You can join the local cybersecurity orgs like the San Diego Cyber center of excellence.

Most of the cities have their own associations of cybersecurity and these associations can be excellent venues for both learning and networking.

From this platform, you will have a chance to network with industry professionals.

You can volunteer with a cybersecurity organization.

You will find a number of different organizations which try to spread the word about cybersecurity and attract as many people as possible to this field.

You can increase your resume by getting involved with such organizations.

Getting a graduate degree is also one of the best ways to network with professors and employers in the cybersecurity field.

There will be a career center in the most reputable or famous cybersecurity schools which will be close to the employers.

Such a career center at the school can help you to identify potential employers.

You will never find a better time than the present to start a career in cyber security field.

Most of the companies in the world need experts who know how to build and protect systems to migrate the ongoing cyber threats.

If you have enough skills in information security with some experience and education there are some immediate cybersecurity job opportunities all around the globe and across all industries and sectors.

For the students who are interested in Cybersecurity, the University of San Diego has also created a master’s degree platform in cybersecurity.

Moreover, they are also offering a master’s degree in leadership and Cyber Security operations.

These programs are quite tough and entirely focused on modern cybersecurity and they also teach the students to become effective lifelong learners.

It is one of the most important and evolving skills in the world of cybercrime and security.

 

 

 

Learn Coding

You need to learn the basics of coding because they will help you to understand the markup language to create web pages and web applications.

You can start with programming languages like Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Python, and Javascript.

If you are not sure how and where to start you can consider some online training platforms like Khan Academy, Code Academy or you can learn from any kind of beginner’s book.

 

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Learn about Systems

 You should learn the basics of administering a computer system.

There are two most common systems: Windows and Linux.

We will recommend you to start with Linux first if resources are available and then learn how to administer Linux with the Command Line Interface as compared to the graphical user interface.

It is a powerful skill to administer a Linux system from the command line to include scripting and it will help you accept the fact which path you would take.

 

Learn about Applications

You should learn how to run, maintain and configure the most common applications such as database, DNS server, and webserver.

 

Learn from Others

Learning from others is also one of the most important elements to start a career in cybersecurity.

You should try to attend cybersecurity conferences in your area.

Every major city has several events about cybersecurity in a year.

Some cities also have monthly meet-ups of the cybersecurity community.

When you attend only one conference the opportunities and network will flourish automatically.

The option to attend online communities is also available but we will recommend you to attend the actual and face-to-face events.

In this way, you can build your connections quickly.

Additionally, there are a good number of cybersecurity professionals to follow online and learn from them.

When you start to learn and know what areas interest you the most you will find experts in that particular field.

 

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Build a Lab OR Learning Environment for hands-on Experience

Setting up your own lap at home is one of the best ways to learn all the stuff you need to become a cybersecurity expert.

It is not very difficult as you can easily create a virtual operating system on your physical computer easily.

You can also set up an online lab in the cloud by using Microsoft’s Azure or Amazon’s AWS.

You can search about it on YouTube or Google.

You will find a lot of sites that can teach you how to set up your lab in a proper way.

There is another option to identify all of the devices on your Wi-Fi network.

After setting up a map of your home network and lap you can start to interact with different devices or computers and learn anything which you want.

Connect the browser on one of your computers to a server that you have set up on another computer.

You can get the network traffic from the thermostat of your house and then you have to decode the information which you are sending to the internet.

There are endless possibilities. But you should not start hacking and breaking different things until you understand the fundamentals of this technology completely.

 

Invest in Personal Projects and Self-Teaching

As you are going to do one of the top-level certifications it’s important for you to take the time and teach yourself.

If you don’t have a certification it does not stop you from getting projects or learning further than certification.

There are many videos, content, and forums related to your profession which you can explore.

You can get the latest knowledge from industry experts across the globe.

There are some great software development platforms like GitHub which allows the aspiring security experts to continue to some open source projects.

It is an effective way to test your skill set as you connect with industry professionals all around the world and improve your resume to impress potential employers.

Investing in your soft skills is also important with technical skills. 

Because it can help you to reach other students in your course and communicate with others online.

Enhancing your social media and marketing skills will help you during the job-hunting process.

 

Doing an Internship

After getting your first qualification you need to prepare yourself for the workforce.

If you are lucky then maybe you will get a full-time job straight away after completing your training.

Doing an internship is necessary if you want to get more experience in your industry.

On the other hand, an internship is the best opportunity to use your classroom skills practically.

An internship can benefit entry-level exports in many ways.

It is not expected that you will get the seasoned knowledge of long-term industry professionals.

But you will be immersed with the professional responsibilities and will know about the conduct required of a formal workplace.

In this way, you will learn the standards and demands in the cybersecurity field and you will be trained as a full-time professional.

Moreover, you also get the opportunity to collaborate with some other aspiring experts which can help you to grasp the dynamics of a workplace and enhance your communication skills.

In the end, you will have to face some common mistakes and you will learn from them.

 

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Start your First Job

You should not expect a big opportunity when you are looking for your first job.

Instead of looking for a high-paying six-figure salary job you should focus on the things and experience which you will get from your first job.

You will learn some new and exciting skills with great knowledge from industry experts and professionals.

You will have a chance to learn and understand exactly what employers value in modern age security experts.

According to the experts, the main skills include an aptitude for learning and critical thinking.

Technology can be taught to anyone but some essential skills such as critical thinking and problem solving are quite tough to develop.

Due to this reason, it is important to develop an open and growth-centered mindset of unfamiliar discoveries.

welcoming new methods to enhance your current knowledge base and progress along the journey of your career.

 

 

Start a Cyber Security Course

To Start a Career in Cyber Security you need to enroll yourself in any of the free or paid courses listed below:

There are many courses related to cybersecurity which you can join.

Some of these courses are free and some of them are paid due to which you have to pay some amount of money as well.

But some popular courses are given below:

  • Introduction to Information Security
  • Introduction to cybersecurity
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Introduction to ethical hacking
  • Advanced Cybersecurity

 

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Stanford Advanced Cyber Security Program

You can get certified by a globally recognized institute like Stanford to accelerate your career in cybersecurity.

Their cybersecurity course will help aspiring professionals to enhance their skills and learn from the industry leaders in Cybersecurity.

  • Coursera

You will get cybersecurity courses from beginning to advance for the individuals who are already in the field of cybersecurity.

But you have to pay between $39/month and $49/month.

  • Udemy

There are a great number of cybersecurity courses available. These courses range in price from $9 to $300.

If still, you are from where to start with any of these areas as listed then you can also start searching on Google and YouTube.

There is not a single resource or website where you will learn everything which means you will use a number of different resources with the passage of time.

You should start with the basics and then grow with time.

But the skills you will develop now about learning and searching from other resources will be critical not only for starting but also a key part of your entire career.

 

How to get started a cybersecurity Career?

You need to understand the prerequisites of cybersecurity to get started with cybersecurity.

The general Cyber Security prerequisites are:

  • The 4 years bachelor’s degree in computer science or in a similar field like IT.
  • You must have knowledge about firewalls and different forms of endpoint security.
  • Knowledge of different programming languages such as Java, C++, Python, and Node.
  • You must have the ability to work under pressure.
  • knowledge about the cybersecurity latest trends and problem-solving skills.
  • The latest knowledge about cybersecurity and hacker tactics.

Importance of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has great importance for different sectors or fields like different government organizations, medium and large enterprises, startups, and even for personal use.

But why is Cybersecurity so important?

The days are gone when there was only simple antivirus software and firewalls for security measures. Your organization can face Cyber threats at any level.

So, it is important to educate your employees about simple scams such as phishing, ransomware attacks, or other malware designed to steal intellectual property or even personal data.

The risk of Cybersecurity is increasing day by day and your organization cannot defend itself against campaigns of a data breach.

All of these factors are included in the reason to increase the job opportunities in the Cyber Security field. 

 

Cybersecurity Career Paths

Before you start a career in cybersecurity you need to decide which career path would be the right choice for you.

Basically, there are two career paths in cybersecurity from which you have to decide before you start investing your time and money in education and training.

There are a great number of different career options and different jobs but you have to decide and choose one of them according to your interest and skills.

 

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Leadership and Operations Route

The first way is to take the operation and leadership route in which you need to have a diverse range of skills and a tendency to learn for a long period of time.

You also must-have capabilities of strong leadership and a good understanding of information technology and its processes with advanced knowledge and skills of cybersecurity.

The top job options for cybersecurity experts who gain a substantial level of education and experience in the field are :

  1. Cybersecurity Engineer
  2. Penetration Tester
  3. Network Administrator
  4. Auditor of Security
  5. Security Engineer Lead Software
  6. Global Information Security Director
  7. Analyst of Information Security
  8. Consultant of Cybersecurity

 

Engineering Route

The second way of the Cybersecurity path is the engineering route.

The people who have engineering experience and interest that is the best route for them.

In this route of engineering, you will learn how multiple security systems are built to migrate threats.

After understanding what it means to build a secure system the cybersecurity engineers can find a job of:

  1. Cybersecurity Engineer
  2. Lead Software Security Engineer
  3. Cybersecurity Architect.

You can also read our article about how to become a game developer.

 

Frequently Asked Questions to start a career in cybersecurity with no experience

Where do you start your career in cybersecurity?

You can get some professional experience by doing internships, volunteer work, and working on different projects on your own.

It will make it much easier for you to get your first cybersecurity job.

It’s A great job to get for anyone who values rewarding work.

 

How do you start cybersecurity with no experience?

Different Certification and IT courses can help people with no experience. First, you need to have a look at your background and job role. Networking with other industry-related people and using Linkedin. Thinking a little bit differently or out of the box. Closely follow the technologies related to Cybersecurity.

Should you start a career in cybersecurity?

It depends on your interest and the career you want to have in the future.

There are different steps you need to follow to Start a Career in Cyber Security.

But it does not require a degree to become a cybersecurity expert.

But if you want to study then it would be great because it will not hurt you rather you have chances to get a high salary.

What qualifications are required to work in cybersecurity?

These are qualifications that you need to work in cybersecurity.

To Start a Career in Cyber Security you can learn one of the courses:

  1. Computer Science
  2. IT
  3. Network and Security
  4. Network Engineering
  5. Forensic Computing

How much time does cybersecurity training take?

In most countries, a Bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security takes around 3 to 4 years.

While the master’s degree in Cyber Security takes between 1 to 2 years to complete.

The Ph.D. programs in Cyber Security take around 3 to 5 years.

Some courses also take only 1 to 2 years to complete but they are not very common.

 

Closing: start learning cyber security from scratch

The career of Cybersecurity is quite amazing to pursue.

Because it is in high demand and you will also be paid higher for a cybersecurity job.

But first, you need to get started and enter this field.

For this, you have to do your bachelor’s degree in any computer science-related course.

But a degree is not compulsory to Start a Career in Cyber Security.

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