Cybersecurity is a booming field with more job openings than qualified candidates. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 33 percent growth in cybersecurity positions from 2020 to 2030. This demand particularly grew during the Covid 19 pandemic, due to increased cyber-attack incidents with remote working practices.
Related: Beginners Guide to Cybersecurity.
In this article, we will have a look at how you can launch your career in this high-demand industry.
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Prerequisites of Cyber Security Career
Before you start your cybersecurity career, ideally, you need to have the following:
- A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or similar field
- Working knowledge of languages such as Java, C++, Python, Node, etc.
- Knowledge of firewalls and endpoint security types.
- Networking and basic programming skills
- A keen eye for detail and excellent problem-solving skills.
- Updated knowledge of current cybersecurity trends and cyberattacks.
Career Pathways in Cybersecurity
Like any other IT domain, cybersecurity also offers a number of different career pathways and job roles. These jobs are found in different departments, including banking and finance, healthcare, education, law enforcement, and government sector. With a cybersecurity background, you can choose to go for different jobs such as:
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Information Security Analyst
- Cyber Crime Analyst
- Computer Forensic Analyst
- Cyber Security Architect
- Computer and Information System Manager
- Security Manager/Engineer/Consultant
- Network Security Engineer
Starting Your Career
Starting your career in cybersecurity can be through different paths. Some people have their minds set clearly from the start and pursue cybersecurity degree during graduation. Others may start with other IT jobs and transition towards cybersecurity. Whichever path you may choose, you can find opportunities to succeed if you are determined.
The following choices can help youlaunch a successful career in cybersecurity:
Get a Degree
To get a degree in cybersecurity, you have to enroll in an undergraduate program for computer science, IT, information security, or cyber security. When looking to target higher positions, you may also have to get a master’s degree that specializes in cyber security.
Take Online Cybersecurity Courses
If you don’t want to pursue formal education in cybersecurity or looking to change your career path, enroll in online courses for cybersecurity. These can be a good alternative for students who cannot afford expensive education as they can prepare themselves with all the basic skills that are required to perform job duties.
Get Certifications in Cybersecurity
Even with a formal degree and basic knowledge, it would help you land a prosperous job if you get relevant certifications. Certifications indicate to the employers that you are dedicated towards improving your skills. Some renowned certifications in cybersecurity with few or no requirements are:
- CompTIA PenTest+
- CompTIA Security+
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- SANS GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)
- CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst(CySA+)
- CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
Gain Practical Experience
Now that you have all the basic knowledge required for a head start in your career, you need to apply your skills. Getting a job without prior experience is difficult in every field. But you can also opt for other activities to gain experience and practice your skills such as:
- Volunteer to provide cybersecurity services for an organization.
- Apply for internship programs in cyber security to learn practical knowledge as a newbie.
- Consider entry level positions to gain hands-on experience in the field.
- Participate in cybersecurity competitions.
- Attend seminars and conferences to get to know more people in the field and build your network.
It is never too late to start a career in cyber security. With the right knowledge and skills, you will find your way towards good opportunities. The key to having a successful cybersecurity career, or in any field, is to work hard for it.