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As the world becomes more reliant on technology for business operations and information sharing, companies simply cannot afford a data breach. Data breaches can cost millions of dollars and compromise sensitive information.
This has led to a growing demand for cybersecurity professionals around the world. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that information security analyst jobs will grow 33% between 2020 and 2030. This is four times faster than the projected 8% growth in all industries.
In this article, we’ll explore various paths to landing a cybersecurity job, even if you don’t have industry experience.
What is cybersecurity?
What is cybersecurity? This field involves the protection of interconnected systems and networks from digital attacks, also called cyber threats. These threats range from hardware damage to information theft.
The daily tasks of a cybersecurity specialist may include the following.
- Implementation of security audits in the company’s systems and networks.
- Firewall design to prevent data leaks
- Train co-workers on IT security best practices
- Monitoring of security systems to quickly detect vulnerabilities
These are some of the main roles you can take on, but your specific duties may vary depending on your role and experience.
Cybersecurity Job Requirements
Cybersecurity is a high-tech field that requires speed, accuracy, and problem-solving skills. It sets a higher bar for entry-level jobs than many other industries.
Below, we will explore some vital criteria that candidates for cybersecurity positions must meet.
As in any other industry, formal education is the easiest route to get a good job.
The National Security Agency (NSA) recommends a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, such as math and engineering. Some positions even prefer a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
Some cybersecurity job requirements favor practical skills over degrees. So if you can’t invest the time or money to earn a traditional cybersecurity degree, your best option is to attend an immersive cybersecurity bootcamp.
A cybersecurity bootcamp is an intensive training program that equips you with the skills needed in the cybersecurity job market. Most full-time bootcamps last from four to 20 weeks. Part-time programs can last up to one year.
According to a report by RTI International, a bootcamp costs an average of $11,900. It’s much cheaper than the average $9,400 annual tuition from a public university, which adds up to $37,600 for a typical four-year degree.
Popular cybersecurity bootcamps include the following.
Cybersecurity job requirements do not begin or end with formal education.
With a certification, you can establish professional credibility and increase your chances of getting the job.
Some popular certifications commonly required for entry-level cyber security jobs are:
- CompTIA Security+ is a globally recognized certification for entry-level cybersecurity professionals. Demonstrates that you can identify, analyze, and respond to security breaches in a system’s network. This certification is ideal for those who want to work as IT auditors, cybersecurity analysts, cloud engineers, or system administrators.
- The GIAC Security Fundamentals Certification applies to entry-level security managers, IT engineers, forensic analysts, and penetration testers. You do not need years of experience to acquire this certification.
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): EC-Council offers this certification to entry-level ethical hackers and system administrators. Candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Be a member of the CEH.
- Have a minimum of three years of InfoSec experience.
- Possess an equivalent industry certification.
- Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional Certification: This certification validates your ability to detect and respond to cyber threats. It is valid for three years.
As you progress in your career, you can earn advanced certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), each of which requires at least five years of full experience. time of work experience.
Due to the sensitivity of digital assets, entry-level cybersecurity jobs require more technical expertise than other fields. To get your foot in the door, you need to be proficient in the following.
- Programming languages such as Java, Golang, Python and C++
- Projects management
- Information systems
- intrusion detection
- Risks evaluation
- Accounting (for IT auditors)
Hard skills may get you the job, but your personality helps determine how quickly you climb the corporate ladder.
Every cybersecurity professional who wants to thrive in the workplace needs a combination of communication, presentation, critical thinking, problem solving, networking, teamwork, and time management skills.
Popular Cyber Security Jobs
Cyber Security Engineer
Annual Average Salary: Around $99,000
Education needed: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field
Race Overview: A cybersecurity engineer designs, implements, and monitors secure network solutions that defend an organization’s systems from hackers. If you’re wondering how to become a cybersecurity engineer, know that this role requires proficiency in Linux, vulnerability assessment, network security, and information systems.
Information Security Analyst
Annual Average Salary: About $74,000
Education needed: Bachelor of Computer Science or Associate Degree in Information Technology
Race Overview: An information security analyst monitors organizational systems, detects security vulnerabilities, and proactively recommends solutions to superiors.
Information Technology Support Technician
Annual Average Salary: About $48,000
Education needed: High School Diploma and Certificate in IT Support
Race Overview: An IT technician diagnoses and fixes hardware/software problems for users and employees.
How to get a job in cybersecurity
get an education
Most cyber security job requirements relate to your knowledge of the position. College, immersive bootcamps, and self-education can equip you with the skills you need in network security, system administration, and security auditing and response.
Get internship experience
Internships allow you to learn from experienced cybersecurity professionals and gain hands-on experience. An internship can give you a competitive advantage over applicants who don’t have any experience.
create a portfolio
A cybersecurity portfolio solidifies your credibility as an information security professional with skills and experience.
To build your portfolio, consider working on open source cybersecurity projects, participating in hackathons, and sharing your knowledge on public platforms. You can host your projects in a private GitHub repository and grant access to hiring managers upon request.
Apply for positions
Gaining professional work experience is the best way to jumpstart a career in cybersecurity. You can find entry-level cybersecurity positions on job boards, company websites, and social media platforms like LinkedIn.
US citizens can also apply for cybersecurity jobs with the federal government through USAJobs.
Consider Getting Certified
While cybersecurity certifications are not required for most entry-level positions, these credentials can improve your marketability as a candidate. As you gain more full-time work experience, plan to earn relevant industry certifications as well.