How To Get Into the Cybersecurity Field in 2023?
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Why Choose Cybersecurity?
- 3 What Are the Skills Required For a Career in Cybersecurity?
- 4 Cybersecurity Career Paths
- 5 How To Get Into Cybersecurity (Regardless of Your Background)
- 6 Get Familiar With Cybersecurity Tools
- 7 Pursue a Cybersecurity Course With Knowledgehut
- 8 Conclusion
As more and more companies and organizations are becoming more reliant on internet technologies to operate their business and to store sensitive user information, the threat of cyber-attacks also continues to be an increasingly worrying issue. All this has led to an ever-growing demand for skilled cybersecurity specialists who can protect a company’s data and other digital assets from malicious hackers and cyber threats. Thus, the cybersecurity industry is growing at a tremendous pace.
Given the scale of the opportunity, many college students and working professionals are looking to get into the field of cybersecurity. However, many still wonder what is the employment outlook of this field and if there are some special education, training, or best cyber security courses required to become a cyber security professional.
In this article, we will break down everything about the field of cyber security and how you can get started on the path towards becoming an expert cyber security professional.
What is Cybersecurity?
The term “Cybersecurity” refers to the practices and technologies designed to protect internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data, from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. It encompasses a wide range of security measures to protect against various types of cyber threats, such as hacking, malware, phishing, and ransomware. Cybersecurity is crucial for individuals, businesses, and governments as the reliance on technology continues to grow, and sensitive information is increasingly stored and transmitted online.
Why Choose Cybersecurity?
From low unemployment to higher salaries, there are several reasons why you might consider pursuing a career in cybersecurity.
- High Employment Rates: Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field, with more and more companies trying to protect themselves from malicious attackers. Thus, there is a high demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals throughout different types of industries. Becoming a cyber security professional will enable you to easily and more consistently find work.
- Competitive Salary: Cybersecurity professionals often command high salaries due to the critical nature of their work and the shortage of qualified individuals. The average salary of a cyber security professional is in the range of around $70k to $80k per annum in the United States.
- Versatile Career Paths: Cybersecurity offers various career opportunities and job titles, which include – security engineer, security software developer, security consultant, security analyst, information security analyst, cryptographer, security architect, and many more. You can choose whichever career option aligns with your personal interests and what you may enjoy more.
- Job Satisfaction – Apart from the financial incentives, working as a cyber security professional also offers a great deal of job satisfaction. According to a study by the workforce, 71% of cybersecurity professionals working in the United States are satisfied or very satisfied with their cybersecurity jobs.
- Make a Positive Impact: By preventing cyber-attacks and safeguarding sensitive information, you also get to make a positive impact on society and the economy. It just further increases job satisfaction.
- Job Security: Cyber security job market seems to have a bright outlook. Cyberattacks are increasing in frequency and complexity, making cybersecurity an in-demand field with no signs of diminishing in the foreseeable future.
- Help Protect Against Cyber Threats: By working in cybersecurity, you can help organizations and individuals defend against cyber threats and protect their valuable information.
What Are the Skills Required For a Career in Cybersecurity?
The skills required for a career in cybersecurity vary depending on the specific role you are interested in, but some common skills include-
- Technical Skills
Cybersecurity is a highly technical job and may require expertise in many technical skills like programming, encryption, and network security, among others. Some of the most common requirements to be a cyber security professional includes –
- Knowledge of Operating Systems – Develop a good enough understanding of how all operating systems (such as Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) work and how they are supposed to interact with each other.
- Encryption – Cybersecurity professionals tend to be experts in encryption technologies. You should have acquired vast knowledge of how various encryption technologies work to secure sensitive information.
- Risk Assessment & Management – You should have the ability to quickly identify and assess potential security risks. You should also be able to implement measures to quickly mitigate these risks. It will be a test of all your other technical skills.
Soft skills are beneficial to be more effective and productive in nearly any career field. It is especially true for the field of cyber security. Here are some of the most common soft skills that are most helpful for a cybersecurity professional –
- Problem-Solving: Ability to analyze complex problems and find creative solutions to security challenges. Breaking down a bigger problem into small parts can help to deal with the problem more quickly.
- Attention to Detail: Ability to identify and address even the smallest of the security weaknesses in the company’s system.
- Communication: Ability to effectively communicate technical information to both technical and non-technical stakeholders.
- Adaptability: Ability to quickly adapt to new technologies and changing threat landscapes. Malicious attackers keep on inventing new mechanisms to bypass the security of the system. You have to adapt quickly to all changes.
- Persistence to Continual Learning: A commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in this ever-evolving landscape of cyber security. You also need to continuously improve your skills to stay relevant.
- Strong Work Ethics: Ability to work independently or as part of a team and to manage multiple projects and deadlines.
Cybersecurity Career Paths
A career in cybersecurity can take many paths and can be categorized into three levels. Some of the common career paths according to their levels are as follows:
- Entry-Level Cyber Security Career Path – You may not need to get a master’s or an advanced degree to get started in the field of Cybersecurity. There are many best cyber security courses that you can enroll in to acquire basic knowledge in the field. Here are some of the most common entry-level jobs in cyber security.
- Incident Response and Intrusion Analyst
- Risk Analyst and/or Cyber Crime Analyst
- IT Auditor
- Mid-Level Cyber security Career Path – By acquiring a few years of work experience in cyber security and a few more advanced certifications on their resume, most people can easily jump into Mid-Level positions. These positions include –
- Penetration and Vulnerability Tester
- Security Engineer
- Forensics and Cybersecurity Analyst
- Advanced-Level Cybersecurity Career Path – Although all the jobs in the field of cyber-security come with a lot of responsibility, advanced-level job positions have the heaviest stake of responsibility in protecting a company from cyber- attacks. Thus, you need to be an expert in the required technological skills with good enough business acumen. These job positions may include –
- Cyber Security manager
- Chief Information Officer (CIO),
- Cybersecurity engineer and Architect
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), etc.
How To Get Into Cybersecurity (Regardless of Your Background)
There is more than one way to enjoy an enriching career in the field of cybersecurity. Many individuals will start early with an undergraduate degree in cyber security, while others transition to the cyber security industry from other IT professions. Here are some steps you can take to break into the field of cybersecurity –
Acquire a Degree:
An undergraduate degree in cybersecurity is the most common and convenient path to start a career in this field. Other than an undergraduate (UG) program in cyber security, an undergraduate degree in Information Technology (IT), information assurance, or Computer Science (CS). However, some of the most advanced-Level Cyber security job positions may require you to obtain a master’s degree in the above-mentioned subjects.
Enroll in Online Cybersecurity Courses
If you do not want to pursue a formal education degree, then you should consider joining online cybersecurity courses. There are several cyber security programs available online that can help in acquiring all the theoretical knowledge to begin a career in this field. Even if you have no past experience in cyber security or programming, such online cyber security programs will help you a lot in building a successful career in this field.
Online cybersecurity courses are also relatively more affordable than most undergraduate degrees while still providing all the basic skills required for a cybersecurity job. Choose and pursue whichever course seems the best cybersecurity course for you.
Get Numerous Cybersecurity Certifications
Obtaining professional certification is very helpful in succeeding in your cybersecurity career. Professional certifications can help you to demonstrate your expertise and dedication to potential employers. Some of the great certifications that you can do without much past experience in cybersecurity include:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- OSCP: Offensive Security Certified Professional
- GSEC: SANS GIAC Security Essentials
- CASP+: CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
- CySA+: CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst
- CompTIA Security+
- CompTIA PenTest+
Get Practical Experience:
Participate in online cybersecurity competitions and hackathons, do internships, and take on cybersecurity projects to gain hands-on experience in the field.
Practice makes the man perfect. Regularly participate in penetration testing and vulnerability assessments to keep your skills sharp and improve your knowledge of security best practices.
Cybersecurity is an evolving field. Hackers keep on finding new loopholes to bypass all the system security. Thus, you need to stay informed of all the latest developments and advancements in the field by reading industry blogs, research papers, books, etc.
Get Familiar With Cybersecurity Tools
Getting familiar with cybersecurity tools can be a helpful step in pursuing a career in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity tools are important to protect a company from malicious hackers. Some of the most common cybersecurity tools may include:
Wireshark is a free and open-source packet analyzer that lets you use it to view, inspect, analyze, and troubleshoot traffic coming to a computer network to find security holes.
Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux operating system specially designed for hacking or penetration testing purposes. It comes with all the important hacking software pre-installed. You can access these tools with a simple and easy-to-use user interface.
Nagios is an open-source monitoring system. It can be used to track the status of a company’s IT infrastructure, which may include the company’s servers, applications, networks, and services.
Password Managers like KeyPass
Password managers are used to securely store and manage passwords to help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. KeyPass is a free, open-source, and famous password manager that allows you to store and manage all your passwords via a single interface.
It’s important to note that tools alone are not enough to ensure security, and a deep understanding of security principles and practices is also critical.
Pursue a Cybersecurity Course With Knowledgehut
There are many online cybersecurity courses that you can join to enhance and upgrade your technical and programming skills to start your career as a cybersecurity professional.
If you are serious about becoming a Cyber Security expert, the courses offered by Knowledgehut may be the best options to go with. Even if you do not have prior experience in cyberspace, you can still pursue some of the best cyber security courses with Knowledgehut. These courses will provide all the skills required to handle security challenges in any type of industry.
The field of cyber security is a relatively new and evolving one. It can get quite complex and confusing at times. However, if you are interested in ethical hacking and building robust systems for society, then you should give the cyber security field a shot.
Hopefully, this article has helped you in getting started with the cyber security space. It is recommended to join some of the top cyber security courses to gain all the technical and programming skills required to begin a career in this field.