Are you considering following a career path in cyber security? You’ll want to know more about it before you pursue the education and training you need to get into the field. Cybersecurity has very high-paying roles, and workers are in-demand- so you’re sure to land a job.
Overall, you’ll feel much more prepared after reading this article. Here’s everything you need to know about getting a degree in cybersecurity.
Basic Education Requirements
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
First, you’ll want to know what education you need to get a job in this field. The education requirements can vary. For example, many entry-level cyber security positions consider experience over a degree. However, higher positions do require them.
If you’re not 100% sure what job you want in the field, then first pursuing a degree in cybersecurity should be your priority. You’ll gain experience and knowledge. Plus, you can spend time discovering different job options while you study.
Most cybersecurity jobs will consider you first if you have a four-year degree in a related field. These can include computer science and information technology. You’ll want to consider going through different training as well.
Most cybersecurity job listings do require that you have at least one cybersecurity certification when you apply. Start with basic certifications, then work your way into more specific ones.
These are a few basic security certifications that you’ll want to consider obtaining:
- CompTIA Security+
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
There are many more out there. So, you’ll want to make sure that any certifications you want to get are legitimate and useful for the job position you want. It wouldn’t be smart to waste your time getting a certification that won’t do anything for you. When you finally take a certification like CISSP, getting ready for the exam won’t be a walk in the park. Make yourself equipped with some CISSP books and study guides to help you on your path to being a certified IT security professional.
Breaking into the Field
Next, you’ll need to know your best options in breaking into the field. The best way to succeed is to pursue many certifications. These cybersecurity certifications demonstrate to employers that you know what you’re doing.
If you have no technical experience, you’ll need more before breaking into the field. You’ll want to start by learning these three essential cybersecurity skills:
1. Cloud Security
Cloud security is a skill that will boost your appeal to employers. This includes protecting any data in the cloud, a network of computers, and servers that you can access remotely. Many cybersecurity experts today need to know the ins and outs of the systems.
2. Pen or Penetration Testing
This testing allows you to check a system for vulnerabilities. You make an ethical cyber attack, then audit the system. This method lets you find out the best ways to respond to an attack.
This skill is essential for those in cybersecurity. You’ll want to learn as much about it as possible since you’re sure you will need to complete this test at some point.
Pen testing can include breaching application systems and other areas too. You’ll use the insights gained from the test to make your network more secure.
3. Understand Digital Forensics
You’ll need to have skills in the digital forensics area as well. Cybersecurity professionals should be able to follow online and network clues, leading them to stop and track cyber attacks. If there is a breach, you need to be able to follow the clues to where the attack came from.
If you don’t have these skills, you’ll need training or education to get them. Most people go back to college to work on their cybersecurity abilities.
Additional Soft Skills
Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash
Soft skills make fitting into a role easier and show potential employers that you’re an asset to the team. When it comes to cybersecurity, these are the soft skills that you’ll want to work on.
- Willingness and desire to learn
The more you demonstrate your soft skills throughout your time pursuing a career in cybersecurity, the smoother the transition will be for you.
You can also build these types of soft skills in other fields. You’ll want to include the skills you learned from other jobs there on your resume. For example, many people learn communication and leadership skills in other lines of work.
Choosing a Cyber Security Career Path
There are several different career path options that you can choose from in this field. You’ll need to research all of your options, so you know the best way to get the position that you want. Plus, you may discover that one suits you more than the others.
Here are a few cybersecurity jobs that you’ll want to consider. There are many more out there, so don’t limit yourself to just this brief list!
- Information security analyst
- Information security specialist
- Security systems administrator
- Security engineer
- Ethical hacker
- Cryptography engineer
Since you’ll have the basic education needed once you get one of these jobs, you can usually move around within the field pretty easily. That way, you know you won’t have to stick with your first choice.
What is a Cybersecurity Bootcamp?
If you can’t afford to go back to school right now, you’ll want to consider going through a cyber security boot camp. These “camps” offer you all the training you need to get a job in the field. Plus, they’re very worth your time.
With most of these camps, you select a career you want to go into. For example, a cyber security analyst boot camp teaches you the required skills to fit that role well.
Bootcamps also focus on hands-on experience and developing your skills. They’re short but very intensive but don’t cost nearly as much as going to college does. They’re a great option if you want more training to land your dream job.
Suppose you know you want to become a cybersecurity professional. In that case, reaching out to those already in the field is a good idea. You can build relationships and work on determining what job options you have.
To summarize, the cybersecurity field has more open positions than it does experts to fill them. If you want to get into this line of work, you’re sure to be very in-demand, even right after completing your first round of training.