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As the world becomes increasingly dependent on technology for business operations and information exchange, businesses 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 across the world. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs for information security analysts will grow 33% between 2020 and 2030. That’s four times faster than the projected 8% growth in all industries.
In this article, we’ll explore different avenues for getting a cybersecurity job, even if you don’t have any experience in the industry.
What is cybersecurity?
What is cybersecurity? This area concerns the protection of interconnected systems and networks against digital attacks, also known as cyber threats. These threats range from property damage to information theft.
The daily duties of a cybersecurity specialist may include the following.
- Implement security audits on company systems and networks
- Design firewalls to prevent data breaches
- Training of employees in good IT security practices
- Monitoring security systems to quickly detect vulnerabilities
These are a few main duties you can expect to take on, but your specific duties may vary depending on your position and expertise.
Cybersecurity job requirements
Cybersecurity is a high-tech field that requires speed, accuracy, and problem-solving skills. It sets the bar higher for entry level jobs than many other industries.
Below, we’ll explore some essential criteria that cybersecurity job applicants must meet.
Like in any other industry, formal education is the easiest way to get a good job.
The National Security Agency (NSA) recommends a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field like math and engineering. Some positions even prefer a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
Some cybersecurity job requirements prioritize practical skills over degrees. So if you are unable to invest the time or money required for a traditional cybersecurity degree, your best bet 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. That’s much cheaper than the average annual public college tuition of $9,400, which is $37,600 for a typical four-year degree.
Popular cybersecurity bootcamps include the following.
Cybersecurity job requirements don’t start and end with formal education.
With a certification, you can establish professional credibility and increase your chances of landing the job.
Some popular certifications commonly required for entry-level cybersecurity jobs are:
- CompTIA Security+ is a globally recognized certification for entry-level cybersecurity professionals. It proves that you can identify, analyze and respond to security vulnerabilities in a system network. This certification is ideal for those who want to work as IT auditors, cybersecurity analysts, cloud engineers or system administrators.
- The GIAC Security Essentials certification applies to entry-level security managers, IT engineers, forensic analysts, and penetration testers. You don’t need years of experience to earn this certification.
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): EC-Council offers this certification to entry-level ethical hackers and system administrators. Applicants must meet the following qualifications:
- Be a member of the CEH.
- Have a minimum of three years of experience in InfoSec.
- Possess an equivalent industrial 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 requiring at least five years of full experience. time work experience.
Due to the fragility of digital assets, entry-level cybersecurity jobs require more technical expertise than other fields. To get your foot in the door, you need to master the following.
- Programming languages like Java, Golang, Python and C++
- Project management
- Information system
- Intrusion detection
- Risk assessment
- Accounting (for IT auditors)
Technical skills may get you the job, but your personality helps determine how quickly you move up 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
Average annual salary: About $99,000
Education needed: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field
Career overview: A cybersecurity engineer designs, implements, and monitors secure network solutions that defend an organization’s systems from hackers. If you are wondering how to become a cybersecurity engineer, know that this role requires proficiency in Linux, vulnerability assessment, network and information systems security.
Information Security Analyst
Average annual salary: About $74,000
Education needed: Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Associate’s degree in Information Technology
Career overview: An Information Security Analyst monitors organizational systems, detects security vulnerabilities, and proactively recommends solutions to their superiors.
Information Technology Support Technician
Average annual salary: About $48,000
Education needed: High school diploma and certificate in computer support
Career overview: A computer technician diagnoses and resolves hardware/software problems for users and employees.
How to Get a Cybersecurity Job
Get an education
Most cybersecurity job requirements relate to your knowledge of the role. College, immersive bootcamps, and self-study can equip you with the skills you need in network security, systems administration, and security auditing and response.
Gain internship experience
Internships allow you to learn from seasoned cybersecurity professionals and gain hands-on experience. An internship can give you a competitive advantage over candidates who have no experience.
Build a portfolio
A cybersecurity portfolio builds 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 on-demand hiring managers.
Apply for positions
Gaining professional work experience is the best way to start 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
Although cybersecurity certifications aren’t 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.