What’s the best technical field to pursue your IT career in right now? There are probably many candidates out there who might be searching for a cybersecurity career roadmap right now! Cybersecurity experts’ demand is at an all-time high across various sectors, including the public, private, and government sectors.
In the present times, one can notice the drastic rise in the number of cyber-attacks. Therefore, it has become inevitable for all enterprises to focus on software, hardware, and data security more than ever. At the same time, enterprises face a massive shortage of cybersecurity professionals, thereby creating viable career potential in cybersecurity. So, where should a person start pursuing their career in cybersecurity?
The following discussion serves as a career guide for finding out answers on how to start a career in cybersecurity with no experience. The most interesting thing is that even if you are not looking for pursuing full-time careers in cybersecurity, expertise in the same can be a vital boost to your professional resume for other technical roles in IT.
Reasons to Choose a Career in Cybersecurity
The first plausible concern of any candidate before starting on a cybersecurity career roadmap points out the reasons. After all, why should you pursue a career in cybersecurity? For starters, the ISC Cybersecurity Workforce Study predicts that the number of cybersecurity professionals should increase by almost 62% for addressing the continuously increasing demands of businesses in the present times. According to Gartner, businesses worldwide are most likely to spend more than $1.7 billion on cybersecurity in 2020. The figure indicates a staggering 10.7% rise from the global cybersecurity expenditures in 2019.
Furthermore, the job postings related to cybersecurity have also increased radically, with Burning Glass indicating the rise in number of cybersecurity jobs by almost 94% in the last six years. Most importantly, cybersecurity jobs presently have a 13% share among all the available information technology jobs.
However, the figures regarding supply and demand for cybersecurity jobs suggest more time for filling cybersecurity jobs. On average, general IT job roles take 41 days for filling positions,while cybersecurity jobs take around 50 days. As a result, cybersecurity jobs present a better salary potential than other IT jobs. On average, the salary in a cybersecurity job role is almost $93,540 presently, which is almost 16% higher than average salary for other IT job roles.
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Important Skills Required for Cybersecurity Professionals
The facts mentioned above clearly establish formidable reasons to find the ideal cybersecurity career pathway. With so many precise reasons to start your career in cybersecurity, beginners can reasonably search for viable career options. However, what does it take to build a career in cybersecurity? The answer to this question leads you to skill requirements in a cybersecurity career roadmap. Here is an outline of the prominent skills that you would need for cybersecurity jobs.
The need for problem-solving as a skill for cybersecurity professionals cannot be undermined. Cybersecurity professionals would need creative ways to take on complex information security challenges and resolve them. As the variety of emerging technologies and digital environments increases every day, cybersecurity professionals require new approaches for solving problems.
Cybersecurity professionals have to focus on technology. Therefore, they need to focus on technical proficiency across various areas such as troubleshooting, updating, and maintaining information security systems. Furthermore, they should also implement continuous network monitoring alongside providing real-time security solutions. So, it is essential to focus on technological proficiency in addressing the daily activities of cybersecurity professionals. Every aspiring cybersecurity professional should have technical proficiency as a mandatory addition in their cybersecurity career roadmap.
Cybersecurity specialists should also have abilities to interact closely with individuals in other departments and roles. Therefore, it is important for effective communication and explanation of findings, issues, and solutions. Cybersecurity professionals should have the ability to communicate cybersecurity strategy and policy concisely and securely. They should also develop abilities for communicating technical information to individuals having different types of technical understanding.
Curiosity for Learning
Any individual with a desire to learn is ideally suitable for pursuing cybersecurity. Candidates who aspire to pursue a cybersecurity career roadmap should committo staying updated with latest industry trends and best practices. Therefore, you would need a considerable interest in self-education and learnto discover something new.
Fluency in Security throughout Different Platforms
Cybersecurity is not limited anymore to computers only. Therefore, it is important to have fluency in working on a wide assortment of computer systems, wireless networks, operating systems, and cloud networks. You would also need to update your knowledge in different fields.
Basic Expertise in Computer Forensics
Although cybersecurity and computer forensics are two separate domains, they have a close interrelationship. Therefore, fundamental knowledge in computer forensics can also provide a boost for your career in cybersecurity. To ensure effective protection of an organization’s digital assets and prevent security breaches, individuals need a comprehensive understanding of counteractive measures. You should be capable of recovering compromised data and anticipate the scenario in which cybersecurity measures can fail.
Basics of Hacking
Hacking is also one of the fundamental milestones in the cybersecurity career roadmap presently. Effective protection of an organization’s infrastructure and network requires an understanding of how exploitation can happen. Therefore, almost all cybersecurity professionals require an understanding of ethical hacking. You have to develop the same skills that a hacker has for understanding how systems could be breached. Subsequently, ethical hacking also promotes the ability of candidates to design reliable solutions for preventing cyber attacks.
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Roles and Responsibilities in Cybersecurity
The next important factor for an individual to find answers to ‘how to get into cybersecurity’ is the outline of available job roles. The variety of job roles in cybersecurity provides a clear impression of a cybersecurity beginner’s prospects. Here are the various job roles that you can find in cybersecurity.
IT Security Consultant
The position of an IT Security Consultant can be the starting point for beginners in their cybersecurity career roadmap. Security consultants are generally the first choice for small businesses for cost-effective management of security issues. Also, multi-national companies can opt for security consultants to achieve unbiased opinions on different security issues. Security consultants have to meet with clients and communicate the security structure’s layout alongside advising them on asset protection.
Security engineering is also one of the promising answers for beginners on ‘how to get into cybersecurity career’. Security engineering primarily deals with the design of security frameworks for addressing potentially catastrophic cybersecurity issues. IT security engineers have to take responsibility for system maintenance and regular security checks for finding potential vulnerabilities. At the same time, they should also create logs for tracking any types of mishaps.
Compliance Managers and Security Auditors
Beginners can step into the compliance and auditing domain of cybersecurity with almost zero programming skills. It is important to understand businesses’ operations for their effective protection and ensure limited intervention of new regulations on company innovation. Candidates aspiring for compliance management and auditing job roles in cybersecurity need real-time exposure through professional involvement with company officials and managers.
Penetration Tester or Ethical Hacker
One of the most prominent emerging job roles in the cybersecurity career roadmap for beginners focuses on ethical hacking and penetration testing. These new roles emphasize on identification of vulnerabilities and loopholes in IT systems. Penetration testing can help security professionals in looking proactively for any type of security vulnerabilities.
Generally, ethical hackers or penetration testers hack into a system’s infrastructure with complete authorization. As a result, they can easily find out any type of system vulnerabilities, configuration issues, and setbacks with application software. You would be providing the intruder’s perspective to an organization and help them discover issues before any event of real damage.
Security Systems Administrator
Another promising career option in cybersecurity is that of a security systems administrator. Security systems administrators generally take responsibility for security infrastructure of a company. The important tasks under the supervision of security systems administrators include installation of security systems and their maintenance.
They also have to take responsibility for troubleshooting various security systems, including data and network ones. Furthermore, the role of security systems administrators is prominently evident in a cybersecurity career pathway owing to their role in drafting the organizational security procedures.
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Career Path for Cybersecurity Professionals
With most answers to the questions for a cybersecurity beginner answered, it is reasonable to arrive at final steps. Almost any beginner could search for answers on ‘how to start a career in cybersecurity with no experience.’ This is where you should rely on the best practices recommended for a cybersecurity career pathway.
Build Your Foundations with Academic Qualifications
The first and foremost factor for a cybersecurity career roadmap is education. Although a college degree is not a mandatory requirement for cybersecurity, academic qualifications in computer science, IT, or related fields can provide a reliable boost for your career in cybersecurity. Therefore, an undergraduate degree and professional experience in computer science, IT, or information systems are recommended as a starting point for cybersecurity careers.
Gradually, you can opt for a master’s degree in cybersecurity operations alongside leadership, or information technology can expand your career opportunities. Education is highly crucial for starting a career in cybersecurity, and formal educational qualifications provide adequate proof. With many unfulfilled jobs in cybersecurity, individuals with cybersecurity degrees can have a competitive advantage.
Expand Your Cybersecurity Expertise with Training Courses
Cybersecurity training courses can also help find answers for ‘how to start a career in cybersecurity with no experience.’Training courses enable beginners to take a different approach from general path of learning followed in academic programs and curriculum. Training courses provide complete focus on specific cybersecurity domains and are ideal for taking a deep dive to develop cybersecurity expertise.
You can avail of many online platforms and institutes providing training courses focused specifically on cybersecurity and ethical hacking. The training courses also provide reliable improvement of expertise for qualifying certification exams apart from developing your general cybersecurity fluency. Training courses also accompany hands-on training exercises for improving your command over cybersecurity concepts. Furthermore, the institutes providing training courses also provide placements for different cybersecurity career roles in large firms in the industry.
Certifications are Mandatory for Cybersecurity Careers
Now, the final recommendation for the best results from a cybersecurity career roadmap refers to cybersecurity certifications. Cybersecurity certifications are tangible proof of the expertise of candidates in cybersecurity anda source of many other advantages. Here are some of the notable ways in which prominent cybersecurity certifications can foster your cybersecurity career.
- The Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH certification provides proof of a candidate’s command over-identification of target systems’ vulnerabilities. The certification shows that professionals could use cybersecurity tools and knowledge like hackers through lawful processes to evaluate the security status of target systems.
- CompTIA Security+ certification is a globally recognized certification to get started with your cybersecurity career roadmap. The certification provides proof of an individual’s capabilities for addressing core security functions. The most critical advantage of the CompTIA Security+ certification points out the lack of any other certification for the assessment of baseline skills in cybersecurity. Furthermore, CompTIA Security+ certification also focuses on the evaluation of hands-on practical skills for aspiring cybersecurity professionals.
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional or CISSP certification is another prominent mention among top cybersecurity certifications. The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium or ISC2 provides the CISSP certification, thereby implying compliance with global excellence standards. CISSP certification proves the expertise and technical fluency of certified professionals in developing, guidance, and managing security procedures, standards, and policies in an enterprise.
- Another prominent certification for aspiring professionals’ cybersecurity career roadmap is a Certified Information Security Manager or CISM certification. The CISM certification, provided by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association or ISACA, focuses more on cybersecurity management aspects. The CISM certification proves individuals’ capabilities for management, design, supervision, and assessment of enterprises’ information security infrastructure.
On a concluding note, all aspiring cybersecurity professionals could find the ideal cybersecurity career roadmap with the guidelines mentioned above. You should also focus on other important pointers to boost your career opportunities in cybersecurity. For example, professional networking is always crucial for improving your exposure in the cybersecurity industry.
More number of connections in the industry will automatically increase your chances of getting hired by top companies. Additionally, candidates looking for careers in cybersecurity should always engage in continuous learning and skill development. One of the best ways to improve and refine your cybersecurity skills refers to bug bounty programs. So, get started right now with Cyber Security career path, get one of the top Cyber Security Certifications, and discover lucrative career prospects in cybersecurity!
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