Without cybersecurity, companies are prone to cyber attacks like ransomware. Find out how you can learn cybersecurity as a beginner and help these companies, here.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing career fields, and for good reason. Research from IBM and the Ponemon Institute shows that data breaches cost an average of $3.9 million, and only 5% of organizations have adequate protection.
The ISC Cybersecurity Workforce Study reported that the cybersecurity market of jobseekers needs to grow 145% (4 million professionals) to close the cybersecurity skills gap. Such a supply and demand balance means lots of job opportunities, higher salaries (on average, cybersecurity professionals earn a salary premium of ~$12,700 compared to other IT workers), and fast career trajectories, with the ability to move into more senior positions as you develop new skills.
For those with an analytical mindset, technical background, and a love of problem-solving, it is definitely possible to break into cybersecurity without a bachelor's degree. In a few steps, you can be well on your way to learning cybersecurity, digital forensics, and incident response. Here is how to get started:
Cybersecurity involves a mix of hard and soft skills. These include:
In addition to technical know-how, cybersecurity professionals should bring in transferable skills, like problem-solving, communication, flexibility, and a self-starter mentality.
Cybersecurity is a software-intensive field and it is important to stay up-to-date on the most important tools and cultivate an inquisitive spirit.
Some basic systems and key terms include:
Since cybersecurity is always evolving, practitioners need to stay abreast of key topics:
During the recruiting process, you will need to show recruiters that you can apply skills in real-world settings.
If you are looking for sample projects, here is a list that can help you get started, from keylogging (identifying keystrokes in a system) to bug bounties and packet sniffing (network analysis).
You can also opt for an internship or part-time position. The Department of Homeland Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and Federal Bureau of Investigation all offer paid internships, as do many top corporations.
Bootcamps and online courses allow you to learn skills from industry professionals and practice on real-life projects with a cohort.
The job outlook for cybersecurity is highly favorable, with the need for critical skills expected to only go up in the future, particularly in industries like banking, retail, tech, and government. One of the best cybersecurity career entry points is through the information security analyst position, which commands a median salary of $103,590 per year and is predicted to enjoy 31% job growth through 2029.
Information security analysts often come from a computer-related educational or work background and are responsible for managing networks, protecting against security breaches, investigating threats, executing regular tests and audits, and writing reports.
For a look at the top cybersecurity jobs at the entry-level, this article outlines qualifications to progress as a system administrator, IT support specialist, forensic analyst, cryptanalyst, or junior penetration tester. Other related jobs may be in the IT department but have security as a core function, so with cybersecurity talent, you can broaden your next job search.
Luckily, almost anyone can have a chance at this high-growth career plan, as long as they possess a desire to learn new technology, strong analytical and technical skills, and detail orientation. For more information on cybersecurity and the necessary skills, Springboard’s online materials will put you on a path to success.
Is cybersecurity the right career for you?
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the cybersecurity industry is expected to have 3.5 million high-paying, unfilled jobs this year. With Springboard’s comprehensive Cyber Security Career Track, you’ll work 1:1 with an industry mentor to learn key aspects of information technology, security software, security auditing, and finding and fixing malicious code. Learning units include subject-expert approved resources, application-based mini-projects, hands-on labs, and career-search-related coursework.
The course will culminate in a multi-part capstone project that you can highlight on your resume for prospective employers or use to demonstrate your technical knowledge in your job interview. The learning materials will also help prepare you to pass the globally-recognized CompTIA Security+ certification so you stand out when applying for cybersecurity roles.
Learn more about Springboard’s Cyber Security Career Track here.
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