From education to healthcare, technology plays a huge role in the modern world. Without it, civilization wouldn’t be at the level it currently is.
As of today:
- 6 billion people own a smartphone
- Half of the global households have access to a computer
- Over 90% of small and medium-sized businesses use technology for communication purposes
Clearly, technology has taken over – and it’s providing us with endless benefits.
Naturally, due to the tech evolution, the demand for cybersecurity professionals has skyrocketed.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the use of technology to protect systems, networks, and devices from cyberattacks. The White House, for example, has some of the best cybersecurity measures in the world. This is so that they can prevent cyberattacks from inflicting damage on the US government and its resources.
The demand for cybersecurity means that a cybersecurity career is very exciting and prosperous. Moving into the future, the importance of cybersecurity is only going to continue growing, meaning it’s a future-proof career. If you were to start a career in cybersecurity this year, you could rest assured that it will be secure for decades to come!
Is it Easy to Start a Career in Cybersecurity?
This is a question that thousands of people ask every day. In fact, if you take a look at Google, you’ll see that it’s a highly popular question.
The truth is, it’s relatively easy to start a career in cybersecurity. However, you can’t become a cybersecurity engineer overnight. Instead, you need to tick lots of different boxes whilst continuously growing your knowledge.
As a helping hand, here are eight tips and tricks that will assist you in entering the bright and exciting world of cybersecurity:
1. Study for a Degree or Certificate in Cybersecurity
The role of a cybersecurity worker is to protect data and networks across a variety of different organizations. Essentially, it’s a specialist profession, which means you need specialist training.
The best way to receive this training is by studying for a degree or certificate in cybersecurity. Ideally, it’s recommended that you first study for a degree in either cybersecurity or computer science. From there, you can then earn additional certificates to help bolster your career path. Additionally, you can also build upon your bachelor’s degree by earning a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
By studying for a degree in cybersecurity, you will learn about the practical and theoretical sides of the subject. The exams and coursework will also help to build your knowledge and ultimately prepare you for the transition into the industry after you graduate.
Remember, many universities offer part-time work placements for students to enroll in while studying. This is something to bear in mind and look out for.
When it comes to earning certificates, there are many that you can use to build your skills and knowledge. Popular examples include Security+ and CISM, which hundreds of thousands of people have earnt over the past decade. These certificates can be studied online, which is convenient for people who want to study remotely.
2. Search for Apprenticeships
If you don’t want to go down the educational route, you can search for apprenticeships in cybersecurity. Due to demand, there are lots of apprenticeships around at the moment.
Usually, these apprenticeships are supplied by tech companies looking to nurture and develop young employees. Also, it’s common for apprenticeships to receive government funding, which is why there are often lots to choose from.
Each apprenticeship is different when it comes to requirements. Some require zero qualifications or experience at all, while others ask that you have some form of educational experience, such as high school or college.
By the end of your apprenticeship in cybersecurity, you should be a fully qualified specialist or engineer, which then makes you highly employable!
Here are the benefits of a cybersecurity apprenticeship:
- Earn money while you learn (you don’t get paid for going to university or college)
- Learn from experienced pros and colleagues
- Develop your practical skills right away
- Network more easily with established figures in the cybersecurity industry
- Gain a faster understanding of whether it’s the right career choice for you
Make sense? Great.
3. Apply for Volunteer Opportunities
In the world of cybersecurity, there’s never a shortage of volunteer opportunities. Of course, these roles aren’t paid, but they do provide you with a foot into the industry that can lead to further work opportunities down the road.
For example, it’s common for companies to offer assistant roles to cybersecurity helpdesks, where engineers spend all day dealing with customer and client problems.
4. Sign Up for Cybersecurity Newsletters
Currently, there are lots of different cybersecurity newsletters that you can sign up for. These newsletters will help you to stay up-to-date with the latest news in the cybersecurity industry as well as gain access to important advice and information.
Here are some good newsletters to try:
- IT Security Guru
- Security Weekly
- The Hacker News
- Cyber Magazine
- The Hacker News
These newsletters are free, meaning you don’t have to worry about any expensive weekly fees.
5. Stock Up on Learning Resources
As an individual looking to enter the cybersecurity industry, it’s a good idea to stock up on as many learning resources as possible, from books and eBooks to YouTube videos and tutorials.
Thankfully, you can get a ton of books from eBay and Amazon that are highly regarded in the tech industry. Some of the best cybersecurity books include:
- The Art of Invisibility
- Hacking: The Art of Exploitation
- Ghost in the Wires
- Cult of the Dead Cow
- Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking
By reading and studying these books, you can grow your cybersecurity knowledge and put yourself in a more advantageous position. Also, these books will help you to choose which specific industry in the cybersecurity industry you would like to enter.
For example, you might feel inspired to become a cybersecurity engineer, which will involve you working and planning different security measures to prevent cyberattacks against your organization.
Or alternatively, you might want to become a malware analyst, where you will examine and identify cyber threats, such as viruses and bots.
And if you prefer reading through a screen, you can access these books in eBook form.
6. Invest in Tech Equipment for Your Home
Being a cybersecurity pro is all about having the right tech equipment.
At a minimum, you need to have a high-performance laptop. This will enable you to complete tasks more efficiently while quickly gaining access to all the resources you need.
Ideally, you should have a comfortable home workspace to store all of your tech equipment. Here, you’ll do a lot of work, which is why it’s worth investing time and effort into making it perfect.
7. Network with Cybersecurity Professionals
Here’s another tip to follow: network as much as you can with fellow cybersecurity professionals. Doing this will help you in various different ways, from growing your contacts list to opening up fresh and exciting job opportunities.
For example, if you get on good terms with a company director, this might lead to you being offered a trainee position as a cybersecurity engineer, where you’ll be able to work closely under a mentor.
To start networking, it’s recommended that you make an account on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great platform for all industries – especially cybersecurity.
Through LinkedIn, you’ll be able to send connection requests out to industry pros in your town and beyond. Not to mention, you’ll also be able to follow relevant news topics to you, which will include #CyberSecurity and #TechNews.
8. Be Open-Minded
Lastly, make sure to be open-minded. Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck back in 2020, the cybersecurity industry has changed in various different ways.
One of the biggest changes has been the introduction of remote working roles, such as remote cloud engineers. These roles involve employees working from home on a full-time or part-time basis. For many people, remote working is great, while others prefer to work in an office.
So, when searching for cybersecurity roles, make sure to remain open-minded. Today, there are a variety of remote and office-based roles for cybersecurity pros, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for you to consider.
A career in cybersecurity is the way to go for ambitious, forward-thinking individuals that want to make a positive difference in the world. Due to the rise of technology, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is only going to continue growing.
Therefore, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re entering an industry where your positions are future-proof and won’t be in question.
Plus, because of the nature of technology and computer software, a career in cybersecurity means that you have the opportunity to work remotely and even join companies that are in different cities and countries to you. The opportunities are endless, so make sure to embrace them!