Since 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak, a vast number of Companies and businesses on the internet have faced an increased threat. This threat is the loss of data and other hacking attempts. And this has led to the demand for the professionals up to the task— Cybersecurity professionals.
If you are considering a career in cybersecurity, you are on the right path. Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand. So, there’s a void you can fill by being an expert in this field.
But how do you prepare to become an expert or professional in cybersecurity? In this article, we’ll give you five useful tips that will help you prepare for your cybersecurity career.
Tips To Prepare For a Cybersecurity Career
Start Learning The Basics
The first thing you need to know is that your background doesn’t matter. Cybersecurity workers or professionals can come from anywhere. So while preparing for your cybersecurity career, it would be best to debunk the idea that your background might be a barrier to your success.
In the cybersecurity field, competency is what’s paid for. So all you need to do is be competent at what you do. And how do you start? You start by learning the basics of cybersecurity.
It is important to invest time in learning the basics of cybersecurity or any field of your interest. The basics of any field are synonymous with the alphabets, concords, and grammatical agreements that operate in this field. Proper knowledge of the basics sets a great foundation for your cybersecurity career.
Before starting your career in cybersecurity, you can also take courses in basic computer science or software engineering. It would be best if you took a course on different programming languages as well. These basic courses are going to set you up and prepare you for your career in cybersecurity.
Earn Course Completion Certificates
Now in the cybersecurity field, your certificates and degrees qualify you to apply for a role or job before your skills. So, while preparing for your cybersecurity career, you need to earn course completion certificates. You’ll also need academic degrees.
Cybersecurity is a well-paid profession, and educated minds are considered assets. Jobs or role qualifications are based on your degrees and certificates. For some roles like Chief Information Security Officer, or CISO, at least a Master’s degree is required before you can be considered.
If you don’t have access to or the ability to pursue or fund a degree in cybersecurity, you can opt for various entry-level online courses. Make sure you get the certificate for these courses. You can use these certificates to qualify for an entry-level cybersecurity profession. After earning for a while, you can go ahead to pursue a master’s degree course.
The following are the available roles for the different academic degrees:
The associate degree prepares and qualifies you for entry-level job positions. This includes
- Computer support specialist,
- Computer programmer,
- Help desk,
- IT, etc.
The annual salary for an entry-level professional range from $52000-$112000.
Securing a bachelor’s degree in your cybersecurity career opens you to a wider range of offers. This also includes more employment opportunities.
A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity qualifies you for higher positions like
Your annual salary ranges from $65000-$120000
If you want to qualify for higher job positions in your cybersecurity career, your years of working experience are needed. In addition, innovative skills and versatility are also required. Finally, a master’s degree in information and cybersecurity is needed as well.
While you are in a master’s degree program, you’ll be taught topics like:
- Internal protection,
- Information assurance,
- Vulnerability mitigation,
- Software analytics,
- Information assurance for mobile and desktop devices, etc.
Knowledge of these topics is what qualifies you for higher job positions in your cybersecurity career.
As a master’s degree holder in cybersecurity, you are qualified for higher roles like
The average annual salary ranges from $95000-$204000.
A doctorate is one of the highest academic qualifications you can acquire in your cybersecurity career. In the doctorate program, you are prepared for a leadership role in the cybersecurity field and information assurance.
While preparing for your career in cybersecurity, it is good to earn degrees and certificates, as stated above. However, in the cybersecurity profession, intellectual and innovative skills are prioritized over credentials.
While your good degrees and certificates can qualify you for an interview, employers often reach out to candidates who display innovative skills. Paying attention to details is also a criterion.
So, in your journey to becoming a top-tier cybersecurity professional, you need to be innovative. Your greatest tool and advantage over others is your innovative skills. Everything else can be taught or read about.
However, the needed skill to perform better in a real-life cybersecurity challenge is your ability to outsource. It involves intellectually applying all your garnered knowledge to solve a problem.
This is what most cybersecurity employers value the most. And it is what makes you different and even better than every other entry-level applicant.
Discover Your Passion and Interest
As mentioned above, your innovative skills and intellectual ability to solve real-life problems is your greatest asset. But to tap into this natural and artificial pool of knowledge you have, you need to discover your passion.
The cybersecurity field is a wide profession. For you to function maximally, you need to discover what interests you. While learning the basics of cybersecurity, you might be exposed to all available specialization options in cybersecurity. There are:
Each area of specialization is almost related. They all serve to ensure the security of end-user and company data. However, to thrive and stand out, you need to find which area interests you more. After you do this, then you’ll find it easier to build your innovative skills to solve various problems in this area.
Widen Your Horizon
As you grow and become a professional in your cybersecurity career, you’ll need to widen your Horizon. This is necessary to evolve and follow recent technological advancements.
You’ll discover the importance of building a strong basic foundation. This is because you will be able to explore and widen different fields of cybersecurity with a basic and more professional grasp of the field.
Pursuing a career in cybersecurity can be tasking. However, it is a very rewarding profession. In addition, it’s better to discover your interest in the cybersecurity field. This will be your drive and aid in preparing for a career in cybersecurity.