Cybersecurity is a career that is taking off like crazy. Many companies are starting to realize the importance of protecting their data and making sure that hackers are not able to gain access to their networks, and they need to hire the right cybersecurity professionals to step in and handle all the work that entails.
If you are looking to become a cybersecurity professional, you may wonder what steps are necessary to help you get it done. It does take some education and experience to start working in cybersecurity, but some of the steps that you can follow to become a cybersecurity professional includes:
Get the Right Degree
It is important to go and get the right degree to help you gain the right experience and education to do the job. Most employers are going to want to hire a professional who has a degree to back up their experience, though there may be a few exceptions to this as well.
It is best to work towards at least a bachelor’s degree, though there are master’s degree programs and even some associate degree programs that you can choose. You can pick out a general IT degree program or go with something that is more specific if you would like to market yourself to potential employers.
Employers like to work with candidates who have a combination of experience and education to help them get the job done. If you are able to present yourself as having both of these, then you can stand out from the crowd and are more likely to get the job that you want.
Obtain the Right Certifications
Once you have done your degree, you may want to take the time to look into some of the industry certifications to help enhance what you are saying on your resume. There are a lot of different certifications available and while they may not be required, they can help prove to the potential employer that you have the skills that they are looking for.
There are many certifications that you can choose, such as an ethical hacking certification, advanced cyber security certification, CISSP course certification, certified network defender and more. You will need to look into the type of work that you plan to do and then decide which certification will help match up with that goal.
Get Experience in the Industry
One of the best ways for you to get started in the field of cybersecurity is to start networking with others in the industry. This will help you to build up the relationships that you need while also learning a bit more about what it is like to work in cybersecurity.
Start out with volunteering or interning so that you can get your foot in the door and learn some valuable skills for cybersecurity. You can then use that experience to find some of the jobs that you would like to do as well. You can network through many locations such as local events or groups to help you connect. Even social media will be able to help.
Choose Your Specialization
The field of cybersecurity used to just fit under the title of the IT department. But as things have changed, so has the field of cybersecurity. There are now many specializations that you are able to choose within the field, giving you more variety in the type of work that you will choose to do when you look for a career.
With a good knowledge of the industry, you will be able to choose a good specialization according to your expertise. You will be more oriented to your career if you become aware of the industry requirements. The types of jobs you can become eligible for in the future will often be determined based on the areas you choose to specialize in.
Refine Your Skills
You need to take the time to refine your skills so you can show them off to the potential employer. This includes a number of hard and soft skills. The soft skills are going to be the ones that help you get along with others at work and communicate well. They can include your research skills, leadership, and even verbal and written communication.
You can also take the time to refine some of your hard skills. These are the skills specific to getting the job done and you can learn them through experience and through your education. Some of the hard skills that you should develop and add to your resume include:
- A good understanding of things like firewalls, VPNs, and antivirus principals
- Proficiency in at least one programming language
- The ability to build up and evaluate a network architecture
- Solid understanding of cloud computing and computer networking
- Ability to build and manage an operating system
You will need to constantly refine your soft and hard skill and keep up with some of the trends as they show up over time.
Prepare the Resume
Before you go to a job interview, you will need to work on your resume and a cover letter. These need to include the most important information about you in relations to the job you are applying for. The resume and cover letter should never be more than one page each, so depending on your level of experience, you may need to find a way to consolidate all the good stuff.
You should tailor the cover letter and the resume to the specific job you are applying for. Make yourself stand out and consider adding in keywords from the job posting in the resume and cover letter to help you match up better.
Becoming a Cybersecurity Professional
There are a lot of benefits to choosing to become a professional in cybersecurity as your career choice. It is a rewarding career that presents something new and different each day. Take a look at some of the steps above and see what steps you need to take to become a cybersecurity professional and take on a career you are sure to love.