5 Steps to a New Career Path in Cybersecurity

Are you interested in a new career path in cybersecurity? We must admit, cybersecurity is a highly competitive field, which makes many people assume that, if they aren’t currently working in IT, they’ve already missed their chance to work in the business as a cybersecurity professional. This isn’t true; regardless of your current job, you can find an entryway into the industry. Here are five steps you can take to put your feet on a cybersecurity career path:

Build your technical foundation

Explore the different areas of cybersecurity

Attend cybersecurity events

Get a certification

Find a mentor

Luckily for anyone interested in becoming a cybersecurity professional, the massive growth in the field has created a need for talent. Companies are on the lookout for people who know the field and, just as importantly, for people who are interested in that field and willing to put in the work to become tomorrow’s skilled experts. The competitive nature of the business works in your favor, as there’s heavy pressure on IT departments to find and secure talent.

If you follow the points outlined in this video, you’ll make it clear to any potential employers that you are serious about working in cybersecurity, and dedication is always the most important trait for an employee to have in an industry where change is truly constant.

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Video Transcript

0:00 Intro
0:45 Build Your Technical Foundation
1:10 Explore The Different Areas Of Cybersecurity
1:35 Attend Cybersecurity Events
2:04 Get A Certification
2:32 Find A Mentor

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. A lot of people are interested in how they can pivot their career, and land a job as a cybersecurity professional.

Most people think that you need an advanced degree or in-depth technical knowledge of a computer programming language to work in cybersecurity. But in reality, people from a variety of backgrounds work in the field and today I’m going to share how you can pivot and land a job in cybersecurity.

I spent over ten years in the military doing work that was a bit different from what I do now. But I knew I wanted to work in cybersecurity when I transitioned out, and so I’m going to share five things that I did that I found helpful that can also help you land a job in cybersecurity.

0:45 New Career Path in Cybersecurity: Build Your Technical Foundation

#1 Build your technical foundation. You don’t have to be an expert in every area of computer science to work in cybersecurity. But it is an advanced field, a technical field, and you need to know some basic fundamentals if you want to work in this field. So it’s important to begin familiarizing yourself with some basic concepts first. Things like operating systems, computer languages, and basic networking skills will be important when you go to learn more advanced concepts later.

1:10 New Career Path in Cybersecurity: Explore The Different Areas Of Cybersecurity

#2 Start to explore and understand the different areas of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a broad field and there are many different areas of specialization. Some of those areas include things like secure code development, network defense, malware analysis, digital forensics, incident response, and penetration testing.

It’s important to start familiarizing yourself with these different areas so that you can figure out what you may want to specialize in eventually.

1:35 New Career Path in Cybersecurity: Attend Cybersecurity Events

#3 Attend a cybersecurity event. There are a variety of different cybersecurity events. Many of them now have a virtual online component so that you don’t even have to go in person, and attending an event is a great way to learn about the latest developments in the field, as well as who the people and the companies are that are leading some of those developments.

It’s also a great way to start networking and finding people who you can talk to and understand what they do in the field, and potentially learn more about where you may want to focus yourself.

2:04 Get A Certification

#4 Get a certification. Once you have an idea of where you may want to focus your career, you can find a free or low-cost course that offers a certification. These are usually online, maybe they have an in-person option as well, and many of the frameworks that offer certifications usually have a tiered approach. They have an entry, intermediate and advanced certification. For the entry-level certification, you actually don’t need any prerequisites beyond just a basic understanding of computers and networks.

2:32 Find A Mentor

#5 Find a mentor. People in cybersecurity love to share their knowledge, and they can be a great resource for you in your job search. They can help you find companies that might match your interests, as well as ensure that you’re using the right language on your resume when you send it in for an application.

So these are five things that I did when I was transitioning my career into becoming a cybersecurity professional, and I hope you find it helpful as well.

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