How can I get into a cyber security career?

Cyber security is a very exciting and dynamic field, which is garnering interest day by day. Organisations

need professionals to protect their information as it continues to increase in volume as well as diversity. It is predicted that there will be around 3.5 million cyber security job openings globally by 2021, so cyber security is definitely a career for you to consider. So how do you get into cyber security? You can get into cyber security as a techie or as a non-techie.

Below are the things you need to do if you wish to get into a cyber security career.

  • Decide what area of cyber security you would like to pursue as a career and research on what is required to excel in that area.
  • Take your time to acquire the skills required to make you fit into your specific area of interest. Remember this takes hard work, patience, focus and resilience. This may often require that you get some industry certifications, especially if you come from a non cyber security background. However, even with a cyber security background, certifications are often required by the industry as an indicator of competence.
  • If you are interested in the tech aspect of cyber security, build a personal lab if you are able to, where you can practice in a bid to grow your skill.
  • Read, read and read some more. Cyber security is very dynamic and to be on top of the game you must always keep abreast with the happenings in the industry as well as in academia. Remember “Knowledge is power”.
  • Find an internship. This will give you first hand experience of cyber security as a career and will be a good indicator to you of whether this is the career for you or not.
  • Networking is crucial as it give you access to opportunities and insights into how other people in the industry are handling their careers as well as market requirements and dynamics. Remember “Your network is your net worth”.
  • Always be ready to learn and unlearn. There is no room for rigidity. To grow you must be flexible and adaptable.
  • Lastly, remember to always carry along your soft skills. Ability to communicate effectively, work as a team, having a strong work ethic and positive attitude, exhibiting leadership ability and critical thinking are some of the key soft skills required to excel in a cybersecurity career. You can read more about soft skills here.
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