How to Build a Successful Cybersecurity Career

How To Build A Successful Cybersecurity Career
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Cybersecurity is in the spotlight at the moment, and now, more than ever, people are more aware of its importance both in the workplace and for their personal devices too. After a slew of Ransomware attacks during the pandemic and over the last couple of months, business owners are crying out for those with the technical expertise to combat such attacks, which could result in a lucrative career path for you.

But how do you build a successful cybersecurity career?

Today, we’ll be running through some of our top tips for ensuring your career in cybersecurity is fruitful and rewarding. This article is designed for beginners too, so if this is the first time you’ve ever considered working in cybersecurity, then this will guide you through the key steps along that career path so you can map out your future in IT.

Do I Need Formal IT Qualifications or a Degree?

In short, the answer is no. You don’t need to spend years at university to kickstart a career in IT.

Having said that, if it’s something you’re already doing or are interested in, then a degree could always help you stand out from the crowd. Four-year degree courses such as Computer Science, IT, or Information Systems are great options if you want to pursue formal educational training. Usually, these courses will include a placement year, giving you hands-on experience in the field.

If you already have a degree, but it isn’t IT-related, then there’s no need to panic, and you don’t need to go back to school; there are other alternatives available. Likewise, if your career up to this point hasn’t been in the IT industry, it doesn’t really affect your chances of securing a role in IT once you’ve followed the steps we cover in the next section.

Invest in a Basic IT Training Course

So, you’re completely new to the world of IT. And that’s ok. All you need to do to get started is complete an industry-recognized certification that’ll help you to secure that all-important first job. IT Courses like CompTIA Fundamentals cover everything you need to know to secure an entry-level role in IT, such as a Support Consultant or a Junior Administrator.

Gain Some Work Experience

It’ll take around 12-16 weeks to complete most industry-standard IT Courses, depending on how much free time you have to invest in them. This is based on those who already have a full-time commitment elsewhere, so you might even be able to complete it quicker. However long it takes, once completed, it’s time to put those all-new certifications to good use.

At this point, it might be useful to have someone look over your CV to ensure it contains all the appropriate information, relevant qualifications, and key features that help you to stand out. Some courses include this service as part of their training packages, so be sure to keep an eye out for this added extra. If not, you can always seek out a third party through sites like LinkedIn to help get that CV in tip-top condition.

Getting this work experience will be the first of many steps on your journey towards becoming a cybersecurity expert. Many people find that they start on a more attractive salary than what they had in their previous 9-5 roles. During your time as a junior/entry-level staff member, you’ll learn a lot about the industry and begin to take the steps required to start climbing the ladder.How to Build a Successful Cybersecurity Career

Get Cyber Security Certified

Once you have some solid, on the job experience (we’d recommend at least six months), you can then look into taking your career to the next level by investing in a secondary IT course that specifically focuses on the varying elements of cybersecurity.

CompTIA Security is a sought-after and highly recognized qualification across the industry and covers several core topics, including Threats, Attacks, Vulnerabilities, Technologies and Tools, Architecture and Design, Identity and Access Management, Risk Management, and Cryptography and PKI. You might also want to consider other CompTIA qualifications too like Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) or Cyber Security Analyst CySA+ course if you’re already clear on the direction you want to take once qualified.

Secure a Job in Cyber Security

Once you’ve honed your skills and got specialist cybersecurity specialists, you can then look at getting a job in your new specialist field. Be sure to revamp your CV again and reach out for outside help if you want to ensure it’s bulletproof. If you need help on how to land your first cybersecurity role, this article will help. Cybersecurity jobs vary greatly and can include Network Administrator, Cyber Security Consultant or Specialist, Architect or even a Cryptographer.

At this point, there are a lot of ways that you can branch out. Use the time you have here to try out different roles and see which works best. Your salary will also take a jump at this point, and depending on the role you accept; you could be earning as much as £50,000 per year.

Network and Further Develop Your Skillset

Last but not least, you’ll need to take some steps towards becoming an expert in your field so you can further your career and your salary. Niching down in the world of cybersecurity could be your biggest asset because it’ll allow you to truly build an authority in your space and eventually become the go-to person. Be sure to network, too, whether that’s in-person or through LinkedIn with direct colleagues or people you might be interested in working with in the future.

Share your thoughts on important topics and create a new angle for each piece of content you share online. Those who want to work with you will admire the fact that you’re trying to be a thought leader and prove your expertise in your niche. Attend in-person and virtual events, and be sure to stay up to date on the latest industry news and threats so you can stay ahead of the curve.

Thank you for reading!