If you’re like many people with a passion for technology, a career in cyber security is an exciting adventure. After all, what’s better than being a part of the superhero team tasked with protecting an organization from evil attackers — metaphorically at least?
But before you hit the job market, you’ve got to know the prerequisites for cyber security careers. We list 5 cyber security career requirements, with information on entry-level jobs, special skills, certifications, forming connections, and more to help you land the job of your dreams. By practicing these tips, you’ll achieve the recommended qualifications for a cyber security career.
Gain some experience
Even to land entry-level positions, you need to put experience for a cyber security career on your resume, and you can start in any of a number of IT jobs. For example, network administrators and systems administrators are especially well positioned to take on the entry-level role of security analyst because they understand how networks are configured, maintained, and repaired. Some more great entry points to a career in cyber security are listed below:
- Network or Systems Administrator: Organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems to keep the computer network up-to-date and running smoothly
- Security Analyst: Analyze data and recommend changes to higher ups in an effort to keep attackers out
- Network Engineer: Implement, maintain, support, develop and sometimes design communication networks within an organization or between organizations.
- Security Administrator: Install, administer and troubleshoot an organization’s security solutions to keep systems up and running
Get proper training and education
There are no specific degree requirements used as prerequisites for cyber security jobs. However, most employers will be looking for a bachelor’s degree in computer science, cyber security, or a related technical field. If a bachelor’s degree is not in the cards for you right now, there are several certifications that can make you a more desirable candidate for cyber security positions. Each certification is suited to different areas and experieces levels of cyber security, so many employers will consider you a more versital candidate if you have a combination of credentials that supports their company goals.
Depending on the cyber security career path you are pursuing, you might want to earn one or more of the following designations: Certified Ethical Hacker, CompTIA Security+, CISSP, and/or CCNA: Security.
Learn cyber security language
Connect with cyber security experts
One of the best ways to jumpstart your cyber security career is connecting with and learning from experts who are already in the field. You can do this by getting involved with the local chapters of a few national cyber security associations, attending conferences and events, participating in online discussion boards and forums, or checking out local hack-a-thons and other hands-on sessions.
Networking with others in cyber security can help you learn about cyber security career requirements according to employers, specific paths others have taken to land the type of job you want, and techniques and best practices for protecting an organization. It could even lead to learning about job opportunities in your area!
Stay up to date with cyber security news
If you want a career in cyber security, it’s important to know what’s going on in the industry. You can get this information through the connections you’re making as well as by reading cyber security blogs and listening to podcasts.
Knowing some of the latest happenings in the field is a great way to impress potential employers as it lets them know that you’re serious about your career and you’re willing to continue learning from others as you pursue it.
There are many paths to a career in cyber security and once you’re in, there are a lot of high-paying job opportunities. By understanding and following the 5 prerequisites for cyber security careers, you’ll soon be on your way to IT superhero status as you protect and defend organizations in your new career.