The cybersecurity talent gap is growing every day. We live in a world that demands trained professionals to take care of every organization’s security needs, especially in the COVID-19 “new normal” way of living.
ISC2 revealed that even before 2020 and its challenges (pandemic, social unrest, economic crisis), cybersecurity professionals stepped up and responded to the new need of securing the already growing number of and demand for remote work and social environments, making the work from home policy safe for an organization from cyber-attacks. This trend has expanded to most companies. However, the skills or talent cannot keep pace to ensure every business and government agency can protect its assets. We are entering the new year with a world-wide talent gap between three and four million open cybersecurity jobs.
The cybersecurity market is clearly evident. But how can you get into this field with no experience? Can you get hired without knowledge and training? Where do you need to start?
How to Get Started in Cybersecurity
The first thing you need to know is that it is not necessary to get a degree in computer science or cybersecurity. Sure they help, but hiring managers are looking elsewhere for a lot of their needed talent. Anyone with the right mindset, the necessary skills, and the commitment can get educated, trained, and certified to start down this career path. Remember that cybersecurity has many sub-fields that go beyond solving technical problems. Certainly, there are tens of thousands of technical jobs. Still, there are also sub-fields with jobs that are a perfect fit for professionals who have customer interface, people, and communication skills. Plus, hiring managers are looking for individuals looking to get into the cybersecurity fields who are constantly learning about technology and new trends in the field.
The right candidate for cybersecurity is the one who is willing and interested in learning how the technology works. Once you develop a deep understanding of how things work, the technical part (hacking and defending) will easily follow.
Different programs can help you get started. Our Cybersecurity Bootcamp is a quick pathway to enter the cybersecurity workforce. In six months, you will have access to more than 800 hours of learning content, a world-class curriculum (that includes the fundamentals of computer science, networking, information security, penetration testing, packet analysis, firewalls, and more), hands-on labs, industry-recognized certifications, industry experts as instructors, and the potential for an apprenticeship track program.
Other ways of getting started in cybersecurity include:
- Get certified: organizations will require certain certifications when hiring for different roles. The best advice we can give you is to get foundational certifications that are building blocks to launch your career and ensure success: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, and Certified Ethical Hacker CEH are the places to start, and CyberWarrior Academy can help you with these.
- Building a hands-on learning environment: identify the different devices at home connected to your wi-fi and start interacting with them and learn as much as you can from them.
- Learn from others: you can do searches on YouTube or Google, but don’t stay there. Go further. You want to talk to experts in the field, join online communities, attend conferences (even if they are virtual).
Cybersecurity is a field that offers different career pathways. Take your time to learn about them and see which one sparks your interest, and then think about which of these matches where you want to be professionally and socially in five to ten years. Thinking it through will be critically helpful when choosing an educational program, certifications, and training.