Are you thinking of building a career in cyber security? This field is very in-demand for the foreseeable future, although you’ll still want to ensure your success! There’s plenty of room for career growth as long as you take the right steps.
There’s no set path for everyone, but following these tips will help you build a strong career in cyber security. Even when you find a stable job, you can still develop it even more. Everything you need to know is below, so let’s get started!
1. Decide If It’s a Good Fit First
You’ll want to make sure that the position is a good fit for you first. You can still evaluate how you feel about it if you’ve already taken the job. These careers do require passion, or you’ll lose interest over time.
Many successful cyber security professionals have a technical mindset and are persistent, curious, and analytical. Above all else, you’ll need to have a strong urge to learn! Cyber security is always evolving and changing, so you’ll need to keep up with the field to perform your best.
You’ll need to have the ability to think like the bad guys. You’ll protect online spaces from data theft and attacks, so you’ll have to know where hackers would want to strike.
Overall, you’ll be most successful in your career when you’re confident that you’ve picked the job that suits you the best.
2. Pursue a Degree
Next, consider pursuing a degree in cyber security. You’ll have a chance to study and gain a passion for the field while in school. Those who do have a degree earn more than those who don’t- you’ll drastically increase your earning potential with a Bachelor’s degree in cyber security.
This major also offers very flexible programs. You can do a lot of the coursework online, allowing you to take care of family or work while in school. Plus, you can tailor your classes to your schedule! If you need the flexibility to make school work for you, cyber security is one of the best options. You can check out list of colleges on universities.com which offers cybersecurity degree.
Pursuing a degree also makes it possible to learn all the cyber security skills from other professionals who already have established careers. You’ll learn to communicate well and improve your leadership skills.
Most importantly, you’ll start meeting others interested in cyber security while in school. You can build a strong career network, which helps you find a job immediately after graduating. In short, there are plenty of good reasons for you to earn a degree in cyber security!
3. Practice on Your Own
Next, it’s essential that you also develop your skills on your own. You can only protect data if you know exactly how it works. Take some time to study networks and programming on your own. In doing so, you’ll make your daily work a lot easier.
You’ll need to be very familiar with how the tech operates before learning how to protect it. There are plenty of quality resources that you can find online today. Podcasts and videos offer information, while social media can have updated tips that keep your knowledge current.
It’s also a good idea that you know to hack, so you’re familiar with the best ways to prevent attacks. Many companies offer contests or rewards for showing weaknesses in their systems. Google holds a contest each year, too, and they offer a large monetary prize.
4. Focus on Your First Job
Everyone’s first job doesn’t come easy. You’ll want to get a cyber security job as soon as you can, so you start building experience as soon as possible. With that experience, you can cement yourself within the field.
Luckily, there are many open cyber security positions and very little competition to get them. Choose an entry-level job that offers you the most job experience and best benefits. That way, you can move on to another position that you want sooner.
Internships also offer work experience- but they might not pay well. It’s better to get your first cyber security job immediately, if you can. You should view internships as a stepping stone to your career. Only take them if you believe they’ll make you look better to the employers you’re interested in.
Then, make a resume dedicated to cyber security. Highlight your experiences and keep them short- about a page long is best. It’s also a good idea to craft a cover letter and thank you letter to send in after your interview.
Overall, your first job matters! It’s how you get your foot in the door to plenty of other opportunities. Many cyber security entry jobs pay way more than the national average, so you’ll be in a much better position than other graduates when you finish school.
5. Realize It’s a Commitment
You’ll need to realize early on that it’s a long commitment to making a successful career, no matter what field you’re in. You’ll have to keep expanding your skills, education, knowledge, and experience to succeed.
Put in your best effort at work and use it as an opportunity to build your skills. You can also attend conferences and get more training, which employers usually pay for. Ask about certificates too, when you have a chance! Certificates can help move your career forward and give you a higher earning potential.
When you can’t learn any more from your cyber security job, look for chances to grow and switch to a new one. If you do, you’re sure to become an expert in the field over the years.
6. Create Your Definition of Success
You’re not going to take the same path that another cyber security professional takes. You’ll need to make your own definition of success and decide what you want from your career on your own. Everyone wants something different out of their daily work.
To summarize, you’ll need to stay committed to making your cyber security job successful. Always keep learning and stay curious about technology! If you do, you’re sure to feel passionate about the field.