Cyber security is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world in response to an increase in cyber crime within the last few years. In 2020 alone, the market size of the cyber security field stood at more than $165 billion and is expected to reach $418 billion by 2028. With so much opportunity for growth, it’s not surprising people are flocking to this field. Interested in joining this ever-growing industry to find your dream job? Join us as we explore the cyber security field and ways you can kick start your cyber career.
What is Cyber Security?
The goal of cyber security and a position within the cyber security field is to protect sensitive data from malicious attacks. When a business or entity is attacked, pertinent information is at risk, including medical records, social security numbers, and even addresses. Common threats include malware, phishing, insider negligence, and ransomware. To combat these threats, careers in information security are crucial to protecting sensitive information.
What Jobs are Available in Cyber Security?
Protecting the critical data of an organization includes firewalls, email security, antivirus & malware software, access control, and more. Because there are so many ways to protect a business, in addition to a multitude of threats, there are many jobs that require unique cyber security skills. Some of the more common jobs include penetration testers, engineers, analysts, and security system administrators.
Penetration testers, or pen testers, play the role of malicious hackers in a controlled environment to find weaknesses or exploits in a system that can be reported to build stronger defenses. Engineers design networks to prevent damage and to keep outside intruders from accessing and exploiting systems. Most security analysts monitor and detect threats, but some may also assess system compliance with laws or company regulations. Often, security system administrators act as project managers for the security team, in addition to making sure the system runs smoothly. Many companies look for professionals who can perform both basic IT and cyber security duties.
What Skills Do You Need?
Information technology skills form the foundation of cyber security skill sets. System administration training and experience may be the most versatile, whether it is in networking, email, or information exchanges. Having overall experience with Windows, Linux, and Unix operating systems, along with SQL and a programming language like C#, Java, or Python, can help make your resume more attractive to potential employers.
Non-technical skills are important to have with any employer including collaboration, problem solving, analytical thinking, troubleshooting, adaptability, and more. Hard skills are imperative to a technical career, but having the ability to work with a team and coordinate on projects is equally important.
Should You Pursue a College Degree?
If you choose to earn a bachelor’s or associate degree in information technology or computer science before seeking a cyber security career, it can give you the broad skills you will need in your career. It also looks good on your resume, particularly if you add internships, bootcamps, and IT experience. A college degree in computer science, business, or math can teach other important skills, such as advanced math and logic, as well as communicating problems, explaining difficult concepts, and technical writing. However, college degrees don’t always provide specialized knowledge and certifications that may be required for you to land your dream job.
Can You Get a Cyber Security Job With No Degree?
Degrees in information technology or other related fields are not required to land a job in cyber security. Bootcamps and cyber security training have made IT education much more accessible to anyone interested in learning new skills. In fact, some companies will hire IT professionals and provide additional training for them in cyber security to enhance their skills as it relates to the organization they work for. While having career-focused education is critical, having some job experience in IT, along with official certifications after a bootcamp, will help make you even more ready for a job in cyber security.
There are cyber security certifications and basic IT certifications that could be helpful to have on top of training which includes penetration testing, exploit development, threat hunting, digital forensics, and more. If you choose to go this route, focus on basic information technology skills and get training or experience in security, which can help you find a job and give you the skills to be successful in it.
You can take part in the next wave of innovation and technological change with a cyber security career. Cyber security is more important than ever before, which makes security professionals essential to keep companies protected from risks. There is no better time to perfect your skills and launch a new career in the field of cyber security than the present.