Becoming a cybersecurity expert isn’t all sunshine and rainbows; however, it’s certainly attainable.
Like most professions, there are a couple of action steps that you first need to take to establish yourself as an expert in the industry.
You will also need to invest a significant amount of your time, energy, and have the right mindset, plus a heavy dose of determination to build a career in cybersecurity successfully.
If you’re ready to pursue this career path, then this post on how to become a cybersecurity expert is for you.
Let’s dive in.
- Research the field.
Because cybersecurity is such a massive space to operate in, you need to determine which specific aspect of cybersecurity you’d want to focus on first.
You can start by learning the key roles and responsibilities of a cybersecurity expert, the different areas of specialization, the skills required, and even the potential salary.
From a top-level view, a cybersecurity expert is someone who companies work with to help protect their data, or their network against cyber attacks.
Your job as a cybersecurity specialist would include setting security measures and employing techniques such as running penetration testing to detect system vulnerabilities, monitoring networks for potential breaches, and handling cyber threats that are found.
You can also do some digging on potential cybersecurity specialization careers such as computer forensics analyst, ethical hackers, and more.
Doing thorough research will help you know what becoming a cybersecurity expert entails, so you can make a better, more educated, career decision.
2. Get qualified.
Like with any other profession, having the right skills and qualifications is crucial for you to become an expert in cybersecurity.
Although a career in cybersecurity may be possible even if you do not have formal qualifications, most of those working as specialists have education in IT or other computer science-related fields.
Some of the other applicable degrees include mathematics, physics, networks and security, network engineering, and forensic computing.
You can also enroll in a cybersecurity course training to help you learn the skills necessary to be a cybersecurity expert.
3. Learn computer language.
- Coding can help you with automating and simplifying specific tasks so you can focus on other tasks that need your attention.
- There are instances when anti-virus software blocks standard tools, and when this happens, you will need to write your own code to come up with the tools to address the issues.
- Malware analysis and reverse engineering require a proper understanding of assembly language.
4. Acquire job experience.
- Government agencies
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Airline companies
- IT companies
- Intelligence agencies
- Security consultancy providers
5. Advance your career.
- CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA). This is a general qualification for people in network management functions.
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). It’s commonly a prerequisite for career development since earning it means you can design, implement, and manage cybersecurity programs.
- Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM). This certification is intended for aspiring managers, IT consultants who are supporting information security program management, and information security managers.
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). You can earn this certification if you specialize in security analysis or penetration testing.
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP). It’s an entry-level certificate for cybersecurity professionals with little experience.
- CompTIA Security+. This certification is intended for that have two years’ worth of experience in the industry.
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). This certification is a global standard designation for those who are working in information systems, specifically control, auditing, and security.