How to Become a Cyber Security Expert

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.

  1. 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.

Check out the course outline, the course prerequisites, and the topics that will be covered throughout the program to see if it offers what you need. 
With the right skills and qualifications needed to work as a cybersecurity specialist, you’ll have an edge over your competitors if you have a myriad of certifications under your belt.

3. Learn computer language. 

Not everyone who works in the field of cybersecurity is a master of computer languages, but being well-versed in at least one programming language can give you an edge over those who are not.
Here are a few reasons why learning a programming language can help you establish yourself as a cybersecurity expert. 
  • 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. 
  • Scripting language – such as JavaScript – allows you to customize many open source tools for efficiency. 
For example, using Ruby programming language lets you create Meta-spoilt modules. 
  • Malware analysis and reverse engineering require a proper understanding of assembly language.   
If you’re new to programming languages, you can start by learning C or Python. Not only will you get a competitive advantage over other professionals in the field, but you’ll also be equipped to solve complex cybersecurity issues, which is what your prospective clients are looking for in an expert.

4. Acquire job experience. 

There is a wide array of companies in different industries that require the services of cybersecurity experts.
If a company handles data or manages a database, then it might be at risk of cyberattacks and data breaches.
This can spell countless opportunities for you to gain some on-hand experience and work your way through becoming an expert in cybersecurity.  
Here are some of the industries that you can work in to hone your skills and practice real-life applications of cybersecurity techniques and tools.
  • Government agencies
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Airline companies
  • IT companies
  • Intelligence agencies
  • Security consultancy providers
You can also start working in computer support positions and computer and network systems administration since these positions don’t usually need prior work experience. 
Also, working as a systems administrator will help you learn how to identify the security needs of a company and develop the skills for evaluating computer systems, maintaining network security, and the use of cybersecurity software programs. 

5. Advance your career. 

If you’re already working in the cybersecurity industry but lack the necessary qualifications to become an expert or specialist, then you’ll need to get the right certifications to further your career.
Additionally, keeping up to date with the latest developments in cybersecurity by enrolling in additional training courses is crucial to your success as a cybersecurity expert. 
Although the cybersecurity industry set many standard qualifications, here are some of the few certifications you can start acquiring.
  • 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.

What’s next?

It can take some time and effort before you can successfully become a cybersecurity expert, but by taking the required steps, you’ll be on your way to achieving your goal. 
To become a cybersecurity expert, you can start from the bottom by learning all that you can, gain the qualifications and skills for the job, and go that extra mile to tand out from others.


Irfan Shakeel
Irfan Shakeel, the founder of ehacking project, he also hosts cyber security training classes at EH Academy. He has discovered many vulnerabilities in the famous platforms (like Google, Dailymotion, Harvard University & etc.). He specializes in Network hacking, VoIP pentesting & digital forensics. He is the author of the book title “Hacking from Scratch”.

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