It’s almost a dead-set certainty that anyone contemplating and successfully embarking in a career in cybersecurity today can be assured of a long and lucrative work life. While the numbers from different reports don’t always match, information security professionals are in short supply across the world. So, what does it take to kick start a career in cybersecurity?
I’ve been following the cybersecurity sector for a while now and one thing that has become crystal clear is that there is no one way to enter the sector. It is no longer a purely technical sector, although strong tech skills can help in some areas, with soft skills now equally sought after.
But the advice of Adam Shapley, Managing Director at Hays, is a good place to start. He says “it all starts with a genuine passion towards cyber security”.
Hays also suggests things like a strong background in IT, contributing to open source projects, getting certification and setting up your own lab are good things to do. And, if you’re pursuing a fairly technical career in cybersecurity then those are good building blocks.
But not every role in cybersecurity is technical. For example, many large organisations empty educators to help translate the cybersecurity message from being very technical into something that can be used by non-technical workers. For example, while protecting a user account and using a strong password or authentication tool is important, most users aren’t interested in the nuanced differences between different types of two-factor authentication systems. But if they can be taught how to secure their personal social media accounts and that the same principles apply in the office, then the goal of better security is achieved.
As the Hays’ article says, developing soft skills is important.
Cybersecurity is one of the biggest growth areas for those entering the workforce or seeking a career change. It’s not all about technical skills with soft skills in marketing, regulation and compliance and education just as important as technical and analytical skills.
But it starts with a passion for the field. If you have that, there are lots of potential roles.