It is an excellent time to step into the cybersecurity industry, given the demand currently. However, you may be wondering – how do you go about doing so?
As the rise of the need for cybersecurity is a relatively recent phenomenon, there are few direct pathways in schools that take you to being a qualified ‘cybersecurity professional’. And perhaps rightfully so, as there are vast kinds of cybersecurity careers that don’t all require the same training and qualifications.
What role do you intend to pursue?
Instead, the route to becoming a cybersecurity professional is dependent on what type of role you are looking to play in the industry. If you are passionate about engineering cybersecurity solutions, you will have to undergo education in software engineering. If you think a project management position will be a better fit for you, then you should pick up some training in project management.
Do you need IT training?
Given that cybersecurity is primarily concerned with digital solutions, a basic background in IT is understandably required. Most cybersecurity professionals will have some working knowledge of networks and systems, as well as coding. A degree in computer science or informational technology will be immensely helpful. In some places, there are cybersecurity degrees as well that you can take up.
Possible pathways to a cybersecurity career
Apart from getting a good degree, you can equip yourself with specific skills required for the position you are eyeing for through professional courses and certifications. Below, we outline some of these useful certifications to have:
· Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
CISSP provides prospective security professionals with a comprehensive, up-to-date understanding of cybersecurity concerns, communications, infrastructure, cryptography and operations. The contents adhere to the (ISC)2 (International Information System Security Certification Consortium, Inc.) certification requirements, widely regarded as the gold standard for professionals in the industry. Gaining hands-on experience for designing, implementing, and managing a security programme, students will find the CISSP certification essential for a role dealing with security tasks and cyber defence.
· EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Course
Ethical hacking, also known as penetration testing, is a crucial methodology in cybersecurity used to simulate cyber attacks on a system to identify its vulnerabilities. Undergoing a CEH course will help students master the skills involved in penetration testing, and have them walk away with the internationally recognised EC-Council CEH certification.
· DevOps Foundation Course
DevOps is an ideology that emphasises communication, collaboration, integration, and automation to facilitate more efficient workflow between software developers (Dev) and IT operations professionals (Ops). The DevOps Foundation course equips professionals with the necessary vocabulary, best practices, and automation principles in DevOps.
DevOps is also commonly associated with other frameworks like Agile and ITIL, which are considered different means to achieve DevOps and project success. If DevOps is within your interest, you should also consider getting certified one of these other frameworks, such as the DSDM Agile Certification or ITIL 4 certification.
Pursue a cybersecurity career today
There no one correct way to enter the cybersecurity industry, but these courses will hopefully give you some idea of where to go next in your pursuit. There are many more certifications that were not mentioned here as well, so don’t let this limit you.
The good news is, whichever route you take, it will be a good choice. The strong demand for cybersecurity professionals means that more catered (and subsidised!) courses will spring up in no time, and getting hired after won’t be too much of a problem.
Begin your journey into cybersecurity today by equipping yourself with the necessary skills and training!