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Get Your Dream Career in Cybersecurity
Technology is moving so fast these days that the industry must move at full speed to keep up. Specialists are popping up all over the place, and their skills are more niche and more in-demand than ever. What that means for new graduates, or for older IT professionals who have been in the game a little longer, can vary. You might be happy continuing doing what you're doing, or you might be thinking about how you can get a piece of that specialized pie, and that specialized salary.
One of the fastest-growing specialist areas is cybersecurity. As digital communications continue to become the focus of several industries, keeping those communications safe is essential. But then, if you don't have the experience or the skills, how do you get your foot in the door?
Getting started in cybersecurity
One thing all cybersecurity specialists have in common, whatever their specific role, is passion. You'll never make a great career in cybersecurity, or anything else for that matter, unless you're passionate about what you do. You need to know, and care about what you're protecting and why.
Starting at the bottom
If you're starting your career completely cold and have just graduated or have no experience, an internship or entry-level job is most likely the best place to start. This will give you an excellent base to focus on in more generalized IT skills, plus how the IT business works. Try to think ahead – if you have a ten-year plan with a perfect job role at the end, plot out the jobs and skills that will help you get there in that time. That will tell you what you need to do, and then you can get on with doing it. Alpine Security’s cybersecurity training programs are an excellent place to start figuring out what skills you need.
Becoming the Perfect Candidate
The ideal cybersecurity candidate will have practical skills in web applications, administration, networking, database management, physical security, user security, enterprise storage, and servers. You'll also need a range of ‘soft' skills, including teamwork, communication, an understanding of business in general, and skills in working with non-IT teams.
Most cybersecurity roles also require a clean background check. If you want to get ahead of the game, run your own and eliminate any possible red flags before you put yourself in front of an employer.
Do you need a college degree?
While it’s not entirely essential to have a college degree, it's certainly useful and will help you start your journey several steps along the road. As well as teaching you some of the practical IT skills you'll need to get started in cybersecurity, going to college also teaches you skills in business, communication, time management, and project management - all of which will come in handy as you embark on your career. Depending on which college program you're enrolled in, you may also have the opportunity to take up internships or work experiences before you graduate.
Standing out from the crowd
If you really want to stick your head out above all other candidates for a coveted cybersecurity role, there are a few other things you can do to make that happen. First, you should keep abreast of developments in the industry even if you're not working in it yet. There are websites, blogs, and magazines that are great sources of information. You can also join a message board to keep up with what experts in cybersecurity are currently discussing.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.