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How to Become a Cybersecurity Professional

Feb. 28, 2019

How to Become a Cybersecurity Professional

Cybersecurity has become the fastest growing IT field in recent years and does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. As technology grows and evolves into new technology such as 5G more people ask the question “are we protected?” The answer to that question may or not be yes, but that doesn’t mean it has to be like that forever. Right now, large corporations and government agencies need cybersecurity experts more than ever before, and it is projected that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. This is shocking to many because the average salary of a cybersecurity professional is $120,000 which is three times the national average salary in America. I believe that people are interested in this amazing industry, and the need for workers in this industry is evident; however, a lot of people just don’t know where to start. In this article, I will go over the requirements and needs that are required to be successful in the amazing cybersecurity industry and how to become a cybersecurity professional.

 

Education

Cybersecurity experts are needed to be smart and fast at what they do. They need to be the smartest and fastest at what they do because in the event of a cyber attack they must be able to act quickly and stop the cyber attack from breaching or compromising any private data. On top of preventing cyber attacks, they also must be able to design and implement new cyber attack prevention strategies and test them by white hacking and finding vulnerabilities within their own networks. With all that being said education is a key part of any cybersecurity experts’ career. A 4-year degree is recommended; however, the important thing in this industry is certifications. Certifications are like gold in this industry because it shows employers that you are trained and knowledgeable in all things cybersecurity, and the more certifications you have the more valuable you are resulting in a higher salary. It is best to start with beginner certifications such as CompTIA’s A+ and move up to more advanced level certifications such as Network+ and Security+. After successfully completing those certifications many people move onto highly advanced courses such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), CASP+, and CISSP.

 

Jobs

The cybersecurity industry is desperate for workers and is willing to pay for them. The average salary of a cybersecurity professional is now $120,000 a year and that number is expected to skyrocket within the upcoming decade. The cybersecurity industry can provide job security and longevity because cybersecurity is something that will always be needed in the modern era. It is expected that there will be 3.5 million unfilled job opportunities by 2021, so the demand for the jobs is there. The key to landing a cybersecurity job is differentiating yourself from the competition by showing off your communication and writing skills to whoever is interviewing you. Large corporations are looking for those who can successfully work well within a team and communicate frequently to discuss any issues and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Therefore, companies and corporations will make their judgments based on how well candidates can speak and communicate with others to fix issues in a timely manner. Having advanced level certifications such as CISSP will also differentiate yourself from other candidates because CISSP is an advanced level course that specializes in management techniques and strategies which also builds on individual writing and communication skills.

 

What’s Next?

After landing a job in the cybersecurity industry and earning key certifications you have already become a cybersecurity professional. The only thing to do from this point on is to live life and do fun things, but you also must retain those certifications that you earned. The certifications must be renewed because technology is always changing, and hackers are always developing new methods of penetrating a network, so cybersecurity professionals must always be one step ahead. The easiest way to retain those certifications that you earned is by retaking a boot camp or training course, or by continuing education and continuing to earn higher advanced level certifications. As I said earlier the more certifications you have the more valuable you are which results in a higher pay as well, so you benefit yourself greatly by earning extra certification. Overall working in the cybersecurity industry is not easy and requires a lot of effort and hard work, but it really does pay off in the end.

 

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