Hackers are always on the prowl looking to infiltrate into unprotected data for all sorts of nefarious purposes.
Today, cybersecurity has become essential to keep systems and data safe and secure, leading to a demand for cybersecurity professionals.
An industry report reveals that there will be about 3.5 million openings including network security jobs in this field by 2021.
To help you make the most of these opportunities, here is a detailed guide on how to kick-start a fulfilling and high-paying career in cybersecurity.
What is Cybersecurity and Why is it Important?
Hackers are always trying to access confidential business information to extort money, sabotage processes, and cause mischiefs of all sorts. But how do they do it?
Websites closely track user habits, financial information, browsing behavior, health records, power consumption, and other details.
This data is used to build detailed user profiles. Cybersecurity helps protect all this confidential data and networks from being misused.
All users, including small and large companies, governments, employees, and individuals need to keep their data secure.
Businesses also realize the need to protect their sensitive data and are predicted to spend over $124 billion worldwide in 2019 on cybersecurity.
This has increased the requirement for companies to hire competent cybersecurity and network security experts.
No Need for Technical Background
The best thing about this field is that you don’t need a technical or computer science degree to start a career as a cybersecurity professional.
All you need is the knowledge of organizational sciences, technology, sociology, psychology, and law.
Cybersecurity requires system analysts, data scientists, professional communicators, software developers, program managers, and others.
Even people with non-technical backgrounds can excel and become cybersecurity specialists with the right training and certifications.
Your non-technical background can give you unique abilities and perspectives and for this reason, even lawyers, journalists, and librarians can carve out a career in this arena.
In India, the US, and other countries there are thousands of open positions in cybersecurity and network security as skilled personnel is scarce.
Jobs for network security analysts are expected to grow at a rapid pace of 28% till the year 2026 which is much higher than the predicted growth rate of 7% for all vocations.
Types of Jobs in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a wide industry and offers various roles and positions.
The salary depends on your skills, qualifications, and experience. In the US, the average annual pay package in cybersecurity is around $115,000.
Some common roles in the field are:
- Governance, Risk and Compliance expert
- Security auditor
- Security trainer
- Incident response expert
- Forensics/malware analyst
- Penetration tester
- Security architecture expert
- Security generalist
- Identity and Access Management (IAM) analyst
- Application security analyst
- Cloud security analyst
Part-Time Gigs in Cyber and Network Security
You can pursue network security jobs and exercise your cybersecurity talent in non-traditional and part-time roles.
This is because companies are using crowdsourced initiatives like advanced penetration testing, vulnerability disclosure, and bug bounty to spot security deficiencies before hackers do.
Bug bounty initiatives are a great way to build new skills and funnel your energy creatively.
You can become a bug hunter and find security drawbacks in the company’s systems and products, and get handsomely paid for your efforts.
In this way, you can also test your skills and compete with international cybersecurity experts.
Even if you don’t want to enter the field of cybersecurity, you can still educate yourself and practice your skills effectively as a side gig.
Tips to Start a Career in Cybersecurity
If you want to start a career in cybersecurity, how do you begin?
We guide you through the procedure by giving you information on the needed skills to be learned and the resources you can utilize.
Start by finding out the answers to the following questions:
- Do I need any IT or network security certifications or experience?
- What technologies and skills should I master?
- How can I obtain experience in this industry?
- Does the job involve plenty of traveling?
- Are internship/entry-level jobs available?
- What are the opportunities for career advancement?
A College Degree is Not Necessary
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need a college degree to become a cybersecurity expert.
Hard-working and smart individuals who have the requisite skills and abilities are sought after by enterprises to bolster their security infrastructure.
Many cybersecurity professionals have developed the necessary skill-set through numerous websites and resources that teach everything about coding and cybersecurity skills.
But a degree in computer science or a related field can help to increase your options.
Select a Suitable Path
Cybersecurity offers numerous paths and you can select a fitting one for yourself after evaluating your interests and skills.
Are you interested in networking, policy, application development, or any other area? List your preferences to identify a suitable position.
Some popular roles are incident response, security engineering, and penetration testing.
After identifying your interest, research it well. Read books and web articles to learn more about the role.
You can also join cybersecurity and network security communities on Twitter and other online forums to interact with experts and gain their assistance on how you can find learning resources for your interests and how to land jobs.
Important Skills and Technologies to Learn
To begin with, you should develop a good understanding of coding basics and popularly used programming languages.
Then, you should learn to place yourself in the shoes of a hacker to understand system vulnerabilities properly so you can forecast and prevent hacking attacks.
A few general skills that can be useful are:
- Web app security techniques
- Access management and cryptography practices
- Network defense strategies
- Monitoring and logging procedures
- Networking and security foundations
Cybersecurity Training and Courses
Since the demand for cybersecurity professionals is so high, employers are willing to forego considering conventional education paths and are searching for proven competencies.
To benefit from this scenario, you can self-learn, practice, and network to land your dream job.
You can utilize online resources like Springboard and Pluralsight for network security training and courses.
A good course will give you access to lab tools that imitate real-world situations to give you practical experience.
Join a program that gives you access to knowledgeable mentors and lets you seek advice from experts on cybersecurity to gain insights into important topics.
Learn core concepts and specialized topics such as incident response and risk management, which are important for organizations.
A course that equips you with fundamental skills in cybersecurity and network security is ideal.
You can pass some certification tests and get yourself a great job.
So be prepared to invest some money and a good amount of time to enroll and study in a quality training course to prepare yourself for a career in Cybersecurity.
Cyber and network security jobs in Dubai in leading IT companies are sought after by Indians and people from other nations because of the lucrative salaries and excellent work environments.
The role entails analyzing risks and developing effective policies and procedures for system managers to implement.
Given the rise in cyber-attacks each year, this position is of the utmost importance to enterprises.
The need to safeguard their computer networks and systems efficiently to evade the prying eyes and attempts of hackers has made an impact on people.
Corporations seek to hire professionals for network security jobs and other cybersecurity positions to protect their programs from infiltration and hacking.
For this reason, a career in network security is sought after by many IT professionals.
Salary for Cybersecurity Jobs
In the US, the average annual salary of a network salary analyst is about $81,100.
Established IT companies offer more, and you can earn more than 95,000 if you land a job in one of them.
Skills in this technology are in high demand as this field is growing fast and networks are becoming more advanced and mobile.
In the US, there about currently about 400,000 open positions in network security.
Many leading IT companies are hiring for network security jobs in Dubai to cater to the growing need in the Middle East.
Therefore, equip yourself with the required skills and experience to land a lucrative career in network security in the US, Dubai, India, and other top IT nations.
This seems to be the best time to look out for a cybersecurity job because of the high demand and the lucrative salary packages offered.
You can easily land your first gig with internships, volunteer work, and relevant project experience.
The best part is a career in network security and cybersecurity is very fulfilling as it enables you to make the cyber world a safer place for businesses and their customers and employees.
Author's Bio: Vyshnavi is a Senior Product Marketing Manager and Subject Matter Expert at happiness. piHappiness is a top customer feedback software designed to collect customer feedback on Web, iPad & Android tablets. Vyshnavi is keen on such topics as marketing, SaaS challenges, and Personal Growth.