If you wish to become a cybersecurity expert or specialist, you will require a combination of technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking.
We believe that anyone who is interested in the field can become a cybersecurity professional if they are exposed to the right resources and guidance, and if you are passionate about cybersecurity, we hope this article helps you find clarity.
Who is a cybersecurity specialist?
A cybersecurity specialist is someone who is an expert in the field of information technology security. This person will have very relevant cybersecurity skills such as;
- Intrusion detection
- Malware analysis
- Cloud security, and
- Fast mental ability to think like a hacker.
Generally, the job of a cybersecurity professional entails providing protection during software development.
Why should you become a cybersecurity professional?
There are now many reasons people consider careers in cybersecurity, one of them being the job prospects. According to Payscale reports, the average yearly salary of a cybersecurity professional is around $92,000, which increases along with experience.
Also, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report of May 2021 also estimates a 35% employment rate of cybersecurity experts from 2021 to 2031 with a current annual salary of $102,600.
Another reason you should consider being a cybersecurity specialist is that you can work remotely, travel the world while working, and also work with secrets.
How Do You Become A Cybersecurity Expert?
Here are the practical steps you can follow to become a cybersecurity expert;
1. Research the field of cybersecurity
When it comes to becoming a cybersecurity specialist, the first thing you ought to do is run proper research and get the fundamentals of the industry. In this stage, you should start by learning about the various roles available in cybersecurity, such as;
- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
- Security Analyst
- Security Architect
- Security Manager
- Security Engineer, and
- Security Specialist.
Each of these roles requires different skill sets and may require different qualifications. You should also familiarize yourself with the common tools and technologies used in cybersecurity.
We have written a concise article on the Best Cyber Security Laptops According To Experts
2. Advance by getting a cybersecurity degree or certificate
Once you have a good understanding of the field, it’s time to think about furthering your education.
Advancing your education by attending any of the best cybersecurity schools near you will give you a great advantage. Here you will understand cybersecurity fields like;
- Network security
- Data protection
- Risk management
- System analysis
Depending on the level of expertise you want to achieve, you may choose to pursue a degree or certificate in cybersecurity.
While a degree in cyber security will prepare you for more advanced roles, a certificate program can provide the necessary skills for entry-level positions.
No matter which path you choose, it’s important to do your research and find the best program that suits your interests and needs.
3. Look into internships or apprenticeships
While getting your cybersecurity education, you need to find a way to get practical experience on how to take on cybersecurity tasks. Therefore, it is recommended to be on the lookout for related internships or apprenticeship positions.
This can be a great way to gain hands-on experience, networks, and valuable contacts in the industry.
4. Network With Other Professionals
The easiest way to become a cybersecurity expert is to be in a community or network of experts, this will help you grow very fast. There are many cybersecurity events, companies, and organizations you can join, some of them include;
- The International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)²
- The Information Systems Security Association International (ISSA)
- The SANS Institute
By taking the time to network with other professionals in the community, you can become a specialist in the field and help protect organizations from cyber threats.
5. Apply to relevant cybersecurity jobs
Now that you have an understanding of how cybersecurity works, you have also gone for internships and joined various related organizations, you should apply for a job in the role that suits you well.
With the job comes responsibilities that will help you become an expert in the field.
6. Stay up-to-date with trends in the field.
If you wish to become a cybersecurity expert, you must also stay up-to-date on the latest trends in technology, cyber threats, and cybersecurity solutions.
You need to be a good researcher and know when to take the opportunities that come along with it.
In conclusion, becoming a specialist in cybersecurity is no easy feat, but with dedication, hard work, and the right resources, it’s achievable.
Achieving a degree or certificate in cybersecurity is one of the best ways to become a professional in the field. A cybersecurity program from a university or college can help you learn the necessary skills to become a specialist in the field.
Additionally, continuing education and staying up-to-date on trends in the industry can give you an edge over other job seekers, and with commitment and perseverance, you can become a cybersecurity expert and land the job of your dreams.