One of the most important aspects of a company is the loyalty between the employer and the employees. But you can’t guarantee that outsiders will show you the same respect. Hackers, for example, might always try to access your personal information.
Now you might not know how or where to begin protecting your company, but a Cybersecurity Specialist does. Does it sound like something you might be interested in doing? Let us guide you through all that it takes to become a Cybersecurity Specialist. But first, let’s talk about what this role comprises.
What is a Cybersecurity Specialist?
Think of a Cybersecurity Specialist as a gatekeeper. Their job description entails protecting sensitive personal information and confidential digital documents of the company. They have to make sure that the personal data of a company is, to say the least, bulletproof (bullets being hackers and different viruses). This is the very reason why they work for companies and organizations.
Now, this might seem simple enough, protecting information. But the way they do it and the skills it takes to make it work make Cybersecurity Specialists and Experts in high demand, particularly for big companies. Let’s get into more detail about their duties.
What Does a Cybersecurity Specialist Do?
One of the main tasks of a Cybersecurity Specialist is to be there through the developing stages of a company’s network, software system, or any confidential data.
Their job is to check for vulnerabilities and risks of threats and fix them before they are out there. And if there is any breaching attempt through the company’s system, they will inform the police and immediately shut down the security intrusion. So basically, they are present from the first stages of setting up the network and software system to ensure the digital information is well protected and overseen.
How to Become a Cybersecurity Specialist?
You are now getting to the big question, how to become one? If you’ve read this far, you are either entertained by the possibility of becoming a cybersecurity specialist or simply curious about this profession. Either way, we start where all great things must start, i.e., education.
Now, similar to most important roles, you are advised to go to university to get a degree in cyber security and gain the necessary work experience through internships or junior roles before you can become a cybersecurity specialist. A Bachelor’s degree in computer science, technology, information is what you need to pursue. You could start as an entry-level role in security or IT and then progress to other ranks while gaining enough experience and knowledge for your future career. Moreover, you can advance in your knowledge by pursuing a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security.
As mentioned before, you could go to University and get your degree to start your career or the relevant work experience. But if you really want to show that you’re determined to your future employers and, most importantly, yourself, having a few extra certifications to go with your University diploma is the perfect match. Here are some of the certifications you could get to become a Cybersecurity Specialist:
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA, Routing, and Switching)
- Systems Administration and Network Security Certifications (SANS)
- CompTIA Security+ Base-Level Certification
These certifications are all different based on the area you’d like to pursue. For example, the CISM certification is the way to go if you’re interested in becoming a Security Manager, or the CEH certification for an Ethical Hacker. They are all obviously very useful and in no way ranked as to which is the most important. It all depends on your goals and determination.
It never hurts to have experience in any field you decide to pursue, especially in something as practical and high demand as a cybersecurity specialist. Look for relevant IT security jobs, and if there aren’t any, it’s always a good idea to start with an internship first.
Most companies nowadays hire their interns after their training is finished, but even if not, an IT security Internship will definitely impress your future employers. And in the meantime, you are perfecting your skills every day, so you are not wasting your time.
To become a Cybersecurity Specialist, you need to gain and develop some essential skills for the role. Hard skills are the abilities and talents specific to the role you are applying for, while soft skills are general talents or traits you have that are not specific to the function but can be used in many other roles. In every job, you need to have the hard skills and the soft skills of the position you are about to work.
The hard skills you need to have to become a Cybersecurity Specialist:
- Security analysis
- Thinking like a hacker
- Knowledge of programming languages
- Detecting instructions on your data
- Analyzing risks
- Malware analysis
The soft skills you need to have to become a Cybersecurity Specialist:
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- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to think critically
- Ability to work in a team and alone
- Written and oral communication skills
Growing a professional network is always a good idea. A network of professionals is like having many friends who can offer or recommend fantastic job opportunities for you. Fortunately, we found a website for you to browse over 50 networking groups you could join and hopefully land your dream job. Good luck out there!
Cyber Security Job Outlook
You’ll be pleased to know that the job outlook for a Cybersecurity Specialist is growing bigger every day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people employed in the cyber security sector is expected to grow by 31% from 2019 to 2029.
Many people work for private companies that hire professionals to protect their information and data. Some work for the government, network providers, and even the military. So, not to worry, if you graduate from University or have worked in IT and hoping to get a more permanent job, you’ll have plenty of choices.
Cyber Security Specialist Salary
Obviously, one of the most important parts of finding a good job is the benefits you gain out of it. That means you’re looking for a job with a salary to fulfill your needs and make your life comfortable. Well, given that this is a security job and in high demand, we believe you will not be disappointed by the results. Jobs in Cybersecurity pay from $92,000 to $133,330.
Of course, some private corporations might pay more and government jobs too. But even in the most average circumstances, you will be well awarded and compensated for your labor and skills.
Hopefully, by reading this article, you’ve become well informed about what it takes to become a Cybersecurity Specialist and even found your calling. Like any other job, this requires a lot of dedication and willingness to learn and get better each day, so don’t give up even if at some point the journey seems long or the job gets challenging. The results will, by all means, pay off.