So you want to save the world from Cyber threats or maybe just protect a small business from Ransomware… but where do you start?
Cyber security is one of, if not the most job hungry area on the market right now, there are literally ten fold more jobs than there are people able to fill them. Which is great for you! this means there are lots of jobs to pick from, all you need to know is how to get them.
Money Money Money
on the back of my previous point because there are so many jobs available companies are paying through the roof to make sure they have the best of the best. average salaries of around £40,000 – £80,000 in the UK and around $116,000 in the US – Source . So the moneys right but is the job?
Step By Step:
1. Do your research
Is this something you really want to do? Don’t just brush over this question really ask yourself. Cyber Security jobs can consist of some extremely boring responsibilities and (depending on the company) it’s most likely going to be a role where you don’t get the recognition you feel you deserve. partly down to the general public’s lack of understanding of the importance of Cyber Security. Don’t get me wrong the jobs can also be greatly rewarding and exciting it all depends on you as a person. I personally dont need my back patting every time I do a good job so if you’re like me read on!
2. Finding a Job
Okay so keep following, I know you’re probably asking “why are we looking for a job before we have the skills!?” well. Before you know exactly what your end goal is how can you prepare to get there? find the job you’re looking for (you dont have to apply for this job you just need to find the skill set)
3. I’m not Qualified!
Don’t panic, at this point most of you will be looking at the job of your dreams and find that you need things you dont have… X qualification or X degree etc. so what now? well obviously everyone is different. If you’re in high school right now you have a great opportunity to research local Cyber Sec courses in your area and what universities have the best higher education courses. forget about the job for now and plan your education!
For example check out this post – 10 UK cyber security degree courses approved by GCHQ
4. But I’m Not in high school!!!
again, dont sweat… although it might be considered more difficult to get a job if you dont have the correct qualifications, you CAN still do it. and there are two methods to this.
utilizing skills you already have. now you might not necessarily have specific training in Cyber Sec, but you might have extensive experience in Computer networks. these skills are TRANSFERABLE and employers will consider you or even WANT you IF you can bend your CV in their favor. more on “bending” a CV below.
if you dont have enough transferable skills to fill out a CV that companies will love, get more skills! websites like Cybrary offer some great FREE training which you can even get certificates for in all things Cyber Sec. Night classes or even online university courses, they are out there and if you really want this job it will be worth the work! So get searching!
Bending your CV?
okay so I am by no means telling you to LIE on your CV, that would be bad and could land you in a lot of trouble. but if you have transferable skills (even only a few) you might find that if you can get noticed by a company they may be willing to train you to get your skillset the way they want it. Remember the job market in Cyber Security could not be more in your favor, employers are desperate and if it means taking on somebody and investing in their development they will do it!
So how do I make my CV stand out
I call this bending your CV, you can call it whatever you like, here’s an example of some transferable skills before and after a little rewording excercise:
- taking phone calls to remedy issues
- monitoring performance of a network
- upgrading and expanding a network
Re-Written For Cyber Security Employers:
- Proactive remediation of internal issues performing threat analysis to manage impact to business
- The Planning of, research and design of robust secure architectures for any IT project
Define, implement and maintain corporate policies and procedures at every level of expansion
Do you see what I did there?
Okay so again, do not lie, I REPEAT DO NOT LIE. you will be caught. But the use of language to better convey your skillset and advertise yourself to companies is NOT a crime. at the end of the day if you’re looking for a job you are marketing your skills and selling yourself (not like that grow up)
And my final tip, keep researching! there are many posts on the internet about this exact subject so build up your information bank and go get that job!
at the time of writing this I am currently a Cyber Security Account Manager and have done most of my training on the job coming from a sales background with no IT history.