With Internet safety issues such as hacking, surveillance and much more in the news almost every day of the week, cyber security is an increasingly popular field. For IT professionals who are looking to put their skills to good use and work on projects that have an impact on the worlds of business, politics and global affairs, a career in cyber security is an ideal choice.
With over 200,000 cyber security jobs unfilled, your next job change could be just around the corner. This blog post will offer five top tips on how to pursue the career of your dreams in cyber security and move into this challenging but rewarding world.
Explore your options
Cyber security is a huge field, and the sort of jobs on offer are diverse. You could, for example, find yourself working for a large company looking to protect itself against cyber attacks and other malicious events online. Lloyd’s Banking Group recently estimated that global cyber attacks cause $400 billion in losses every single year, so many companies feel that they could use the help of talented information security professionals to keep them and their customers safe.
Alternatively, it is possible to use your IT skills working for government departments or security services and helping keep the country’s information technology infrastructures safe from hostile forces.
The broad nature of the sector means that you can choose from a wide range of options from under the same umbrella, and if you make a mistake with your decision, then you can easily move across and try something new.
Work out the finances
Before taking the plunge and moving out of your current field and into that of cyber security, it’s a good idea to develop a solid financial plan to help you and your family out during your career change.
You may find that you need to sacrifice earnings for a short while in order to retrain, or you might have to take a small, temporary salary cut while you spend a few years working at a more junior level. Training is common in the cyber security industry because the work requires specialist skills such as coding, knowledge of web applications and a strong understanding of information architecture.
Either way, it’s important to talk to your loved ones and work out how you’re going to cover any shortfalls as you switch tracks and develop a new career.
Get the right qualifications
In order to market yourself as strongly as possible to future employers, it’s wise to invest in some training to give you the skills that you need. Fortunately, universities and colleges have developed strong programs designed to do just that. For example, a Maryville’s degree in cyber security program online will give you the required skills to join the information security workforce, regardless of your background.
It’s important to choose a course that fits around your life, otherwise you won’t be able to focus properly and get the most out of the program.
Learn, learn, learn
Whether you’re applying to join a training program or are sitting in front of a potential employer in an interview situation, it’s vital that you can discuss accurate and relevant factual knowledge about the cyber security industry.
Taking out subscriptions to magazines will help, as will checking out top industry websites and keeping up-to-date with the goings-on in the field. One key way to demonstrate your commitment to cyber security is to learn programming languages. Many hackers are already fluent in a number of differing coding languages, so showing that you can stay ahead of the game will make you attractive to employers and professors alike. If you haven’t already, then consider learning languages such as Java, PHP and Perl.
Don’t give up
Starting your career in cyber security will not be easy. Working out your finances to cover a possible period out of work takes commitment, and learning to code can be difficult.
However, providing that you surround yourself with the necessary support, you will get through to the other side and start the rewarding career in cyber security that you’ve been hoping for.
As one of the world economy’s most fast-growing fields, cyber security is an attractive career for many IT professionals looking to make the switch into a more meaningful role. While the hurdles that you face might be large, the benefits further down the line of job security, high pay and a life on the cutting-edge of technology will make it all worthwhile.