Whether it’s an information security analyst, a cybersecurity consultant, cybersecurity engineer, or any other role within the sector; the future is extremely bright for cybersecurity professionals. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the role of Information Security Analyst will grow at a rate of 31% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than average.
And this astronomical rate of growth isn’t isolated to this single role — it’s relatively consistent across the field. With so much opportunity, now is a great time to find a job in cybersecurity. To help you get your foot in the door, we’ve outlined a few key steps for how to land a job in cybersecurity in 2021.
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How to Land a Job in Cybersecurity in 2021?
While there are no linear paths toward landing a job in cybersecurity, one of the most well-traveled avenues is the entry-level cybersecurity specialist route. Other common entry-level IT jobs that can pave the way for a career in cybersecurity include:
- Web developer
- Web administrator
- Database administrator
- Systems administrator
- Network administrator
- Security administrator
- IT technician and more.
Hard Skills Required to Land a Job in Cybersecurity in 2021
If you’re looking to land a job in cybersecurity in 2021, it’s imperative you’re well versed in key fundamentals, including:
- Operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, and UNIX
- Frameworks ITIL, ISO 27001/27002, and COBIT
- Penetration and vulnerability and IDS/IPS testing
- SOX, GLBA, NIST, HIPAA, and PCI compliance assessments
- Anti-malware, anti-virus, DLP, and other internet security tools
- Computer networking, routing, TCP/IP, and switching
- Threat modeling, secure coding practices, and ethical hacking
- Firewall protocol, intrusion detection/prevention, and other internet privacy solutions
- Popular programming languages, such as Java, PHP, C++, C#, or C
- Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Common Educational Requirements for Cybersecurity Professionals
But no matter the path you take to land a job in cybersecurity, you’ll most likely be expected to have general information technology experience and specialized education, such as:
- Cybersecurity Associate’s Degree
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Master’s Degree
- Industry Certification
Degree programs that focus on information security, computer engineering, computer science, programming, and similar disciplines are regularly obtained by cybersecurity professionals.
What Is a Cybersecurity Specialist?
A cybersecurity specialist is similar to a digital age watchdog tasked with maintaining data and network security for organizations, businesses, and companies. One of the key responsibilities and roles of a cybersecurity specialist is to monitor and manage the cybersecurity system used by the business and quickly report any issues to management. In this role, you’ll be expected to be competent at:
- Configuring firewalls
- Implementing compliance measures
- Pen Testing
- Post-incident Analysis
- And more
Based on the shape and size of the organization, cybersecurity specialists may even be tasked with mitigating online privacy issues as well as other tasks.
What Is the Fastest Way to Land a Job in Cybersecurity in 2021?
As we previously mentioned, having the proper education is one of the key attributes shared by cybersecurity professionals. While an associate’s IT degree can take two years and a bachelor’s degree can take four years, earning cybersecurity professional certifications can help you break into the field the quickest.
Professional certifications often allow you to work at your own pace, are highly marketable, and can cost a fraction of the price associated with degrees. As an added bonus, those with professional certifications have the edge over other aspirants. Some top certifications for cybersecurity professionals in 2021 include:
- CompTIA Security+
- Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- GSEC / GCIH / GCIA: GIAC Security Certifications