Cybersecurity: How To Build A Career In Cybersecurity? What Cybersecurity Certifications, Courses, And Education Can Help?


With the increase in the number of cyber-attacks, information security has become a significant concern for individuals and organizations. Hence, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is increasing rapidly.

Cybersecurity professionals are the workforce that protects the organization from any data breach or cyber-attack. As the number of cyberattacks is increasing, more and more cybersecurity professionals are a pressing need for any standard IT organization today. At this juncture, it is useful for any ambitious professional or student to be informed about the various aspects of Cybersecurity, courses available related to it, and prospective careers as valuable cybersecurity professionals.

 Why Cybersecurity?

The demand for cybersecurity experts is skyrocketing because organizations in all sectors are looking for a workforce to secure their networks, systems, and data in the rise of a large number of cyber-attacks.

 How To Build A Career In Cybersecurity – What Certifications, Courses, And Education Can Help?

Some of those who desire a career in Cybersecurity embarks on the journey using one of two methods, the first being education. However, if one is already working in the IT field and want to switch to the Cybersecurity field, there are provisions for it too.

  1. Starting Career As A Student Of The Subject

The first step in the cybersecurity world is earning a degree and/or certification and gaining some experience in information security.

  • As a starting point, one can go for an undergraduate degree in Information Technology or Computer Science.
  • After this, one can gain some experience and pursue a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity Operations or Information Technology for getting a high-level position.
  • When opting for the engineering route, one can first obtain an undergraduate degree in engineering, and then go for some specialized experience by enrolling in a Master’s degree program in the related field.
  1. Career Switch From General IT

Many experts have an opinion that pursuing a job or internship in General IT field makes the person well versed in fundamentals like:

  • Administration and configuration of systems
  • Networks
  • Database management
  • Coding

After gaining some experience, the General IT candidate can go for learning Python, Linux, ethical hacking courses, etc.

For landing an excellent job in Cybersecurity, the IT candidate can pursue Cybersecurity certifications such as:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification)
  • CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
  • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)
  • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
  • CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) 

Career In Cybersecurity

There is a broad spectrum of jobs and careers one can land in the vast realm of Cybersecurity. The significant prospects are listed below.

  • Cybersecurity Management

Cybersecurity management is the work-field in which the main job is to protect the organization’s information systems as well as information networks from any cyberattack, malware attack, data breach, or intrusion.

The Cybersecurity Manager is the person who is responsible for planning and implementing security measures or for doing cybersecurity management tasks like:

  • Establishing network security policies and procedures
  • Regulating system access
  • Monitoring system for vulnerabilities
  • Designing solutions
  • Running risk assessments
  • Checking data processing systems
  • Designing a firewall, etc.

The academic degree requirement for securing a cybersecurity management related job is a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Cybersecurity, or any other IT discipline. A Master’s degree in a related field can help secure a higher-level job. E.g., Master of Information and Cybersecurity (MICS), Master of Cybersecurity and Leadership (MCL), etc.

The following certifications are in high demand when applying for a Cybersecurity Management job:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • GIAC Security Leadership (GSLC)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Information Systems Security Management Professionals (CISSP-ISSMP)

 

  • Cybersecurity Risk Management

Cybersecurity Risk Management is related to applying the idea of risk management of the real world in the cyberworld. In this, the main responsibility is to identify the risks and vulnerabilities in systems and networks of the organization, then initiate administrative actions and implement comprehensive safeguards and critical control measures to protect the organization’s data against malicious actors.

The essential requirement for getting a job in the cybersecurity risk management field is a Bachelor’s degree in an IT-related discipline.

The following Cybersecurity certifications can also help in landing an excellent job:

  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
  • Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

For higher-level education, the candidate can go for MBA in Information System and related fields. At the initial stage, the candidate may get a job as a:

  • Compliance Manager
  • IT Auditor
  • IT Control Manager
  • Internal Control Manager
  • Risk Manager

 

  • Penetration Testing/ Ethical Hacking

The job of a Penetration tester, also known as Ethical Hacker, is to scan for gaps, loopholes, or any other vulnerabilities in the information systems, networks, and applications of the organization by applying standard knowledge as well as tactics that a criminal hacker can employ. The Penetration tester makes use of several tools to simulate a cyber-attack that can happen in real-life for identifying vulnerabilities and helping the organization in creating an advanced security posture.

For entering a career path as an ethical hacker, the candidate needs to:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree in CS, IT, Cybersecurity, or a related field.
  • Work initially as a Security and System Administrator or network engineer.
  • Gain experience and specialize in ethical hacking skill through training and relevant industry certifications, which include:
    • CompTIA Security+
    • Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH)
    • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
    • EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)
    • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)

 

  • Network Security

Network Security is the field in which the primary work is to analyze the risk assessments and then develop policies and procedures for the protection against unauthorized intruders that enter the network by breaking in through the cyber walls and systems. Furthermore, there is continuous monitoring of the security systems and the creation of multiple layers of protection within the network system. When there is a security breach, the network security specialist implements a plan of action to contain the situation.

The educational qualification for landing a network security job is:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or affiliated field.
  • For higher education, the student can go for MBA in Cybersecurity.
  • The candidate can even pursue network security certifications like:
    • Certifications offered by CISCO
    • Network Security Certifications offered by Microsoft
    • CompTIA Network+

 

Final Words

The Cybersecurity sphere is vast and multi-faceted. One has to be well aware of the myriad courses and jobs out there before determining the career path most suitable. The above discussion has provided comprehensive guidelines regarding such courses and jobs. Whether one is new to the IT industry or thinking of preparing for a Management position, these cybersecurity courses will accelerate one’s career plan and help one reach a new horizon.

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