How Do You Become a Cyber Security Specialist?

Many career experts have divergent opinions on how to become a cyber security specialist. This is mainly because there are several paths one can follow and so many factors to consider in order to get a job as a cyber security specialist. Here are some important tips that will help you gain more insights on how you can pursue a career in this field.

Understand Your Responsibilities

As a cyber security expert, you will be required to develop and monitor disaster recovery protocols, define access privileges, perform vulnerability tests and train other staff members on security awareness. Other roles will include identifying abnormalities and reporting violations, performing risk analysis, configuring security tools and researching and recommending security upgrades.

Obtain the Right Academic Credentials

You need to have at least a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree in a computer-related field to get a job as a cyber security expert. Many employers prefer bachelor’s degrees in cyber security, computer science and information technology. These degree programs take four years to complete and may cover topics such as digital forensics, cryptology, UNIX and network security, database administration and computer forensics. For high-level job positions, you will need a master’s degree with a concentration in information technology and cyber security.

Get a Certification

Apart from earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you need to get a certification from a recognized professional body to increase your job prospects. You can choose a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential. Other useful credentials include Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Protection Professional (CPP).

Gain Work Experience

You need three to five years of work experience in IT security and management to get a decent job as a cyber security specialist. The best way to gain such experience is to work for a lower pay in a startup company or volunteer for nonprofit IT projects. You can also apply for internship immediately in a cyber security company while still in school. Doing so will enable you to acquire extra skills and a considerable amount of experience before you graduate.

Apply for a Job

Apply for any it-related job as soon as you obtain your graduation certificate. This is important given the fact that it is very difficult to gain recognition from big firms nowadays due to the increasing rate of job competition. Get an entry-level job and use the chance to increase your experience level and expand your knowledge base.

Acquire Essential Skills

As a cybersecurity expert, you must be detail-oriented and work methodically. You must possess strong analytical and diagnostic skills and keep a current understanding of internet vulnerabilities. You must also show the ability to clearly articulate complex concepts and make others understand all the programming and software concepts.

Cyber Security Expert Salary

Cybersecurity experts are among the highest-paid professionals in the US. According to Forbes, some cybersecurity experts earn as high as $380,000 per year.

Related Resource: What is an Information Technology Specialist?

With the increasing demand and potentially lucrative salaries cybersecurity offers, it is undoubtedly a good idea to pursue a career in this field. To become a cybersecurity expert, you must have a deeper understanding of your roles, get the right academic credentials, obtain certification and acquire essential skills.