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Launch Your Cybersecurity Career in 8 Steps

by CompTIA - 08/24/2018
Launch Your Cybersecurity Career in 8 Steps

Businesses experience ransomware attacks once every 40 seconds, so organizations are ramping up their cybersecurity rosters, and by 2021, unfilled cybersecurity jobs are estimated to reach 3.5 million. Here are eight tips to help you find your perfect cybersecurity job role and launch your cybersecurity career.

1. Find Your Place in Cybersecurity
You know you want to work in cybersecurity, but do you know what type of job you want? Learn the difference between cybersecurity analyst, penetration tester and other popular cybersecurity roles, and then find out what it takes to become one.
Learn About Cybersecurity Jobs
IT Career News job profiles
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Cyber Degrees

2. Assess Your Cybersecurity Skills
Now that you have an idea of what you want to do and what skills you need to get there, itís time to assess your strengths and areas for improvement. When you know your current skill level, you can make a plan for how to move forward Ė whether thatís hands-on experience, IT certifications, a college degree or something else.
Test Your Knowledge
Name That Hack
Are You a Cybersecurity Expert?
CompTIA Security+ Practice Questions

3. Learn Your Trade
Traditionally cybersecurity focused on creating impenetrable systems. But today, cybersecurity professionals need to be able to configure strong networks and know how to handle a breach.
Things to Know
The ins and outs of networks
Past hacks and breaches
How companies have responded to cyber-attacks
How to identify vulnerabilities

4. Gain Hands-On Skills
Take your learning to the next level with hands-on experience. Apply what youíve learned using tools like security information and event management (SIEM) software. This will position you well for Step 5Ö.

5. Choose Your Cybersecurity Certification
IT certifications prove to employers that you have the skills needed for cybersecurity jobs.

For entry-level roles, like junior penetration tester or cybersecurity specialist, consider CompTIA Security+.

For specialized and advanced roles, consider certifications like:
CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst
CompTIA PenTest+
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
Additional cybersecurity certifications
Learn more about the CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway.

6. Become a Certified Cybersecurity Pro
You have a plan and youíve assessed your skills, so now itís time to get certified.
How to Get Certified
Download the exam objectives and practice questions for your certification so you have a thorough understanding of whatís covered.
Supplement with additional training and test prep materials, like the CompTIA CertMaster family of products.
Register and take your certification exam.
Learn more about how to get a CompTIA certification.

7. Tailor Your Resume
Network engineers, network administrators and even help desk and IT support have cybersecurity experience.

Just because you havenít held a cybersecurity role doesnít mean you didnít do security-related tasks like limiting user access and complying with company security policy.
Use your resume to tell the story of your cybersecurity experience in the roles that youíve held. And donít forget to include your cybersecurity certifications!

8. Get Involved and Make Connections
Find ways to engage with other people in cybersecurity to grow your network. Contribute to conversations to get noticed and make connections.
Where to Meet IT Pros
LinkedIn Groups
CompTIA AITP and other trade associations
Spiceworks, Reddit and other online forums
Following these eight steps will position you for a career in cybersecurity. It will be time and effort well spent when youíre in your dream job defending the world from cyberthreats.
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