BLOG HOME > Cybersecurity > How to Start a Career in Cybersecurity

How to Start a Career in Cybersecurity

Is a career in cybersecurity right for me? 

Free Data Security Education

Sign Up for Academy

Cybersecurity is an ever-growing field with dozens of careers available to those looking to break into the industry. If you have a knack for solving problems, good organizational skills, and attention to detail, cybersecurity might be a good fit for you.

Check out this interview to learn more about what it's like to have a career in cybersecurity.

How do I start a career in cybersecurity? 

People enter cybersecurity from many starting places, such as a university program or experience in information technology, but you don’t have to be technical to find your place in cybersecurity. Many people start with a background in governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), or project management. The best way to start is to learn about the various career paths available, decide what you want to pursue, and then work on closing the gaps in knowledge and experience that exist between your desired career and the work you’re currently doing.

What qualifications do I need to work in cybersecurity? 

Many cybersecurity positions simply need a curious mind and willingness to work, but getting past the hiring manager can be tricky. Qualification requirements vary widely from job to job and company to company. A good way to find out current trends in hiring qualifications is to read through job postings. 

What are careers in cybersecurity? 

There are many careers in cybersecurity, such as network administrators, intrusion analysts, risk managers, threat hunters, cryptologists, computer forensic investigators, compliance auditors, penetration testers, security operations center (SOC) analysts, and more. Cybersecurity is an exciting field with many opportunities to grow and evolve as security concerns change over time. 

Do I need a college degree to work in cybersecurity? 

There are many different paths to take if you want to pursue a career in cybersecurity. While degrees are not required, they do provide helpful knowledge on topics such as security engineering and software development. Some organizations want to see a university degree on their candidates’ resumes, while others look for job-specific certifications. When choosing your cybersecurity path, review job listings for the most current hiring requirements per job. Keep in mind that many organizations will pay for certification training.

How do you prepare for a cybersecurity career?

There are plenty of opportunities for people without a degree in cybersecurity. It's not just limited to degree holders. You can get an entry-level position in IT, software development, or other disciplines that require technical skills and knowledge, and work toward a cybersecurity-specific position. 

Is cybersecurity hard to learn? 

As with any technical career, cybersecurity builds on a multitude of skills related to information protection. Depending on how much experience you have in information technology or software development, cybersecurity could require more or less time to learn. Many cybersecurity professionals recommend gaining a broad understanding of computer systems, networks, software development, and related fields so you can develop an end-to-end comprehension of how malicious actors can breach systems and steal information.

Why pursue a career in cybersecurity? 

Information is valuable. The more we rely on digital platforms for our daily lives, the more information is available to malicious actors to try to steal. This means that cybersecurity careers will continue to be in high demand by organizations of all kinds - not just technical ones. Consider the value of cybersecurity in careers as varied as health care, power distribution, law enforcement, and even agriculture.

Join Thousands of Security Professionals and Subscribe

Director of SIEM Operations