Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing industries and one that will likely see a lot of opportunities for career progression over the years. As a result, more people than ever are now looking to work in this field. However, there are a lot of challenges when it comes to working in cybersecurity, and you’ll need to understand how to make the most of your opportunities. There are many different paths within cybersecurity, and your progression will depend on which path you take and the choices you make along the way.
Improving Your Soft Skills
Soft skills are common skills that can be applied to a range of different professions. These are skills that we can use throughout our lives and careers and are often more important than hard skills, although not as technical. If you want to progress in any career, focusing on developing and improving your soft skills is important. This doesn’t just apply to a career in cybersecurity, but soft skills are often overlooked by those who think simply having technical skills is enough.
Some of the most important soft skills for a successful career in cybersecurity include communication, teamwork, problem-solving skills and leadership. You can develop these through life and experience, or you can take a course. You’ll find online communication courses that teach you how to use your spoken and written communication to influence people and impact projects. You can also find courses on teamwork, problem-solving and leadership, all of which can help you develop to become more effective at your role.
When you look for a cybersecurity role, you’ll normally have to highlight the soft skills that you possess in your interview. You can do this by bringing up examples of the times you demonstrated these skills in previous roles. It’s important that you let potential employers know your soft skills as well as any technical skills you might have, as these are just as important.
Getting Your Certifications
There is now a wide range of different certifications available within the cybersecurity industry. These are designed to increase cybersecurity awareness and make it easier for candidates to show their technical skills to potential employers. Before embarking on a career in cybersecurity, you should think about the area you’d like to work in and the kind of certifications you’ll need. These certifications can range from basic to advanced, and you need to make sure you have the right one for your preferred career path.
The CompTIA Security+ certification is widely recognized and shows a high proficiency in cybersecurity skills. Getting this certification is typically a requirement for professions that explicitly include cybersecurity. It is highly regarded in the US, where the US Department of Defense requires all employees to hold this certification. It includes practical skills with performance-based questions and is designed for those looking to move from entry-level to intermediate cybersecurity roles.
The CISM or Certified Information Security Manager certification is another highly coveted credential that is often key for accessing higher-paid roles within the industry. It is not only well acknowledged but also well-known worldwide, setting a standard for the sector. The exam is only available to professionals with five years of relevant experience because it is notoriously challenging and demands substantial knowledge and preparation.
While it’s important to train both your soft and hard skills and gain the right qualifications, relevant experience is always required when it comes to progressing within your career. Developing your practical skills is one of the most important reasons why experience is so necessary. Not only do you have to show on paper that you have the skills, but it’s important to prove that you can make use of them in a real setting.
You can find experience in cybersecurity by attending workshops and taking part in capture the flag events, which are designed to help people develop practical skills. Additionally, you can find internships, apprenticeships and other entry-level positions within the industry. There’s a growing demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals, and you’ll soon be able to work your way up and progress.