New to Cybersecurity? Use These Career Hacks to Get a Foot in the Door

The need for cybersecurity professionals has been building for years, and nearly exponentially since COVID came on the scene. At this point, it’s painfully evident there’s a wide talent gap in the field, and research proves it — the global workforce needs an influx of 2.7 million cybersecurity professionals to meet demand.1

In a recent survey of cybersecurity professionals, more than three-quarters said it’s “extremely or somewhat difficult to recruit and hire security professionals.”2 A majority (95%) said the cybersecurity skills shortage and its associated impacts have not improved over the past few years, and close of half (44%) say it’s gotten worse.

If the face of today’s pressing need for skilled professionals, there’s never been a better time to launch a career in cybersecurity. The field is ripe with opportunity for all experience levels, from entry-level up.

Lack of IT experience should never be considered a barrier to anyone considering a career in cybersecurity. More than half of cyber professionals today got their start outside of IT.

If you’re thinking of a career in cybersecurity, these tried-and-tested career tips will help you get started.

Tip #1: Sharpen Your Focus

The first question to ask yourself is, “How do I see myself fitting into a cybersecurity career?” What do you bring to the table that’s relevant to the kind of work that’s done in cybersecurity? What elements of cybersecurity do you find interesting, and how can your current skill set and background help you advance? Once you’ve narrowed your target area of focus, start learning all about it by doing your research.

Tip #2: Get Certified

Cybersecurity experts agree, there’s no better way for entry-level professionals to demonstrate their commitment to a career than certification. It not only helps you with foundational education, it can be a door-opener when you’re looking for your first opportunity in the field.

Tip #3: Network

Getting certified can introduce you to like-minded professionals who want to work in cybersecurity or to those who already work in the field. Some certification programs come with a membership to the issuing organizations. Their industry conferences and other events are invaluable for forging connections and learning about open roles.

Social media can also be a helpful place to make contacts and learn about jobs. Many networks, such as LinkedIn, having dedicated cybersecurity forums you can join to stay on top of important industry trends and topics.

Get more tips on how to break into a career in cybersecurity in the ISC2 ebook, Cybersecurity Career Hacks for Newcomers.


1 ISC2 2021 Cybersecurity Workforce Study

2 ESG Research Report: “The Life and Times of Cybersecurity Professionals 2021”


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