Where to Begin – Part 1
The world of cybersecurity is new, innovative, and growing by the day. To newbies, entering this field may seem intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be!
Welcome to Ask Nato’s five-part series, Where to Begin. In this series, notiaPoint’s founder and CEO Nathan RIley explores various topics related to starting a career in cybersecurity.
So… Let’s get right into it!
But, Can I Start a Cybersecurity Career?
Yes! Anyone can start a career in cybersecurity. Whether you’re looking for a lifestyle change – more money, more free time, more time with family – consider pivoting into this exciting new industry.
Here are a few steps to help you get started.
1. Get familiar with the industry.
Want to learn some Blue Team skills? Maybe you’re more into the Red Team stuff. More likely, you have no idea what any of these things mean!
That’s OK. Now is the time to start learning more about cybersecurity as an industry. As you develop a familiarity with online security, cybersecurity lingo, the differences between cybersecurity and general information technology (IT) and other industry specifics, you can get a better idea of what type of cybersecurity job you’d like to work for.
Resources like Glassdoor or LinkedIn can help you determine what jobs are out there as well as average salary ranges for various positions.
2. Set goals.
Once you’ve done your research, you can begin to set goals. Maybe you find the idea of pursuing forensic investigations exciting. Perhaps you want to earn a six-figure paycheck as soon as possible. Have you always dreamed of working for the FBI? Maybe you want a job that pays you travel.
You decide what the end goal is. And once this is established, you can begin making the step-by-step plan necessary to accomplish your dreams. The options are virtually limitless, and half the battle is simply narrowing down your options based on your goals.
Without an idea of what you want to accomplish, you won’t get very far, as is true with all things in life. Take the guesswork out of the equation by creating a workable plan. Don’t leave your career up to chance – luck won’t get you far in the professional world.
3. Establish a timeline.
Once you know your end game, set a reasonable timeline for accomplishing your goal.
Reasonable is the keyword here. For example, if your goal is to make a six-figure income, five years a realistic timeframe for working toward your desired salary. It will take hard work and determination, but it’s certainly possible to accomplish in that amount of time.
These steps can also be taken out of order. If you choose a salary range and establish how long you’d like to take to work toward that goal, this can help you determine what type of job will help you reach your goal.
If your goal is to make a six-figure income within five years, consider becoming a software engineer or a cybersecurity consultant.
4. Determine if your goal is reasonable.
Now is the time to once again utilize your research skills to figure out if your goals are reasonable. Network with other professionals, or at least find their online profiles, to see if others are doing what you hope to do.
If someone else is doing it, that means that you can, too!
Are you ready to take the next step to start your cybersecurity career?
Sign up for notiaPoint’s free seven-day Cybersecurity Essentials email course! Learn more here.