The Complete Cybersecurity Career Path Guide

The Complete Cybersecurity Career Path Guide

Cybersecurity has been one of the most well-liked job roles for several years, and it proposes a range of thrilling and rewarding career paths. If you are willing to branch out into the world of cyber security, you must be wondering What steps should you take to reach your goal? Which classes or certifications do you need to pursue a career in cyber security? There are many opportunities in cyber security, from entry-level technician jobs to those involving advanced-level cyber security engineering. If you want to progress into cyber security, you are at the right blog. 

Since technology has become more intertwined with your daily life, the need for skilled cybersecurity professionals is increasing.

Prerequisites for a Cyber Security Career 

There is a significant shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals who can tackle daily cybersecurity challenges. Hence, a career in cybersecurity is challenging and equally rewarding. The essential one is a bachelor's degree in a technical domain. Nonetheless, if you don't have a relevant degree, you can always take up appropriate cybersecurity certifications and start your cybersecurity journey. Skills like networking and understanding working systems are needed to start and grow your cybersecurity career. There are different cybersecurity career paths available today. It is best to start with entry-level and then proceed on to the next level with the help of relevant experience and certifications. 

Cyber Security Skills

  1. To become a cybersecurity expert, you should understand firewalls, VPNs, Web-proxy, and IDS/IPS.
  2. It would help if you were experienced with coding languages such as Java, Python, HTML, and PHP.
  3. You should have an outstanding knowledge of networking, routing protocols, and encryption techniques.
  4. Cybersecurity practitioners should know the best identity and access management practices (IAM).
  5. Cybersecurity professionals should learn SQL and Database management systems and possess problem-solving skills.

Highest-paid cyber security jobs

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO): CISO is an official accountable for a company's information and records security with an average salary of US$249,000

Security Architecture: Security architecture merges hardware and software experience with coding expertise, research skills, and strategy development. Security architects predict potential risks and create systems to pre-empt them with an average salary of US$122,000.

Network security engineer: Network security engineers are mainly responsible for retaining a private network's security by designing, creating, enhancing, and checking network systems. Their average salary is US$110,000

Cyber Security Forensic Analyst: The average salary of a cyber security analyst is around US$99,200 per year. An IT Forensic Expert, also known as a Forensics Expert or Forensic Engineer, is accountable for identifying, collecting, and inspecting all the prospective evidence of cybercrime from personal computers, networks, and other related data IT gear.

Information security analyst: The average salary of an information security analyst is around US$94,442 per year. Their primary duty is to install defensive software like firewalls on computer networks.

Penetration Tester: Penetration testers assist enterprises and organizations in detecting and solving security liabilities and weaknesses affecting their digital resources and computer networks. Their average is US$86,400

How to Start a Career in CyberSecurity?

If you're interested in starting a career in cybersecurity, there are a few steps you can take to get started.

Step 1: Learn the Basics and Domains of Cyber Security

Before you can dive into the world of cybersecurity, it's important to have a solid understanding of the basics. This includes understanding how computer systems work, the different types of threats that exist, and the techniques used to mitigate those threats.

There are many resources available online to help you learn the basics of cybersecurity. Websites like Youtube Channels [Cyber Mentor, Infosec4TC, TheHatedOne, NetworkChuck, Null Byte, John Hammond, Hak5, IppSec, LiveOverflow, GynvaelEN, etc], Coursera, Udemy, Cybrary and edX offer free and paid courses on various cybersecurity topics. Additionally, there are a number of books and online communities dedicated to cybersecurity that you can use to further your knowledge.

Cybersecurity is a complex and rapidly evolving field that covers a wide range of domains. Some of the main domains of cybersecurity include:

  • Network Security: This domain focuses on securing the networks that connect devices and systems, including wired and wireless networks, routers, switches, and firewalls.
  • Application Security: This domain is concerned with securing software applications and their associated data, including web applications, mobile apps, and desktop applications.
  • Information Security: This domain involves protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access, modification, or destruction. This includes data encryption, access controls, and data backup and recovery.
  • Operational Security: This domain covers the processes and procedures used to protect systems and data from internal and external threats, including physical security measures such as access controls, surveillance, and alarms.
  • Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning: This domain involves preparing for and responding to disasters or disruptions that could impact an organisation's operations or IT infrastructure.
  • Identity and Access Management: This domain is concerned with managing user identities and their access to systems and data, including authentication and authorization processes.
  • Cloud Security: This domain involves securing cloud-based systems and data, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings.
  • IoT Security: This domain covers the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including smart home devices, wearable technology, and industrial IoT (IIoT) systems.
  • Social Engineering and Phishing: This domain covers the psychological manipulation of individuals to gain access to sensitive information or systems, including phishing attacks and social engineering scams.

These domains are interdependent and require a holistic approach to cybersecurity to ensure the best possible protection against cyber threats.

Step 2: Get Certified

Once you have a basic understanding of cybersecurity, it's time to get certified. There are a number of certifications available in the cybersecurity field, each with its own set of requirements and benefits. Some of the most popular certifications include:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • eLearnSecurity Junior Penetration Tester (eJPT)
  • eLearnSecurity Web application Penetration Tester (eWPT)
  • eLearnSecurity Mobile Application Penetration Tester (eMAPT)

Earning a certification can help demonstrate to potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to work in cybersecurity.

Step 3: Gain Practical Experience

While certifications are important, they aren't enough on their own to secure a job in cybersecurity. To stand out from other candidates, it's important to gain practical experience in the field. This can include participating in cybersecurity competitions, contributing to open-source projects, or completing internships.

There are a number of resources to learn, such as the Hackthebox (HTB), Damn Vulnerable Web Application (DVWA), Damn Insecure and Vulnerable App for Android (DIVA), Portswigger Web Security Academy, etc. Participating in these competitions can help you gain practical experience and demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

Additionally, contributing to open-source projects can help you build your portfolio (Github) and demonstrate your knowledge by writing blogs on cybersecurity tools and techniques.

Step 4: Network

Networking is an important part of any career, and cybersecurity is no exception. Building connections with other professionals in the field can help you learn about job opportunities, gain mentorship, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques in cybersecurity.

One way to network in the cybersecurity field is to attend industry conferences, and events and make connections on LinkedIn. These events offer opportunities to meet with other professionals and learn about the latest technologies and techniques in the field.

List of cyber security conferences:

Step 5: Apply for Jobs

Finally, it's time to apply for jobs in the cybersecurity field. Here are some job portals for cybersecurity professionals:

In the field of cybersecurity, the designations of freshers may vary depending on the organization and the job roles they are hired for. However, some common entry-level job titles in cybersecurity include:

  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
  • Network Security Engineer
  • Penetration Tester
  • Vulnerability Analyst
  • Security Consultant
  • Incident Response Analyst

These roles may involve responsibilities such as monitoring network security, analyzing threats and vulnerabilities, testing and evaluating security systems, managing access controls, and responding to security incidents. As freshers gain experience and skills, they can progress to more senior roles such as cybersecurity manager, cybersecurity architect, and chief information security officer (CISO).

When applying for jobs, be sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific job and company you're applying to. Highlight your certifications, practical experience, and networking connections to stand out from other candidates.

In conclusion, a career in cybersecurity can be both challenging and rewarding. By learning the basics, getting certified, gaining practical experience, joining cybersecurity communities, and applying for cybersecurity jobs, you can start your journey toward a successful career in cybersecurity.

Remember, Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field, so it's important to keep learning and adapting to stay ahead of the curve.

Note: I'm not promoting any certification or resources here, All the above mentions are for help purposes only.

Suggestions and improvements are always welcome. :)


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