Cyber Security Resources » ​How to Enter the Cybersecurity Field with No Experience

How to Enter the Cybersecurity Field with No Experience

Cybersecurity Ventures, a leading voice in the global cyber economy and a trusted source for industry facts and statistics, predicts there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings globally by 2021—and a zero-percent unemployment rate for cybersecurity professionals. The demand for cybersecurity experts is arguably so high, in fact, that nearly half (46%) of professionals in the field are generally solicited to consider jobs at other organizations at least once per week.

The lack of qualified talent is unfortunate for those organizations vulnerable to cyber-attacks, but at the same time provides a tremendous opportunity for those who want to start a new, career. And just how does one enter the cyber security field without experience?

Consider an “Entry-Level” Cybersecurity Certification

If you have zero IT experience, a logical first-step is to learn the foundations of cybersecurity. A great way to learn the basics is to study for various entry-level cybersecurity certifications. Preparing to take a “beginner” cybersecurity certification exam will help you acquire the most important skills employers look for in entry-level candidates.

Certifications can also help get your foot in the door by demonstrating your drive to learn and showing that you’re serious about entering the field. In fact, 61% of Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) members believe that cybersecurity certifications are far more useful for getting a job than they are for doing a job. And because there are more job openings than certification holders, getting certified could make you much more marketable when you begin your search for an entry-level cybersecurity job.

Here are three entry-level cybersecurity certifications to consider if you want to learn the skills that will help you get your foot in the door.

Overview: The MTA Security Fundamentals recognizes knowledge of core security principles as well as the basics of operating systems and network/software security. The exam validates that a candidate has “fundamental security knowledge and skills.”

Cost: $127

Training Materials:

Overview: Cybersecurity Fundamentals is an introductory certificate in the concepts that frame and define the standards, guidelines and practices of the cybersecurity industry. The certificate is aligned with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) and the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).

Cost: $150

Training Materials:

Overview: Some would argue this is the most well-known entry-level security certification. CompTIA Security+ covers a wide array of security and information assurance topics, including network security, access control, risk management, data security, and vulnerability testing. This certificate validates the baseline skills you need to perform core security functions.

Cost: $311

Training Materials:

Focus on Developing In-Demand Cybersecurity Skills

In an attempt to capture the voice and thoughts of cybersecurity professionals regarding the state of their profession, the ISSA surveyed information security professionals and asked about the biggest shortage of cybersecurity skills in their organizations.

This infographic reflects information up to 06/11/2018. Percentages and amounts are subject to change.

These results can be very useful to the motivated cybersecurity job seeker since they show where the biggest skills gaps are. As you learn the foundations and look to gain experience and on-the-job training, try to focus on the areas where the most help is needed—and where the most demand is. For example, if one-third of organizations say they have a shortage of security analysis and investigation skills, look for opportunities to develop these skills yourself. And how do you increase your cybersecurity knowledge, skills and abilities? The ISSA asked about that, too.

This infographic reflects information up to 06/11/2018. Percentages and amounts are subject to change.

Expand Your Knowledge with a Master’s Degree

As you can see from the above graph, most experts in the field say that attending specific training courses is the most effective method for increasing your knowledge, skills and abilities as a cybersecurity professional. An online master’s degree program in cybersecurity can provide such training, with the added flexibility and convenience of going to school without putting your life on hold, so you can continue to work until you have the requisite knowledge and skills to get your foot in the door.

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