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Cybersecurity: Get paid to break stuff and save the day

Welcome, to the bold, booming, and occasionally befuddling world of cybersecurity. This is the place where the heroes don't wear capes, but they sure do save the :)

Why Choose a Cybersecurity Career?

  1. Job Demand: Let's face it, the world is becoming more and more digital, and not everyone uses their digital powers for good. As a result, companies are in a mad scramble to find cybersecurity professionals. There are 755,000 unfilled cybersecurity related positions in United States.

  2. Attractive Salary: If you're into getting paid well for saving the (digital) world, then cybersecurity might just be your thing. With a average salary of over $100K and high end of over $750K, this career path is rather attractive.

  3. Variety of Roles: If you thought cybersecurity was just a bunch of tech nerds typing furiously into keyboards in a dimly lit room, you're...well, partially right. But there's so much more! Whether you're into ethical hacking, secure coding, security architecture, or just want to scare executives with the latest compliance audits, there's something for everyone.

  4. Meaningful Work: There's nothing quite like the feeling of saving a billion-dollar corporation or individual privacy from the clutches of a potential data breach.

So, How Do You Jump Into This Cybersecurity Thing?

Alright, so you're interested. Maybe you're even excited. But how do you get from where you are now to becoming a cybersecurity super hero? Let me guide you through it.

  1. Get Education: A college degree ($$$$) , Associate degree ($$$), Cybersecurity bootcamps ($$) or a certificate ($) are great options to gain cybersecurity skills. Personally I prefer low cost options like Google and IBM cybersecurity certificates through Coursera. While a prior experience in information technology and networking is helpful, it is not a requirement if you are going in with a fearless attitude.

  2. Earn Certifications: Certifications can greatly enhance your job prospects in cybersecurity. Some popular entry level certifications are CompTIA Security+ , GIAC Security Essentials and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). An advanced certification option is CISSP which requires 5 years experience.

  3. Gain Experience: This is where you get your hands dirty. Look for internships, volunteer work, or set up your own lab. Hands-on experience is paramount in cybersecurity. Look for internships, volunteer work, or part-time positions that allow you to apply what you've learned.

  4. Network: Attend conferences, join communities, connect with professionals. Networking can often lead to job opportunities and mentorship.

  5. Stay Updated: Things move fast in cybersecurity. Stay on top of the latest news and trends by going to websites like Hacker News, Dark Reading etc. The blog from Phil Venables (Google CISO) is an excellent learning resource.

What career do you go after?

Transitioning to a career in cybersecurity is a significant move, but it's a journey that can be immensely rewarding for those up to the challenge.

If you currently work in networking, software development, systems engineering,financial and risk analysis, IT support or security intelligence, you’re in luck because CyberSeek has outlined cybersecurity career pathways that begin with these roles. The interactive career pathway in CyberSeek shows key jobs within cybersecurity and common transition opportunities between them. The website also includes detailed information about the salaries, credentials, and skillsets associated with each role.



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