How Can I Get an Entry-Level Cybersecurity Job?
Experts define the cybersecurity job market as a “seller’s market” with zero percent unemployment, owing to the high wages offered by companies across all sectors for top talent. Entry-level cybersecurity salaries are also substantially higher than those in many other sectors, drawing new talent to this exciting, critical, and fast-moving sector.
However, several entry-level cybersecurity positions, according to the study, require 3-5 years of relevant experience. According to Burning Glass Technologies’ “State of Cybersecurity Hiring Study,” “most cybersecurity employers aren’t looking for newbies, and they aren’t looking for those without a college degree, either.” Approximately 88 per cent of cybersecurity job postings require a bachelor’s degree or higher, with approximately the same percentage requiring at least three years of experience.”
The Cyber Security Talent Shortage
So, how can you get your foot in the door of the cyber world? Continue reading for advice on how to position yourself for entry-level IT security positions.
One factor in your favor is that businesses and government agencies of all types, sizes, and missions need cybersecurity experts, and there simply isn’t enough expertise to go around.
Indeed, according to one well-known and widely published estimate, there would be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. The situation is placed bluntly by SecurityMagazine.com: “The Cybersecurity Talent Gap = an Industry Crisis.” To put it another way, this is unquestionably a window of opportunity.
7 Key Cybersecurity Workforce Categories
There are several different types of cybersecurity employment, and it’s also said that the list of work duties and responsibilities varies depending on the role and the company.
One useful resource comes from the United States government, which is one of the world’s biggest employers in the field of cybersecurity (see: cybercareers.gov). The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed a comprehensive set of guidelines to help private-sector organizations evaluate and enhance their ability to avoid, identify, and respond to cyberattacks as part of its National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).
NIST’s NICE list divides cybersecurity positions into seven distinct “workforce groups.”
- Securely Provision (SP) — Develops secure information technology (IT) systems by conceptualizing, designing, procuring, and/or building them, with responsibility for the system and/or network creation.
- Operate and Maintain (OM) — Ensures effective and productive information technology (IT) system efficiency and security by providing support, administration, and maintenance.
- Oversee and Govern (OV) — Assists the company in conducting cybersecurity work by providing leadership, management, direction, or growth, as well as advocacy.
- PR identifies, analyses, and mitigates risks to internal IT systems and/or networks.
- Analyze (AN) — Conducts a highly specialized analysis and assessment of incoming cybersecurity data to assess its intelligence value.
- CO (Collect and Operate) — Provides advanced denial and deception operations as well as cybersecurity data collection for intellectual growth.
- Investigates cybersecurity incidents or crimes involving IT processes, networks, and digital evidence (IN).
Cybersecurity Career Paths: Feeder Roles into Entry-Level Cyber Jobs
Work experience in several different domains will help you get an entry-level cybersecurity job. These are, however, widely regarded as the top five so-called “feeder positions.”
- Production of software
- Engineering of systems
- Analyses of finances and risks
- intelligence on security
CyberSeek.org is an excellent resource for learning more about feeder positions and how they help people move into entry-level and then upper-level cybersecurity careers. Their Cybersecurity Career Pathway tool provides comprehensive details on wages, qualifications, and skillsets for different cybersecurity positions.
List of Entry-Level Cyber Security Jobs
The Career Pathway tool on CyberSeek lists four basic entry-level cybersecurity employment. Here’s a short rundown of each one:
Specialist / Technician in Cybersecurity
- Information protection, information systems, information assurance, network security, security operations, vulnerability evaluation, project management, Linux, and the NIST
- cybersecurity framework is among the key skills and knowledge required.
- Information protection specialist, IT security specialist, and IT specialist – information security are all similar work titles.
- CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), SANS/GIAC Certification, Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and Certified
- Information Security Manager is the most common certifications (CISM)$92,000 is the average salary.
- Computer forensics, Linux, information security, consumer electronics, hard drives, information systems, forensic toolkit, UNIX, malware engineering are some of the key skills and knowledge needed.
- Digital forensics analyst, cyber forensic expert, cybersecurity forensic analyst, and computer forensics analyst are all similar work titles.
- SANS/GIAC Certification, CISSP, EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE), GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst, GIAC Certified Incident Handler are among the most common certifications (GCIH)$94,000 is the average salary.
Responder / Incident Analyst
- Information protection, project management, information systems, Linux, network security, technical support, intrusion detection, UNIX, and security operations are among the key skills and knowledge needed.
- Information security consultant, disaster management specialist, network technical specialist, and audit project manager – information security are all related job titles.
- CompTIA Security+, CISSP, SANS/GIAC Certification, GIAC Certified Incident Handler, and IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Certification are among the most common certifications.$89,000 is the average salary.
Auditor of Information Technology
- Internal auditing, audit preparation, information technology, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), accounting, risk assessment, information security, COBIT, and business process management are some of the key skills and knowledge required.
- IT audit consultant, IT audit manager, IT internal auditor, senior IT auditor are all job titles that are related to IT auditing.
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), CISSP, CISM, ITIL, and Information Systems Certification are the most common certifications.$98,000 is the average salary.
The following are several other entry-level cybersecurity jobs:
- Analyst for information management
- Penetration tester, junior
- The administrator of computer systems
- a security expert
- and a lot more
How to Position Yourself for an Entry-Level Cybersecurity Job?
As you might be aware, the bar for what qualifies as an “entry-level” role in cybersecurity is far higher than in many other fields. “Entry-level” for certain cybersecurity roles, according to the National Security Agency (NSA), means:
- 3 years of relevant experience plus a bachelor’s degree
- 1 year of relevant experience plus a master’s degree
- No experience despite a doctoral degree
- 5 years of in-depth experience clearly linked to the role plus an associate’s degree
The National Security Agency (NSA) is another high-profile example of how the ongoing need for expertise has prompted a slew of companies to hire and train people for entry-level cybersecurity jobs that can lead to a variety of future opportunities.
“You will become a part of a tradition of excellence, poised to lead the nation in the defense of our country’s national interests in cyberspace for years to come,” the NSA says on its Cyber Careers website. It prioritizes computer science, intelligence research, mathematics, and engineering skills in its recruitment efforts.
Over a dozen paid, three-year career development programs in cybersecurity and other fields are available at the department, with the goal of “helping workers improve their skills” and “cross-train for new careers.” Such programs provide a fantastic opportunity to obtain the sort of expertise that many cybersecurity-focused employers want.
- Certifications in cybersecurity: Industry certifications have become an essential part of the cybersecurity ecosystem. They assist current and aspiring cybersecurity professionals in gaining expertise and sought-after skills in key fields, they boost your profile when reaching out to potential employers, and they are often identified as needed or preferred for some jobs.
- Check out “Top Cybersecurity Certifications: Which Ones Are Right for You?” for more information on some of the most common programs.
- Advanced degree programs: In addition to providing current and prospective cybersecurity practitioners with opportunities to obtain both theoretical and practical experience, cybersecurity master’s degree programs are widely seen as a powerful competitive advantage in the job market.
- Capstone programs that model real-world cybersecurity projects are intended to provide students with not only valuable experience but also the opportunity to show a realistic work product to prospective employers during the job hunt.
- Internships: Internships are a perfect way to gain experience in cybersecurity, as they are in several fields. And it isn’t just tech firms that are providing internships in cybersecurity.
- If you search for a “cybersecurity internship” on LinkedIn, Indeed, or elsewhere, you’ll find fascinating opportunities in some fields, including healthcare, insurance, and consumer goods, as well as nonprofits and sports. Interns are required by government agencies ranging from the CIA to the Department of Homeland Security.
How to Stand Out When Applying | Cybersecurity Job Search Tips?
- Become fluent in the language – Have a comprehensive knowledge of all of the industry’s most important words and acronyms. Working on being fluent in the technical language used by cybersecurity practitioners is critical.
- Educate yourself – Take the opportunity to educate yourself. The CompTIA Security+ credential is recommended by Chuck Bane, academic director of the University of San Diego’s online master’s degree in cyber engineering.
- Look for and take advantage of opportunities to speak with people who are working in the industry, whether by the school, qualification programs, or old-fashioned legwork. Look for both in-person and virtual cybersecurity groups and meetups.
- Keep track of your education and skills – Make an extra effort to ensure that your resume clearly demonstrates the work you’ve done to prepare for cybersecurity positions. Another great way to stand out is to have the best-looking personal website possible, so you can impress future employers not just with your credentials but also with your online imagination.
- Prepare yourself – Before applying for a particular job, do some research to learn more about the position. Knowing what the task entails allows you to devise methods for discussing your ability to perform the job.
- Ask intelligent questions – During several interviews, the interviewer will encourage you to ask any questions you want. So don’t be caught off guard; ask a question that demonstrates your knowledge of and interest in the role for which you’re applying.
- Keep yourself up to date – The online cybersecurity master’s degree programme at the University of San Diego publishes insightful articles regularly to link you with additional cybersecurity job tips and tools, such as the best cybersecurity blogs and websites to follow.