become a cybersecurity professional

How to become a cybersecurity professional [Career Advice]

The growth of cybercrime puts businesses and government agencies at the risk of constant threats to their crucial business data, customer data, financial information, and other trade secrets. Cybersecurity professionals play an important role in protecting businesses from cybercriminals. The demand for cybersecurity professionals is constantly increasing and is expected to rise by 28% between 2016 to 2026, as listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Who is a cybersecurity professional?

Cybersecurity professionals are responsible for securing the information systems of an organization. They determine the access points, processes, and people to the information and then coordinate and implement information security policies. By applying multi-layer security policies using their skills they defend the IT infrastructure from web threats, malware, viruses, DoS attacks, phishing, etc.

Why cybersecurity professionals matter?

There is no business sector that is not attacked by cybercriminals. Cybercriminals cause severe damages to intellectual property, network, business data, and services by theft, viruses, intrusions, data mining, etc. They are responsible for resolving highly complex security issues and keeping cybercrime at bay. They secure businesses and ensure their continuity by applying their skills of analysis, reverse engineering, incident handling, forensics, to monitor and diagnose vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity professionals also recommend mitigation of cyberattacks and recovery and protection of software and hardware issues.

As a matter of defense strategy, they install firewalls, monitor the process of data flow, and regularize access to protect the network and secure data. They also train staff members on security awareness and best security practices so that the policies and procedures, as drafted by them, are implemented throughout the organization. The reports submitted by them serve as guidance to the management and executive staff.

Where can I find jobs as a cybersecurity professional?

The job opportunities for cybersecurity professionals are available in large numbers in public as well as private sectors. Besides government agencies and military enterprises, cybersecurity professionals have booming opportunities in the areas of finance, IT-enabled services, IT, healthcare, and more.

Educational qualifications required to become a cybersecurity professional

To be a cybersecurity professional, you need to have a combination of computer expertise and cybersecurity education. Depending on the job title and responsibilities, specialized certifications are required to get through the job requirements.

A bachelor’s degree

A degree is a mandatory requirement for many leadership positions. The more education, the higher the job prospects. If you want to become a cybersecurity professional working on the technical front, then you need to have a degree in cybersecurity to be a perfect match for your profile.

Cybersecurity certifications

Certifications play a major role when transitioning into a new field. Cybersecurity is still an evolving field. There is a huge skill-gap in the industry. To hire suitable candidates on priority, companies are looking for cybersecurity professionals who are ready to take on jobs, without additional training or skill-update. Certifications are the easiest and quickest way to acquire the skills required to seek a job and get employed.

How to become a cybersecurity professional

Apart from attaining the right credentials, to be a cybersecurity professional, one should also have the following skills –

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Experience in different security specializations
  • Flexibility to multi-task
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Analytical thinker

Average salary of a cybersecurity professional

According to Zip Recruiter, the average salary of a cybersecurity professional in the U.S. is $112,441 per annum, with the highest averaging $199,500 per annum. The employment opportunities and salary potential vary depending on regional market conditions, experience, education, credentials, and the student’s perspective to learn and grow.

Are you ready to become a cybersecurity professional?

Are you a cybersecurity enthusiast and aspire to protect the world from the intentions of cybercriminals? By acquiring the right education and gaining appropriate experience, you can be a pro in cybersecurity. LinkedIn has identified ‘Cybersecurity Professional’ as the U.S.’s top 15 emerging jobs of 2020. The annual growth rate of cybersecurity as identified by LinkedIn is 30%.

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