How to Start a Cyber Security Career in 2023?

A career in cybersecurity means entering a booming field where there are more open positions than qualified applicants. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 33 per cent growth in the number of cybersecurity positions between 2020 and 2030. This demand has only increased as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.

As COVID-19 spread across the world, many organizations had to undergo cyber threats more than ever before. There are also concerns over ransomware attacks that weaponize cloud resources that make networks even more vulnerable. As a result, there is an open job opportunity for those who have the right skill sets.

More specialised roles are emerging due to the increase in the importance of cybersecurity. Starting off as a cybersecurity analyst gives you the chance to explore the information security industry according to your interests and design the career path that’s best for you. Discover the top five frequent job pathways in this in-demand industry.

A recent study by the ISC² found that, despite COVID-19 and economic pressures, organizations plan to increase cybersecurity staffing over the next 12 months. So “How to start a career in cyber security”? 

How to Start a Cyber Security Career in 2023?

Quick Tip

Important steps to start a career in cybersecurity:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, or a similar field.
  • Knowledge of firewalls and various forms of endpoint security.
  • Knowledge of languages/tools such as C++, Java, Node, Python, Ruby, Go, or Power Shell is an added advantage.
  • The ability to often work under pressure and in a fast-paced environment.
  • Possess the right eye for detail and outstanding problem-solving skills.
  • Up-to-date knowledge of the latest Cyber Security trends and hacker tactics.
How to start career in cyber security

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the defence against cyber threats to systems connected to the internet, including their hardware, software, and data. The method is used by people and companies to protect against illegal access to data centres and other digital systems.

A solid cybersecurity plan can offer a good security posture against malicious assaults intended to gain access to, alter, delete, destroy, or extort sensitive data and systems belonging to a business or user. Security measures are essential in preventing attacks that try to take down or impair a system or device’s functionality.

Now that many companies, financial sectors, and government organizations are looking forward to protecting their data from hackers or cybercriminals. These attacks must be handled by engineers, pen testers, security testers and other professionals to prevent the attack. 

Free Cybersecurity Course

Why Cybersecurity is important? 

  • Cybersecurity is important across different sectors such as government organizations, startups, mid and large enterprises and even for personal use. But why do think security is very important?
  • Gone are the days of simple firewalls and antivirus software being your sole security measures. Cyber threats can come at any level of your organization So, educating your employees about simple scams like phishing, ransomware attacks or other malware designed to steal intellectual property or personal data.
  • Cybersecurity risk is increasing and without its help, your organization cannot defend itself against data breach campaigns.

    So, all these factors are directly related to an increase in job opportunities. Before moving to the actual topic, let’s see some of the common questions that cybersecurity aspirants have in their minds.

Let’s get started! 

What is the difference between Information security Vs Cybersecurity?

Cyber Security Information Security
Focuses on online threats Takes a view of the security landscape
Cyber professional learns to think like a hacker Information security deals with the protection of data
Should understand malicious software in dept Oversees unauthorized access
Acts as the first line of defence Makes strategy to recover from a breach

What is the difference between Network security Vs Cybersecurity?  

Network Security Cyber Security
Network security protects the data flowing over the network. Cybersecurity protects the data residing in the devices and servers.
A subset of cybersecurity. A subset of information security.
Protects in the network realm. Protects in the cyber realm.
Protection from DOS attacks. Protection from cyber-attacks.
Network Security strikes against trojans. Cyber Security strikes against cyber crimes
Viruses and worms. Phishing and pre-texting.
Network security protects the transit data only. Cybersecurity protects entire digital data.
It secures the data travelling across the network by terminals. It deals with the protection of the data resting.

Is Cyber Security Right for Me?

Before Starting a Career in Cybersecurity

Ask the below questions yourself…
  • Do I have any certifications related to the cybersecurity field?
  • How to get started with cybersecurity?
  • What skills would I need for a career in computer security?
  • How will I get experience in this field?
  • Is there a lot of travelling involved in IT security roles?
  • Are there entry-level/internship opportunities available?
  • How are the career advancement opportunities?

I’ll try to answer most of the above questions in the article, like how to get started with cybersecurity, skills, and job outlooks — but others will be dependent on your goals and the demand from employers where you live.

How to start a career in cybersecurity?

To get started with cybersecurity, one must understand Cyber Security Prerequisites: 

In general, Cyber Security  prerequisites are: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, or a similar field.
  • Knowledge of firewalls and various forms of endpoint security.
  • Knowledge of languages/tools such as C++, Java, Node, Python, Ruby, Go, or Power Shell is an added advantage. 
  • The ability to often work under pressure and in a fast-paced environment.
  • Possess the right eye for detail and outstanding problem-solving skills.
  • Up-to-date knowledge of the latest Cyber Security trends and hacker tactics.

Note: Different organizations may have different prerequisites.

The Top Skills Required for Cybersecurity Jobs

  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Technical Aptitude
  • Knowledge of Security Across Various Platforms
  • Attention to Detail
  • Fundamental Cyber Forensics Skills
  • A Desire to Learn
  • An Understanding of Hacking
  • The ability to make decisions with confidence and show initiative
  • To be able to work effectively under pressure and meet tight deadlines
  • To be well organised and able to manage their own time
  • The ability to work creatively and think outside of the box
  • Strong communication skills, as well as the ability to adapt communication styles to suit different audiences
  • To have a clear understanding of confidentiality issues and related laws
  • Inquisitive nature and a keen interest in the IT sector

Cybersecurity career path

Cybersecurity offers several options for job seekers to launch and enhance their careers. This interactive career pathway displays the most important positions in the cybersecurity industry, popular routes for between-position transitions, and comprehensive details on the compensation, qualifications, and skill requirements for each position.

Check out entry, mid and advanced level cyber security career paths.

Entry Level Mid Level Advanced Level
Cybersecurity Specialist Cyber security Analyst Cyber security manager
Cyber Crime Analyst Cyber security Consultant Cyber security Engineer
Incident Response Analyst Penetration Tester CISO
Risk Analyst Testing and hacking CIO
IT Auditor Management and administration Engineering and architecture

Entry-Level Cyber security Career Path Details

Entry Level Skills Required Salary
Cybersecurity Specialist Strong IT skills
Sharp Attention to detail.
Ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of IT systems.
Cyber Security Specialist is ₹11,31,084 per year in India.
Cyber Crime Analyst Scripting.
Hacking. C
Operating Systems.
Cyber Crime Analyst in India is 5 Lakhs per year
Incident Response Analyst Attention to detail

Technical writing and documentation

Intrusion detection tools

Forensics software

Incident Response Analyst salary in India ranges from ₹ 2.0 Lakhs to ₹ 31.2 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 5.1 Lakhs.
Risk Analyst Risk Management
Data Analysis
Risk Assessments
Regulatory Agencies
The average salary for Risk Analyst is ₹5,12,302 per year
Salary Source: Glassdoor

Mid-Level Cyber security Career Path Details

Mid Level Skills Required Salary
Cyber security Analyst Scripting.
Controls and frameworks.
Operating systems.
The average salary for a Cyber Security Analyst is ₹5,44,411 per year
Cyber security Consultant Penetration Testing.
Ethical Hacking
Persistent Threat Management.
Firewall Safety and Management
Encryption Techniques and Capabilities.
Cyber Security Consultant salary ranges between ₹ 5.5 Lakhs to ₹ 19.7 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 9.5 Lakhs
Penetration Tester Network security.
Programming languages
Threat modeling.
Linux, Windows, and MacOS environments.
Pentest management platforms.
Average salary for a Penetration Tester in India is 7 Lakhs per year
Salary Source: Glassdoor

Advanced-Level Cyber security Career Path Details

Advanced Level Skills Salary
Cyber security manager Communication.
Information security and systems.
Information assurance.
NIST Cybersecurity Framework.
Cyber Security Manager salary in India ranges from ₹ 13.1 Lakhs to ₹ 41.8 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 24.3 Lakhs.
CISO Information security risk management
Cybersecurity technologies strategy.
Strong understanding of Linux, virtualization, and networking concepts.
Chief Information Security Officer salary in India ranges from ₹ 16.8 Lakhs to ₹ 99.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 35.5 Lakhs.
CIO Fusing business and technology strategies.
Developing talent.
Designing the IT operating model.
The average salary for a Chief Information Officer (CIO) in India is ₹4532197.
Salary source: Glassdoor

Get started with cybersecurity courses: 

Dip your toes in some of the free/paid cybersecurity courses listed below: 

  1. Great Learning Academy: FREE 

They offer many free courses related to cybersecurity, some of the popular courses are :

  • Introduction to cybersecurity 
  • Introduction to information security 
  • Introduction to ethical hacking 
  • Advanced Cybersecurity – Threats and Governance 
  • Ethical Hacking – Mobile platforms and networks

Cybersecurity Books for Beginners

  • Cybersecurity For Dummies: This helps you to understand the basics of cybersecurity, including different cybersecurity threats, ethical hacking, and many more.
  • Cybersecurity for Beginners: This is a bible for those who are from a non-technical background as the authors have simplified cyber terms into plain text and in non-technical English. 
  • Hacking: A Beginners’ Guide: This book is all about hacking, types of hacking, and hacking methods.
    Also Read: How to start an Ethical hacking career?
  • Practical Malware Analysis: This is a guide to all kind of malware and helps you to analyse, debug malicious software.

Cybersecurity Careers

Since cybersecurity is a huge field, one can take many different paths in cybersecurity. Keep in mind that cybersecurity job titles may vary from company to company, but in general, here are some common roles:

  • Cybersecurity generalist: Jack of all trades for smaller organizations. 
  • Network security engineer: These people are involved in managing the network security of their company, from firewalls to routers to VPNs. They are usually found in bigger companies. 
  • Cloud security engineer: This role is mainly involved in providing security for cloud-based platforms. 
  • Application security specialist: These are the people who are involved in protecting applications from threats using a mix of hardware and software skills. 
  • Identity and Access Management engineer: A sub-field of cybersecurity that mainly focuses on digital identities within an organization to ensure correct levels of system and prevent unauthorized use.
  • Security architect: These are the people who are involved in designing, building and managing the implementation of network and computer security for a company.
  • Penetration tester: Penetration testers are those who get paid to legally hack into software systems to identify vulnerabilities. 
  • Malware/forensics analyst: These are the people who are involved in digging the malware.
  • Incident response analyst: These are the people who responded to any type of security breach and limit the damage.
  • Cryptographer: Here people are involved in encrypting sensitive information to ensure corporate privacy.
  • Security trainer: Trains employees in security practices.
  • Cybersecurity engineer: Designs, develops and implements network solutions to defend against cyber-threats.

And there are more! Nearly all of these positions require at least one or more cybersecurity certification.

What industries can cybersecurity professionals can work in?

As a cybersecurity professional, you could work in industries, such as:

  • Banking Sector – The banking sector always operates in a highly regulatory environment, they usually face threats from cybercriminals.
  • Federal Government – The United States government spends about $28B per year on cybersecurity. In the USA all security personal must complete cybersecurity certification courses that are approved for DoD 8570/8140.
  • Cybersecurity Law – Lawyers can specialize in information security to handle liability resulting from breaches.
  • Utilities – A cybersecurity professional is necessary for utilities such as our nation’s water, electricity, and power utilities as a hacker could cut off power to a water plant or a gas refinery.

Last but not least, the salaries are something to smile about as cybersecurity has a good pay scale! Below we’ve provided average salaries for several countries: 

  • Average annual salary in the UK: £50,000-80,000 
  • Average annual salary in the US: $75,000-120,000 
  • Average annual salary in Canada: C$80,000-150,000 
  • Average annual salary in Australia: $A75,000-135,000
  • Average annual salary in India: ₹ 608,750

Start a Cybersecurity Career Today

Almost every company requires a security professional in today’s digital era! There has never been a better time to start a career in cybersecurity. If you are skilled in security practises, and have relevant experience, there are several cybersecurity job opportunities across all sectors and industries.

“The perfect chance for me to build my foundations on the critical pillars of Cybersecurity”, says Digambar, an alumn of Great Learning’s Cybersecurity Program. Read further to learn about his journey with Great Learning.

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