Start a career in cyber security
With the increase in online threat there has been no better time starting a career in cyber security. With the increasing risk follows increased job opportunities and salaries that can be negotiated. Cyber Security Job qualifications and experience
Datplan’s blog post on cyber security careers helps students or those looking for a career change make the right choice. After receiving numerous emails and social posts for cyber security jobs, requests and advice this is perfect timing for an overview.
1) Qualifications for a cyber security job?
Cyber Security is an umbrella term and covers a number of various roles. Examples are; Education, Policy writing, Device builds, Network protection and software solutions. A software developer may not be suited to create education material as network protection manager may not be able to write security software. Therefore, there is a place for all skill sets under the term ‘Cyber security career’.
That being said the common asks in job roles analysed in January to February 2020 are as follows:
Cyber Security Analyst:
- ISO 27001
- degree in computer science
- Information Security qualification
- Degree-level education in Information Security or related area
- CISSP IA Certification
- CISM Certification
- Certified Ethical Hacker
- KALI Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
- Certified Ethical Hacker
- CREST – Intrusion Analyst, Cyber Threat Intelligence
- SANS GNFA, GREM, GCIH, GPEN
Cyber Security Engineer:
- Certifications such as CISSP, CISM, CISA, CEH, GICSP, GRID or GIAC
- Degree in Computer Science or similar subject.
- OSCP + CISSP certifications
- SSCP, CISA, CISM or other relevant certifications
Trainer Cyber Security Engineer:
- CompTIA A+ and CySA certification
Cyber training and courses needed:
There are clearly common requirements across these jobs such as CISM etc that all jobs are requesting. However, as technology and education changes a review of agency job roles will provide the most updated requirements.There are country specific qualifications however this
article shows the most common requested across job roles.
For developers or software engineers a factor will be the technologies. These technologies can be operating systems such as Windows, Linux, IOS, Android to the program language such as C#, C++, Java, Python, PHP. There are many others which emerge and also become redundant as technology progresses. Database languages such SQL is a core feature that will benefit any role as databases make up the back bone of most companies data, websites etc.
2) Experience Requirements?
Cyber security is evolving and so while experience helps, many job
roles are not listing it as essential. A crossover of skill sets such as a database administrator, software developer, finance professional, data miner can all relate to Cyber job roles. The core role will remain but the target of how you apply these existing skills may change.
As an example, A role in finance reviewing transactions and analysis can quite easily be transferred to identifying cybercrime. Likewise an author or blogger can write company articles and education materials.
As companies are hit with more and more cyber-attacks their budgets for hiring are increasing. As a result of this a number or senior and junior positions are available and easily found on job search sites. All companies are different and use different systems and setups which means all will require a period of learning on the job.
Like all professions and job roles applying with experience and skill sets go a long way. If however you do not have experience, trying to bring in a cyber security based approach to
a current job role will allow a relevant line inclusion in a CV. This could well be as a blogger write about Cyber Security or Breaches, as a finance professional audit transactions, DBA’s can try security and penetration testing.
3) Cyber security learning source?
Reading as much quality information on any subject is beneficial and so this applies to any jobs relating to cybercrime defence. If your company already has a cyber department ask to work alongside them for a few hours a week, this also adds to experience gained. Linkedin and Twitter also good sources of experts to follow.
Books and ebooks also are a good way to find reference and which can
help decide which area of cyber security to follow.
Recommended books are Datplan’s own Cyber Security ebook which is
designed to be read quickly whilst being understandable. Covering all the topics
to start implementing and understanding a cyber security strategy.
4) Make connections!
You could be the best Cyber Security consultant on the market but if nobody knows you exist then recruiters will not call!
Introduce yourself to your current IT department, tell them areas of interest and ask them for advice. They maybe planning on advertising a junior role you new nothing about, or they could connect you with friends in the industry.
Use Linkedin to build a social network with Cyber security consultants and companies. Ask to buy them coffee to discuss their thoughts on an idea you have and would value their expert opinion. The market is currently in need of cyber security consultants which means there is enough work to keep everyone busy.
Attending seminars and conferences are also a key ways to, learn, meet contacts, build your profile and educate yourself on the new threats and technologies. All the
points mentioned above (you may even get a free lunch thrown in).
5) Current London Average Salaries (February 2020)
- Penetration Tester £55-80k pa
- Lead Penetration Tester £85k + pa
- Cyber Security Analyst £50-85k pa
- Senior Cyber Security Analyst 85k+ pa
- Cyber Security Engineer £60k – 100k pa
- Cyber Security Consultants £450 – £1,000 per day
Salary ranges based on current job roles in and around London from numerous job sites during January & February 2020. This range is meant as a guide and values could go up and down based on demand, location experience and skill set.
- Choosing the best sub field that meets your skill set is key.
- Qualifications are requested for most jobs so ensure you pick course inline with field you wish to progress in.
- Constantly review job role adverts to see the role requirements and align to any changes.
- Make the most of books and other quality resources.
- Never stop learning! (The cyber criminals don’t).
- Build your network and ensure they complement your ambitions.
- Make the most of your current contacts.
- Keep an updated CV.
- Lastly, Don’t be afraid to fail! This cripples many a great mind from never trying.