June 13, 2023

Here’s Where to Start Your Career in Cybersecurity (updated)

Cybersecurity Needs You

It’s simple: the bad guys are outnumbering the good guys at an alarming pace. According to CNBC, there’s been a 63% increase in cyberattacks due to the recent pandemic. It seems that COVID has allowed hackers to feed off of the fear, confusion, and increased online activity.

It’s not just the pandemic that has brought on this change, though. As we continue to adapt to a tech-based world, more security risks are being found. Companies want to transform the way they operate, but that leaves them open to ever-evolving threats. Even looking back to 2017, we saw a 24.7% increase in the annual number of security breaches

Furthermore, cybersecurity reaches across industries. Schools need tight security systems to teach online securely. Even in a pre-COVID world, cybersecurity played an integral part in every classroom through emails, online student portals, and more. Working from home, either as a student or employee, is now more common than ever. Without cybersecurity, it would be difficult to work from home securely. Of course, our government, too, needs cybersecurity experts to keep our nation safe.

The Future for Cybersecurity Jobs

Right now, the average North American salary for cybersecurity professionals is around $92,000. As well, the starting pay is consistently on the rise as the positions continue to be in higher and higher demand worldwide. And, of course, there are ways to boost that salary through security certifications. 

But what is a cybersecurity professional? There are many different niche positions that a cybersecurity expert can fill. These include:

  1. Ethical hacker
  2. Information Security Analyst3. Penetration Tester/Vulnerability Analyst
  3. Digital Forensic Analyst
  4. Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
  5. Network Engineer/Security Architect

Consider Becoming a Cybersecurity Analyst

Within the field of cybersecurity, analysts play an increasingly important and key role in the industry. 

These professionals are the first line of defense in many situations. Their job is to monitor various channels for breaches. If detected, they report any incidents to allow repair to occur to possible cyber weaknesses. 

The best part? There is an estimated 32% growth between 2018 to 2028 in hiring for this position. Getting involved early allows you to become an expert in a growing field and learn the skills before the competition in the field. In fact, cybersecurity analysts are able to move into specialized roles and this entry-level role is often seen as a stepping stone to other positions. 

Where do you start?

The most important hiring criteria, as reported by 55% of employers, is having hands-on experience. Students in NuPaths IT Security Analyst program get hands-on experience with securing applications, devices, and networks. The hands-on experience prepares students for the field and for passing industry-recognized certification exams. Beyond certifications, NuPaths helps connect you with internships, apprenticeships, and more to get you started on a successful career path. 

Of course, there are criteria to consider if you want to get started in cybersecurity. While you do not need a computer science degree to get involved in this industry, it is recommended to learn the basics in coding, systems, applications, and networking

While no particular line of study is required, certifications can help to fill the gap for both technical and non-technical people alike. Additionally, certifications can set you apart from the competition and show employers that you are willing and eager to participate in ongoing education by keeping your skills up to date. 

Most importantly, we recommend looking for others in the industry from whom you can seek insight and advice. Mentorship is key in any industry and for cybersecurity, that means working with the best of the best. Luckily, NuPaths is ready to connect you with instructors who are professionals working in cybersecurity.

What’s Next?

If you ever thought about working in cybersecurity, now may be the best time to get started. Take advantage of the growing and ever-changing world of IT security to get yourself set on a career that is interesting, fast-paced, and challenges you.

If you’re ready to get started, check out these details about becoming an IT Security Analyst with NuPaths.

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