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Jobs in cyber security are blooming across the country. While there is a dire need in the marketplace for cyber security professionals, the skill and experience required to fill these roles are lacking. This means that if you have a B.Tech degree and want to pursue a career in this field, you are going to need a blend of both technical and non-technical cyber security training. Because of their adaptive nature, software security threats and the ways to counter them are constantly evolving. Therefore, it is imperative that professionals adopt what can be best described as a ‘student for life’ approach. The real value from this discipline can only be derived through continual learning.
Building Professional Experience
It is necessary to take advantage of internship opportunities while obtaining your B.Tech degree so you are ready to power through your job upon graduation. During the internship, invest your time in finding out where your interest lies. Since cyber security covers a lot of ground and verticals, your first course of action should be to determine whether you enjoy programming, networking, or systems administration. Once that is established, you can contribute to cyber security projects being executed on an open-source basis focused on your area of interest. You can find work in this field at startups, non-profit entities, and government and military organisations- the sky is the limit.
Acquiring a Certification
Some may say that a cyber security certification course is not the end all be all, but you cannot ignore the fact that obtaining the relevant credentials is a fool proof way to validate your skills and gain an edge over other applicants. Entry-level applicants should target foundational certifications such as Security+, Certified Informational Privacy Professionals (CIPP), and Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP). These cyber security certifications serve as an ideal entry point into this field. Having said that, the professions that require them are relatively low-level.
After gaining the requisite experience, you should obtain an advanced industrial cyber security certification such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) to open the door to high-level positions and the possibility of increased pay.
Talking to Peers and Mentors
Look into local organisations dedicated to cyber security to begin building your network. Get involved in community projects such as hacking contests and actively engage with fellow hackers and people that attend these events. Local security networking events and community meet-ups can help you stay up-to-date on the latest technologies, techniques, and trends in the field. Get to know your fellow attendees and let them get to know you. You can even write to individuals who blog about the best cyber security courses, especially the ones you look up to.
Focusing on Educational Training
In cyber security, it is crucial to be proficient at noticing trends or patterns in large amounts of data. Since you come from a background in big data analytics, you are well set up. If you harbour aspirations of fast-tracking your career, you should strongly consider a master’s degree in order to the gain the relevant experience and knowledge required when collecting and analysing large chunks of information.
In case your interest lies in operational security, a master’s in information technology (IT) is preferable. If you’re inclined towards security research, a master’s in computer science or an engineering degree in computers is your best bet. These cyber security training courses will provide technical and theoretical skills and at the same time hone your managerial, leadership, and business skills.
There are many online cyber security courses being offered by universities that you can look up. However, choosing which cyber security certification and accreditation is right for you depends on your career aspirations. While it may seem overwhelming initially, the key is to find a specialised area of interest and dive deep into it. Luckily for you, the less established nature of the field of cyber security values knowledge and merit over experience. Your lack of professional experience right after graduation will not necessarily be a deal breaker if you have the relevant skills.