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How To Get Into Cybersecurity with No Experience? 5 Secrets In Here

5 Min. Read

[ Image Credit Flickr – École Polytechnique by J.Barande ]

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing technology careers, as it’s challenging, constantly evolving, and pays well.

Whether you’re looking for a challenge or stability in your career with a broad range of opportunities, look no further than cybersecurity.

The best part? You don’t need a computer science degree to get into cybersecurity. It’s a field where your experience and skills matter more than your degree.

All you need is a decision and dedication to obtaining a unique set of skills. Below, you will learn how to get into cybersecurity without experience, so let’s jump in.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity keeps cyber attacks at bay with different technologies, programs, and controls. Simply put, cybersecurity prevents security breaches and other exploitation through various computer systems.

Moreover, as many companies recently took their business online, cybersecurity systems have become more protective.

Many people consider cybersecurity their next career move, as it’s high-paying and intriguing. It’s also a high-profit field with expected revenue of $366,10 billion by 2028.

Cybersecurity Skills Necessary for a Cybersecurity Career

Popular cybersecurity positions include security specialist, penetration tester, information security analyst, and computer forensics investigator. These positions don’t require a degree, but you still need certain skills for any of these positions.

A competent cybersecurity specialist will need:

  • Soft skills and hard skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Detail-oriented skills and a good eye for trends
  • Strong communication skills and time-management
  • A clear understanding of confidentiality issues and relating laws
  • Working under pressure and meeting tight deadlines
  • Creativity and thinking outside the box
  • Making decisions with confidence
  • Interest in the IT sector

Pursuing a career in cybersecurity with no degree has benefits and downsides, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons in the cybersecurity world.

What Qualifications Do You Need for Cyber Security?

If you’re passionate about information security and possess some of the skills above, you stand a chance in the industry.

The next step is taking a relevant degree subject, such as the following:

  • IT
  • Cybersecurity
  • Computer science
  • Physics, mathematics, or other STEM subjects
  • Networks and security
  • Network engineering
  • Forensic computing

If you’re currently working in cybersecurity, you can take extra degrees or qualifications and land better jobs.

Here’s a detailed description of extra qualifications you can consider:

SSCP (Systems Security Certified Practitioner)

SSCP makes a perfect choice for beginners with solid technical skills and security knowledge.

SSCP (Systems Security Certified Practitioner)
Image Credit – Systems Security Certified Practitioner by (ISC)2.

To obtain the SSCP qualification, you must pass the exam and provide at least five years of cumulative, paid work experience in IT (three years in information security and one year in the six domains of (ISC)² CCSP Common Body of Knowledge – CBK).

CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)

Most information security specialists hold the CISSP qualification. It’s usually critical for career growth in cybersecurity.

CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
Image Credit – Certified Information Systems Security Professional by (ISC)2.

Before taking a four-hour exam (reduced from six-hour), the qualification process encompasses eight cybersecurity disciplines, such as asset security, identity and access management, and security engineering.

Once you pass, you will get a globally recognized achievement of excellence, which is one of the requirements of the ISO/IEC Standard 17024.

This certification requires at least five years of cybersecurity work experience.

CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)

After you have over five years of cyber security experience up your sleeve in the industry, you can apply for a CISM certification.

CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
Image Credit – Passed Official CISM Exam by Charbel Nemnom.

It’s a qualification for cyber security professionals looking for ways to improve their skills and land better cybersecurity jobs.

This certification also requires at least five years of work experience (three in information security management before getting the qualification).

However, you can only receive this accreditation if you’ve completed your five years of work experience within ten years before submitting your application.

> Learn more on how to prepare and pass the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) exam.

CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional)

After you have over five years of cyber security and cloud experience up your sleeve in the industry, you can also apply for the CCSP certification.

CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional)
Image Credit – Certified Cloud Security Professional by (ISC)2.

The CCSP is the premier cloud security certification from (ISC)². This vendor-neutral certification validates IT and information security professionals’ knowledge and competency to apply best practices to cloud security architecture, design, operations, and service orchestration. It shows you are at the forefront of cloud security.

The CCSP certification was first released in 2015 and require also 5 years of experience in IT.

CCSP is harder compared to the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), so if you want to follow to pursue the CCSP path, we highly recommend starting first with CCSK and then with CCSP because by attaining the CCSK certification, you can request a one-year experience waiver by submitting documentation of your Cloud Security Alliance CCSK certificate to (ISC)² towards earning your CCSP certification.

If you are interested to learn more about Cloud Security Knowledge and how to prepare and pass the exam, we highly encourage you to check the following CCSK study guide.

> Learn more on how to prepare and pass the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) exam.

How to Get Into Cybersecurity With No Experience: 5 Helpful Tips

The following steps can help you become a professional cybersecurity analyst with no college degree, so take a look.

1. Get a High School Diploma or GED

The first step toward becoming a cybersecurity analyst is completing high school or a General Educational Development (GED) program.

Meanwhile, you can attend cybersecurity courses that help build your skills and learn security concepts.

You can pick computer programming or software development because they’re vital for a future cyber security career.

Computer programming courses cover important computer programs, while software development courses teach the development of software protected against possible cyber threats.

2. Obtain Online Certifications

You can quickly become a cybersecurity professional without a degree if you obtain online certifications that prove your skills.

These online certifications will make you more appealing for cybersecurity positions. To pass the certification exams for whichever branch you pick, consider using tools like handbooks, YouTube videos, study guides, and other materials.

Some of the certifications you can obtain without a degree include:

  • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)
  • CompTIA Security+
  • (CCNA) Cisco Certified Network Associate
  • CompTIA CySA+

3. Build Experience in Cybersecurity

Suppose you don’t have a college degree. In that case, it’s highly important to build experience within the cybersecurity field so that you can learn vital data, understand how cyber threats work, and learn more about software.

Many IT sectors provide on-the-job cybersecurity training for beginners, so you can observe other professionals while they work.

That said, look for companies that offer training to familiarize yourself with digital forensics, penetration testing, risk assessment, ethical hacking, cloud security, network security, etc.

You will gain experience and connect with other cybersecurity specialists before you start your cybersecurity career.

4. Establish Connections

Connections are very important. You will meet cybersecurity professionals and establish connections if you undergo training in a cybersecurity company.

Establish Cybersecurity Connections
Image Credit Flickr by Maryland GovPics.

However, you can also join online cybersecurity groups and law enforcement agencies like the National Cybersecurity Alliance or the American Society for Industrial Security.

Connections in the cybersecurity industry can help you get better entry-level cybersecurity jobs and advance your cybersecurity profession.

5. Update Your Resume Regularly

You should update your CV as you gain new cybersecurity skills, yield certifications, build experience, and land new cybersecurity jobs on your career path.

Make sure you list your cybersecurity qualifications, the date you obtained them, the date they expire, which institution issued them, and other important details.

You can boost your chance of landing a better position with a comprehensive, up-to-date resume, so don’t forget about this part of your cyber security journey.

Final Tips for Future Cybersecurity Professionals

Cybersecurity keeps gaining popularity among IT professionals because it’s loaded with job opportunities, doesn’t require a degree, and offers lucrative salaries.

The median annual salary for entry-level cybersecurity jobs is $65,000;

Remember that this number can change due to many factors like the location of the job, your certifications, or a college degree, which isn’t necessary but provides a small boost, etc.

Nonetheless, you will likely be able to advance within your cyber security career and earn up to six figures in the future like many other cybersecurity professionals nowadays.

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Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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