Cyber Security is all over the mainstream news and it is no secret that cyber security professionals are in high demand. Cyber Security is a very rewarding profession and provides work life balance, remote working opportunities, and fulfilling meaningful work. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that occupations in this field are projected to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026, adding 557,100 new jobs in the United States alone. Because of this, we often I get asked “What is the best way to learn cyber security?” In this article we introduce our newly developed five step program that will help you jump start you career and learn cyber security.
When you’re just getting started in learning cyber security don’t worry about the path you should take at first. Give yourself some time to experience the topics and apply the information that you learn. This will guide you into the best path in cyber security for you.
To get started, it is very important that you understand the fundamental material. When you establish a strong foundation in your cyber security knowledge you will set yourself up to dive into the more advanced topics later on. Here at Cyber Career School, we have identified a unique approach that will help you get up to speed as quickly as possible. We have designed topic specific “Boot Camps” that will provide you with all you need to know about a specific topic or area or cyber security.
After you have completed a boot camp, you can then apply your newly acquired knowledge by doing some of our expertly curated Cyber Security Projects. Our Cyber Security Projects page has useful projects for people of all levels. We break our content into entry level, intermediate, and advanced projects. As new topics and material become available, we will continue to keep these projects at the cutting edge of cyber security skill sets.
The Trick to Learning Cyber Security:
There is a common phrase in cyber security that goes “it’s like drinking through a fire hose.” This is meant to represent all of the information that is coming your way when you are new to the field. I can almost guarantee that you will hear this at some point. Let’s face it, we need a better approach to learning cyber security. Our five-step approach to learning cyber security will allow you to take in and retain more information.
Through speaking with students entering the industry, we have identified that a majority of these students are not preparing correctly.
The Cyber Career School 5 Step Approach
Step 1: Cyber Career School Boot Camps
Through our Boot Camps we introduce cyber security material through videos, visuals, articles, and real-world case studies. We have designed these boot camps into easily digestible sections with special emphasis on the topics that are most important for you as a new cyber security student.
Step 2: Cyber Security Projects
Hands-on project-based learning is key to help you retain and fully understand the information that you are learning. Our projects supplement the boot camp curriculum and further emphasize the concepts we discuss. These projects not only help you better understand the information, but they will serve as great examples of your experience when you interview. Interviewers love to hear about how you apply the information you know.
Step 3: Obtaining A Certification
In the field of cyber security, certifications hold a lot of importance. Recruiters look for certifications of your resume and LinkedIn and they are certain to bring them up during the interview process. After you have developed your foundational cyber security knowledge it is time to identify a certification that will establish credibility and get your resume seen. We have an expertly curated list of certifications that you should consider as well as guides and recommended study materials to pass!
Step 4: Getting Involved
Time to get involved! We have finally reached the step where it is time to get out in the real world. Real world knowledge is by far the most valuable commodity. We will be covering this in its own article at a later time, but this step is crucial. There are many places where you can get this real-world experience: joining a local or online club, attending conferences, volunteering, and getting an entry level or part time job.
Step 5: Mentorship
We strongly believe in mentorship. This relationship is highly beneficial for both parties. Find a mentor who is willing to provide you with valuable insights into the newest career paths, technology, and opportunities. At this point you know a lot more than you think. Consider becoming a mentor to someone who is looking to learn cyber security. As a mentor myself, you would be surprised at how much I learn from my mentees!
Do I need to go to college to learn cyber-security?
A college degree is not required to learn cyber security. The more you get involved with the cyber security community the more you will realize that many of the best Security Professionals come from non-technical backgrounds and do not have a cyber security specific degree.
Cyber security is very unique in that it welcomes individuals from all backgrounds Technical and non-technical. Everyone has a valuable expertise and background to provide to the team. In addition, there are a large number of fields within cyber security that are less technical in nature.
Will A College Degree Alone Prepare Me For the Job?
A college degree alone will not adequately prepare you for a job in cyber security. Classroom knowledge and concepts can only go so far. The real learning takes place when you apply these concepts through Hands-On exercises and projects.
Some college programs do a better job than others in preparing students for internships and jobs within cyber security. As cyber security programs develop and the administrators identify the need for Hands-On technical experience, college programs will continue to improve. If you’re currently pursuing a degree in cyber security our number one recommendation is to apply all of the concepts and techniques that you have learned in class to real world problems and projects. This Hands-On approach serves two purposes: firstly, it helps you retain the information and how it will be applied on the job and secondly it bolsters your resume and provides you with topics to talk about during interviews.