Is a Cyber Security Degree Worth It?

Is a Cyber Security Degree Worth It?

There is no secret that the Cyber Security industry is growing rapidly. With more jobs comes more opportunity, there a lot of people looking to enter or transition into the field of cyber security. This begs the question, is a cyber security degree worth it?

Is a Cyber Security Degree Valuable? The cyber security industry is experiencing a massive shortage of skilled workers. Cyber security degrees ensure that candidates possess the necessary skills needed to secure companies. Cyber security degrees pay very handsomely (Median Salary $99,730) and ensure a very high level of job security.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cyber Security Analysts are expected to see an increase in employment opportunities of 32%. Cyber Security is necessary for all industries so this comes as no surprise as companies are realizing the importance of improving their security posture. According to Forbes, “A groundbreaking new report by Emsi finds that the United States has less than half the cybersecurity candidates that it needs to handle increasing demand. In other words, help wanted!”

cyber security supply and demand

Job Requirements

Cyber Security is a very unique industry in that having a college degree is not the most important factor in deciding whether you will get (most) jobs. Experience, technical ability, projects, and certifications all play a role in securing the job.

Shortage of Qualified Cyber Security Professionals

With the rapid expansion of the industry comes an extreme shortage of cyber security professionals. The number of workers that need to be trained and transition into the Cyber security industry is staggering. This also presents a serious time concern, if every person entering the field had to have a college degree for cyber security we would be doomed. Stated more simply, being able to demonstrate your knowledge and skills is more important than having a college degree and having no skills.

Why Does the Cyber Talent Gap Exist?

In standard economic models, talent gaps do not exist because workers efficiently reallocate across jobs. For example, if the relative wage in one sector declines, marginal workers might exit and move to another sector. With the 2019 Median Pay for an Information Security Analyst sitting right under six-figures at $99,730 why do we not have a flood of people reallocating to the industry?

Why is Cyber Security in Demand?

Cyber Security is still a relatively new industry. That doesn’t sound right, but hear me out. People have been tinkering with and securing computers since their invention. That is not what I mean when I say that Cyber Security is new. The industry is new, organizations are finally realizing how vital a Cyber Security Program is to their continued success.

Cyber Crime used to be a hobby, now it is an organized business model. Bad actors have figured out how to efficiently monetize their crimes. CEOs now finally understand that a Cyber Security program is not a money sink. CEOs and CISOs are now running complex models and calculating their return on cyber security investment (ROSI).

Is a Cyber Security College Degree Worth it?

Cyber Security degrees are worth the time and the money spent to obtain them. Students will see their four-year investment pay very handsomely (Median Salary $99,730) and will never have to worry about job security. According to Rasmussen College who did an analysis of 143,000 cyber security job postings, 93% of the postings mentioned at least a Bachelor’s Degree.

This is not meant to put down the degreeless cyber security path. For some people, college is simply not an option and that is ok. Four years of your valuable time and tens of thousands of dollars are a massive price to pay.

Can You Get into Cyber Security Without a College Degree?

Getting into Cyber Security without a college degree is possible. If you work hard to display your technical abilities through certifications, project contributions, and content that you contribute to the cyber security community you can set yourself up well to land a job in the industry.

Don’t let the 93% figure scare you away. The opportunity is there. Generally, in tech, job postings are infamous for listing massive amounts of requirements that someone in HR found might be relevant to the job. An unfortunate reality is that a lot of recruiters are not technical and simply do not understand the actual requirements of the job. I’m sure everyone reading this has seen examples of Junior level jobs that ask for 5 years of experience. Bottom line is that you should not let this stop you. If you think that you are a good fit for the job, then you should apply.

Final Thoughts

When compared to other college degrees, cyber security degrees are absolutely worth it. The job outlook, the median salary, the exciting work are all great factors to pursue a degree in cyber security. Does this mean that going the degree route is the only way to get into cyber security? Absolutely not! Here is a video on my YouTube Channel where I share my experiences as a student and present both sides of the topic. At the end of the video, I detail what I would change if I could go back in time.

 

CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 vs SY0-501| Which is Right For You?

CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 vs SY0-501| Which is Right For You?

The CompTIA Security+ is updated to reflect the newest trends in the security industry every 3 years. With each new iteration of the exam comes the question of whether to take the older version of the Security+ or the newest most cutting-edge version of the Security+.

Should I Take The Security+ Sy0-501 or the Security+ Sy0-601?

 If you have not started studying for either version of the Security+ certification, we recommend that you take the newer Security+ SY0-601. If you already have invested time and money studying for the Security+ SY0-501, we recommend you take the SY0-501.

Make The Educated Decision

With the newest version just around the corner (launching November 2020), we have put together this article to give you everything you need to make an educated decision about whether you should take the CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 or the CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 exam.

What is the Security+?

The CompTIA Security+ is a great certification to get your foot into the cyber security industry, or to level up your current skills. The Security+ provides you with a strong foundation in topics spanning the cyber security industry. We believe that the CompTIA Security+ is one of the first security certification IT professionals should earn.

Out With the Old and in With the New

The Cyber Security landscape is rapidly changing. Adversaries are rapidly incorporating new tactics, techniques, and procedures. As defenders we need to constantly update our craft and knowledge. That’s where the new Security+ SY0-601 exam comes in. CompTIA updates their exams every 3 years to keep the information as relevant as possible.

6-Month Transition Period

As with every CompTIA Exam Transition, there is a 6-month period where you will have the option to either take the new Sec+ SY0-601 exam or the Sec+ SY0-501. In this post we will tell you all of the public information about these two exam versions to help you better decide whether you should take the new Security+ exam or stick with the older version.

How Much Do The SY0-601 and Sy0-501 Differ?

Security+ SY0-601 and the current Security+  SY0-501 we should expect about a 25% overall change in content.

 What’s New?

We have said it a lot about the CompTIA Security+ exam, but the exam coverage is a mile wide and an inch deep. This presents an interesting opportunity when updating the exam. The broad nature of the exam allows the exam authors to more easily incorporate the newest and hottest areas in cyber security while phasing out more out dated material. As a test taker this is awesome! You will know that CompTIA is updating their exams every 3 years to keep the material the most applicable to what is actually going on in the field.

New Areas of Focus:

– Cloud support to likely be enhanced as is and cloud security

– Growth of Virtualization platforms and how to secure them

– Common mobile device security breaches

– Securing online payment systems and cart technology

– More on monitoring tools, their metrics and the analysis of their data

– Emphasis on network access control models

– Manufacturer-specific issues regarding mobile device security

As they have with previous iterations of the Security+ Exam Series, we can expect CompTIA to put more of a focus on the Performance Based Question (CompTIA PBQs).

 

What Roles The Security+ Applies To:

  • Cyber Security Specialist
  • Cyber Security Administrator
  • Cyber Security Consultant
  • Systems Administrator
  • Network Administrator
  • Junior IT Security Auditor
  • Junior Penetration Tester

Addition of Auditor and Penetration Tester Roles

With All of their exams CompTIA Releases job roles that align with the certification. It is important to note the addition of the Junior IT Security Auditor and the Junior Penetration Tester. This is awesome news for those looking to go down the offensive route. This also means that the Security+ will better prepare you to take the CompTIA Pentest+.

Which Security+ Exam Should You Take?

Deciding which exam to take can be very tough. It would make sense that you should take the newest exam, but we will provide advantages and disadvantages for each side.

CompTIA Security+ SY0-601 vs. SY0-501. Pros and Cons:

Security+ SY0-601 Pros:

  • Newest cutting edge material
  • Removal of less relevant material
  • More PBQs

Security+ SY0-601 Cons:

  • Less Material Available
  • Less First Hand Accounts of the Exam
  • New and Relatively Untested Study Material

Security+ Beta Exam

While the Security+ SY0-601 applies the newest, most cutting-edge material, there is just less known about this exam. CompTIA usually provides a Beta exam for people in the industry who produce study content for the exams. With time we can expect more first hand accounts of the newest exam.

How Should you Study For the Security+

Everyone is different when it comes to studying methods, but here at Cyber Career School we have really honed in on the approach of utilizing 3 main study methods.

  1. Reading the Book
  2. Watching the Video
  3. Taking Practice Questions

While it sounds simple, this proven approach is effective for visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, and reading / writing learners.

What Material Should You Use to Study for The Security+?

For the Security+ 601 there are 2 books from our favorite sources that are available for pre-order. CompTIA Security+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Sixth Edition (Exam SY0-601) 6th Edition This series from McGraw Hill has proven to be a great study method for the previous iterations of the exam. Next, we have CompTIA Security+ Study Guide: Exam SY0-601 8th Edition from Sybex. Sybex has produced some of the most popular study guides out there so we are sure this book will prepare you well for the exam when it gets released!

Choosing to Take the Security+ SY0-501? Check out our favorite study material.

Through studying for the Security+ Sy0-501 ourselves and advising other students, we have identified the two best books on the market. CompTIA Security+ Certification Kit: Exam SY0-501. The full certification kit provides both a study guide, and a book of practice exams. This satisfies 2/3 of the requirements for the Cyber Career School study method. We have personally taken these practice exams and can attest to their value come exam dayCompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide Get Certified Get Ahead is arguably the most popular study guide on the market for the Security+. Darril Gibson organizes the content in a very digestible way and he also has a website with additional material. Getcertifiedgetahead.com really provides some great material on the CompTIA exams.

Best Security+ Online Course

For online courses we highly recommend Pluralsight. While they do not have a Security+ SY0-601 course yet, their SY0-501 course is extremely informative. If you have choosen the newer exam, don’t worry. We think that the Pluralsight course in combonation with either of the SY0-601 books will set you up for success.

Final Thoughts

Each of these exams will have it’s pros and it’s cons. To answer the question of “Should I take the Security+ SY0-501 or the Security+ SY0-601?” If you have not started studying for either versions of the Security+, we recommend that you take the newer Security+ SY0-601. If you already have time and money invested in studying for the Security+ SY0-501, keep going and stick to your original plan.

7 Reasons You Should Learn Python For Cyber Security

7 Reasons You Should Learn Python For Cyber Security

Everyone is talking about Python in Cyber Security, and for good reason. Python use in Cyber Security has exploded over the past 5 years. Python really is a “gateway language” that opens you up to what is possible when you know how to automate processes in cyber security.

Is Python good for cyber security? Python is a great language to learn for cyber security professionals. Python is widely used in both offensive and defensive security to perform tasks such as brute-forcing, offensive tool development, vulnerability assessment, digital forensics, and reverse engineering.

Are you considering learning python for cyber security? When I first learned python, I felt like I had the world at my fingertips. I basically did, python is an extremely powerful language that has many applications in the field of cyber security.

Here Are 7 Reasons To Learn Python For Cyber Security

1. Python Is Versatile

Just to name a few areas where python is used, data mining, data science, AI, web development, embedded systems, automation, and the list goes on. I bet you are thinking, “yeah those all sound useful but I thought this was about python in cyber security?”

Cyber security is an extremely broad field and as cyber security professionals we need to be jacks of all trades. Every one of the fields I mentioned above can be applied to cyber security.

Most programming tasks that we will encounter as cyber security can be accomplished with python. There are some other languages that will help better accomplish specific tasks, but none match the versatility of python.

2. Python Is Easy to Read, Write

Time is the most necessary commodity in cyber security. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the red or the blue team, time will always be a major factor.

Easy to Write

For example, if you are performing an incident response and need to write a script to parse logs and identify hosts that are affected. You don’t have the time to deal with a more complicated, compiled language like C++. Python only requires that you have the python interpreter and scripts can created in a matter of minutes due to the powerful libraries that are at your fingertips.

Easy to Read

You may ask “why does it matter that python is easy to learn?” It is very important that a language is easy to read, especially in cyber security. Everybody on your team may not know how to program but they will still have valuable input on the tasks that need to be scripted.

Even non-programmers can read python with little difficulty. When writing scripts, it is important to efficiently approach the problem. Non-programmers or managers can read and understand python without necessarily knowing how to write python scripts themselves. This readability allows them to provide input and improve your code!

3. Python is Easy to Learn

WP Engine surveyed 909 developers across the US on which programming language was the easiest to learn. It is not surprising that python found it’s way to the top of the list behind HTML (which is arguably not considered a programming language).

Python is extremely readable and easy to learn. There are many sources online that will get you started with python in a matter of minutes. On our YouTube channel, we give more detail about learning python and provide cyber security relevant tutorials.

Python will allow you to accomplish complex tasks in a matter of lines due to the number of powerful libraries that are out there and its simple syntax.

Python as a First Language

Python is a great first language to learn. There a number of free resources out there that will teach you python with no prior programming experience.

Learning the basic concepts of programming through python is great because python’s easy syntax allows you to focus on the actual fundamentals of programming. This will better set you up to learn other languages!

There are a number of cyber security specific python resources out there! This is another reason we love the language so much! We can point beginners in the direction of these books and courses and within a week they can be making an actual impact in the cyber security industry.

Black Hat Python

Black Hat Python is one of our top picks for cyber security professionals looking to learn python. This book covers the darker side of python and teaches you how to write network sniffers, manipulate packets, avoid sandboxing, create trojans and much more.

My favorite line in this book is from the forward.

“The difference between script kiddies and professionals is the difference between merely using other people’s tools and writing your own.” – Charlie Miller

Black Hat Python was also featured in ZDNet’s Cyber Security Reads For Every Hacker’s Bookshelf.

Grey Hat Python

If you’re a Blue Teamer, then Grey Hat Python is a great place to start upping your skills. Blue teamers don’t get left out on any of the fun, this book covers automating reverse engineering, designing your own debugger, fuzzing windows drivers, sniffing secure traffic, and much more!

This book really helped me up my python skills!

Violent Python

Violent Python is a better book for you if you are brand new to python. This book covers a mixture of topics from the two books I previously mentioned.

Learn Better with Video Courses? Here is our favorite

Pluralsight

Pluralsight has a dedicated python learning path. If you are brand new to python, don’t worry. This course covers the absolute basics too.

4. Python Has A Strong Cyber Security Community

Second, only to Python’s extreme ease of use, the community support and existing toolsets available are unmatched. As hinted above, the libraries that are available in the Python ecosystem are incredibly useful and allow you to implement complex functions and operations in a matter of lines.

In addition to the libraries that are available, the number of security tools that are built with python and are open source.

Having the ability to modify and fix existing tools on the fly is very important. There are many times where you can skip hours of time by beginning with an existing script and modifying it to meet your needs.

In addition to the existing scripts and tools out there, the community support for python is unmatched. Most of the problems I have ever encountered have been at least addressed in a similar stack overflow post. This really increases your ability to develop more complex scripts to tackle harder problems.

Top 5 Most Useful Python Libraries For Cyber Security:

  1. Impacket
  2. Scapy
  3. libnmap (Python Nmap)
  4. Requests / Beautiful Soup
  5. Socket

Supportive Community

Stack Overflow is a programming question and answer platform critical for all developers when they are stuck, or wanting to share wisdom with the community.

For seven years in a row, JavaScript has been the most commonly used programming on Stack Overflow, but Python is steadily rising through the ranks year after year. According to Stack Overflow, Python is the fastest-growing major programming language today.

 

python rank

5. Interactive Python Is Useful on The Fly

When you install the python interpreter on a system it allows you to run .py files, but it also allows you to run an interactive shell.

Many people don’t utilize this functionality but for cyber security it can be very powerful. The interactive shell can be called quickly and will allow you to perform quick one-off functions. The interactive shell is more formally known as a Read-Eval-Print Loop (REPL) environment.

In cyber security there are some very powerful ways to use the python REPL environment. Some of the most common uses are file operations. Python allows you to quickly read in files and perform data sanitization, processing, parsing, and many more operations.

One example would be quickly reading in a log file and pull out the targeted fields and then writing that to a new file. This can be accomplished in a matter of lines and is much more efficient than doing so manually.

6. Python is a Resume Booster

Let’s face it, python is a major resume booster. When recruiters see a candidate that knows python and is able to demonstrate this knowledge through projects or certifications it is a massive plus.

In the past 5 years, python usage in cyber security has exploded and you are likely to find it mentioned on most cyber security job postings.

7. Python is Rapidly Growing and Ensures Job Security

Python is growing incredibly fast and it makes a lot of sense to learn a growing major programming language if you are just starting your career.

Whenever you are choosing to learn a new language or technology you are taking a small risk that it will become obsolete or pigeonhole you. Choosing python is a very safe bet, it continues to grow year after year and will remain to be vital to the cyber security industry.

When you learn python, you are becoming a vital member of your team. Skilled programmers on cyber security teams are few and far between. This increases your ability for career growth and also increases your job security.

Final Thoughts

Having an in-depth understanding of python and how it can be applied to solve cyber security problems will open up many doors for you. Python alone will not land you a job in cyber security. You can be the most skilled python developed but if you don’t know anything about cyber security, what you can do for a team is very limited.

Related Questions

What are the best languages to learn for cyber security?

We covered this in an article titled 6 Best Programming Languages to Learn for Cyber Security. In this article, we break down the 6 best languages for cyber security and how they are used by both blue teams and red teams.

How long does it take to learn python?

Python really doesn’t take long to learn. With the courses and books previously mentioned, you can expect to write your first simple program on the first day and to become comfortable with the language within a month!

 

Best Way To Learn Cyber Security | 5 Step Method

Best Way To Learn Cyber Security | 5 Step Method

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.

Getting Started

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.

 

My Path Into The Field And How I Learned Cyber Security

CompTIA Security+ vs CySA+ – Start Here

CompTIA Security+ vs CySA+ – Start Here

If you have done any research around certifications in the field of cyber security, we are sure that you have heard of CompTIA. CompTIA is one of the largest and most highly regarded certification and training companies out there. When It comes to CompTIA’s cyber security certifications the Security+ and the CySA+ are the most popular.

Should I take the Security+ or the CySA+?

When choosing whether to take the CompTIA Security+ or the CySA+ you need to identify both your current knowledge and which path you are aiming for. If you have previous experience in cyber security and are following the cyber security analyst path, then the CySA+ will be the better option for you. If you are new to the field and are looking for a good first certification, then you should start with the Security+.

Choosing the right certification for you can be tough.

Let’s face it if you are entering the field of cyber security, identifying and committing to a certification can be a very daunting task.  You are putting up your hard-earned money and investing it in furthering your education, so you want to make the best well-informed decision possible. There are also a lot of mixed messages regarding certifications out there. Some serve as resume boosters and come with high praise from recruiters while having little to no application within the field.

This is not meant to scare anybody away from investing in their continued education by pursuing a certification. Our goal by stating this warning upfront is to simply inform you to fully research the options before making the commitment.

Why CompTIA?

CompTIA offers a number of industry-leading certifications like the A+, Network+, Security+, and the CySA+ just to name a few. In this article, we will compare and contrast the Security+ and the CySA+ and by the end, you will be able to decide for yourself whether you should one or both of these certifications.

If you’re looking for an entry level security certification, the Security+ and the CySA+ are a great place to start. Both of these certifications come with industry recognition and provide you with skills that you can directly apply in your position as a security professional.

Now that we have honed in our focus on the CompTIA Security+ and the CompTIA CySA+, let’s compare and contrast these two certifications. Which is right for you and do you need both? I personally hold both of these certifications, so stick around to hear our honest opinions on both of these exams.

CompTIA Security+

The CompTIA Security+ is one of the most popular entry-level cyber security certifications. It holds this level of acclaim for good reason. The Security+ provides the student with a great foundation of cyber security topics. The certification is “a mile wide and an inch deep” but when you’re just getting into the field, that’s exactly what you need!

Is The CompTIA Security+ For Beginners?

The CompTIA Security+ spans a wide range of information and is a great introduction to the field of cyber security. CompTIA Security+ is the industry standard for establishing a career in security and is the preferred qualifying credential for early career cybersecurity professionals.

Is The Security+ Difficult?

The Security+ certification is difficult for beginners. The Difficulty of the exam is related to the wide breadth of information that is covered by this exam. The individual topics are not difficult, but due to the wide scope of the exam it can be seen as difficult.

Does the Security+ Help You Pass The CySA+?

Taking the Security+ will help you pass the CySA+. The CySA+ applies the topics and theories that are introduced by the Security+ to hands-on problems. Taking the Security+ before the CySA+ will ensure that you have a strong foundation before attempting the more difficult CySA+.

The Security+ touches the surface level of a lot of topics and prepares you well for additional certifications. We advise people who are newer to the field to first get the CompTIA Security+; it will make the CompTIA CySA+ a whole lot easier!

The Security+ Will Get Your Resume Seen

Having the Security+ certification will surely help get your resume seen and provide A LOT of talking points when it comes time to interview. We will be writing a blog on how to ace the interview soon, and it will certainly emphasize the power of obtaining the Security+.

The Security+ Is Authorized By The US Department of Defense (DOD)

The DOD uses the Security+ as a baseline of accreditation for individuals who are tasked with handling privileged information. According to Microsoft, the Security+ is an authorized certification for the US Department of Defense and a subset of a much broader initiative commonly referred to DoD-Directive 8140/8570; a compliancy policy required of all authorized users of a DoD Information System

See How I Passed The Security+ in 3 Weeks

 

  • CompTIA Security+ Exam Difficulty 60% 60%

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What is the CompTIA CySA+

The CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ (CySA+) falls after the Security+ in CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Roadmap. This is for good reason. The CompTIA CySA+ is more advanced and more specific towards blue teamers and security analysts. If you are applying for a blue team role, specifically as a SOC analyst, the CySA+ is a great certification to obtain!

The Security+ is more of a general certification, while the CySA+ takes a smaller area of the Security+ and focuses in on it. If you took the Security+ and wished that you could go deeper on the blue team topics, CySA+ is the cert for you!

Is The CySA+ Difficult?

The CySA+ exam is difficult for many students. The exam consists of several hands-on simulation type questions, in addition to multiple-choice questions. For most test-takers, the most difficult portion of the exam is examining logs and command-line output. These sections require adequate time and practice.

Is The CySA+ Worth It?

The CySA+ is worth both the time and the money. Holding the CySA+ certification will establish that you have the necessary knowledge and hands-on skills to perform as a cyber security analyst. The CySA+ holds a lot of weight in the field and is a big resume booster.

 

  • CompTIA CySA+ Exam Difficulty 70% 70%

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How To Study For These Exams

Everyone is different when it comes to studying methods, but here at Cyber Career School we have really honed in on the approach of utilizing 3 main study methods.

  1. Reading the Book
  2. Watching the Video
  3. Taking Practice Questions

While it sounds simple, this proven approach is effective for visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, and reading / writing learners.

Below we have provided a book, video, and practice exams for both the CySA+

Conclusion:

You can’t really go wrong in choosing either of these exams. Both will set you up for success in the field of cyber security. When choosing between the two, it really comes down to where you are at in your career path and where you going. If your brand new, your best option is the Security+. If you have worked in the field for a year or more, consider taking the CySA+.

What you need to know about entry level cyber security careers

What you need to know about entry level cyber security careers

Cyber Security is becoming the topic of mainstream news more and more frequently. One thing which everyone can agree on is that cyber-attacks are not slowing down. Let’s face it, technology is becoming more and more ubiquitous in our everyday lives and the effort to secure this technology is lagging behind.

You can ask anybody in the field of cyber security and they will tell you that there is a major shortage of people with the skills to keep all of our assets secure. That being said, if you are willing to put in the work you will have a very bright future ahead of you in the field of cyber security!

“There is a zero-percent unemployment rate in cybersecurity and the opportunities in this field are endless,” Robert Herjavec. “Gone are the days of siloed IT and security teams. All IT professionals need to know security – full stop. Given the complexity of today’s interconnected world, we all have to work together to support the protection of the enterprise."

Cyber Security Welcomes Individuals From All Backgrounds

Unlike most career fields, there are many great entry level cyber security jobs available. Cyber security is very unique in that it welcomes individuals from all backgrounds.

Cyber Security Is Not All Computer Science Graduates.

It is a common misconception that everyone in cyber security has a Computer Science degree and an extremely technical background. This is simply not the case. Ask around and you will discover that cyber security professionals come from every possible background. This goes to show that there is a serious demand for cyber security jobs especially at the entry level. That is not to say that a Computer Science degree or a cyber security degree won’t serve you well.

 

Cyber security is such a diverse and broad field that it rewards people from every background. Everyone has a unique perspective and experience to bring to the table.

 

The Right Time To Get Into Cyber Security Is Now!

If your waiting until you achieve “the right amount of technical know-how” you’re wasting valuable time. Entry level cyber security jobs do require a foundational understanding of security, networking, and computers but all too often people expect perfection and mastery from themselves and miss opportunities.

If you are looking to obtain your first job in cyber security, you are going to have to put in the work. But trust us, getting this foundational security knowledge needed to break into the field is obtainable if you commit to it. We will have additional blogs and videos regarding the actual specific requirements to get an entry level job in cyber security, but trust us they are very obtainable with some determination.

Cyber security is an extremely broad field and you need to take this into consideration when your researching entry level jobs. There are three main considerations to make when looking for these entry level positions:

Play To Your Strengths

Entry level security positions span a wide spectrum and are likely to encompass some skills or knowledge that you already have! Play to your strengths!

Don’t Overthink It

It can be incredibly overwhelming making a career switch. Especially across industries. The most important thing is that you commit and take that next step!

Get Your Foot In The Door

Many people are looking for the perfect oppourtunity until they make the switch into cyber security. Your first job in the field is just a stepping stone for your future career.

 

 

 

 

 

In this guide, we’ve recommended some of the most common entry level cyber security roles:

  • Cyber Security Analyst / SOC Analyst
  • Security Software Developer
  • Security Compliance Analyst
  • Cyber Risk Analyst
  • Security Intelligence Analyst

As you can see, these five entry level security positions span a wide spectrum and are likely to encompass some skills or knowledge that you already have! Play to your strengths!

Another big thing to consider is the career path that you would like to pursue. Luckily, you’re most likely not going to get “stuck” in any one path based off of your first position in the field.

Don’t overthink it!

If you’re trying to get your first job in cyber security, don’t overthink this whole process.  We will tell you with complete confidence that whatever position in this field you start out in YOU WILL CONTINUE TO LEARN ON THE JOB. Yes, you are getting paid to learn and build your skills. No matter how you enter the field, you are making one step in the right direction. Most companies provide on the job training, pay for certification, and get you more involved with the security community.

We cannot stress this enough, experience in the field of cyber security is built through hands on learning. If you think cyber security is the right field for you, make the jump sooner rather than later and start obtaining the experience.