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  • Writer's pictureVatsal Sharma

A Comprehensive Guide to Launching Your Cybersecurity Career: Strategies for Beginners, Cyber Security Beginner Roadmap.

Welcome to "Securing Tomorrow: Insights from Mevrx Cybersecurity Blog Series"! In this series, we delve into the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, providing you with valuable insights, practical tips, and expert advice to help you navigate the complexities of today's digital world.


In recent years, the cybersecurity landscape has undergone a dramatic transformation, driven by the global shift towards teleworking and the consequent surge in cyber threats. The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the demand for cybersecurity professionals to unprecedented levels, with millions of unfilled positions worldwide. This guide aims to provide aspiring cybersecurity enthusiasts, with an exhaustive roadmap to kickstart their careers in this dynamic and high-demand field.

Introduction


The COVID-19 pandemic’s push towards teleworking has significantly increased the demand for cybersecurity professionals. In 2021, there were 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity roles globally, a trend expected to continue until 2025. With the shift to cloud computing, cloud security expertise is particularly sought after.


Cybersecurity remains a critical need for businesses and law enforcement, ensuring sustained demand in this field. If you’re new to cybersecurity and lack formal skills or experience, this guide is for you. It will cover essential education, skills, certifications, networking, and industry knowledge to kickstart your cybersecurity career, It is a complete Cyber Security Beginner Roadmap.



Can You Get Into Cybersecurity Without Experience?


Text of cyber security


Yes! When it comes to landing a cybersecurity job, hiring managers in the cybersecurity industry are most concerned with the skills you have and the certifications you’ve completed. If you have the technical skills, the soft skills, a qualification in digital forensics or as a Certified Ethical Hacker or degree in Computer Science and a willingness to learn, you can find entry-level cybersecurity jobs and enter the cybersecurity world.


Five Tips To Launching Your Cyber Security Career


Interested in a cybersecurity career? Here are five tips for budding cybersecurity professionals or newbies looking for entry-level positions:


1) Decide what kind of cybersecurity career you want.

The first step is to decide what kind of career you want in the first place! Entry-level cybersecurity jobs are generally similar, and you may focus on protecting sensitive information from cyber threats, learning about network security, risk management, or handling access management for your company. Once you gain hands-on experience in entry-level jobs, there is a broad range of options available in your new career. Develop your cybersecurity skills accordingly.


2) Decide where you want to work

The cybersecurity profession opens up a world of possibilities. Do you want to work as a cybersecurity professional in law enforcement agencies or private companies? Do you want to be a pen tester? A certified information systems security professional or other high-paying jobs? Many employers are looking for new talent that meets specific criteria, e.g., the right cybersecurity skills, a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, soft skills, hard skills, or more. Make sure you have the right skills you need.


3) Get a cybersecurity qualification or certification

Having a cybersecurity qualification gives you access to many more high-paying job openings in cybersecurity or a related field. If you have the right work experience, you’ve already taken the first steps towards becoming certified/qualified. You can go the self-study route, acquire a computer science degree, or speak to hiring managers about an internship. One of the best ways to land a full-time job in the field is to attend a boot camp – some will even introduce you to a potential employer!


4) Find ways to keep learning

Speak to a mentor, join a forum, or go the self-teaching route. It’s important to keep evolving and learning in this field.


5) Don’t give up

You may not land your first job right away, but there will be other applications, other opportunities, and more choices if you keep working at your cybersecurity career. Remember, cybersecurity engineers are in high demand. You will find something soon!



How Can I Become a Cybersecurity Specialist With a Non-Technical Background?


green cyber security digital lock with IAM


There are many non-technical cybersecurity roles available. In fact, there is a huge demand within the cybersecurity industry as potential employers are increasingly looking for people with a wide range of skills and backgrounds, including those without a technical background. Some roles you could consider include:


Cyber Security Analyst: Security analysts are responsible for identifying, assessing, and managing cybersecurity risks. They may also develop and implement cybersecurity policies and procedures, and conduct cybersecurity audits and assessments.


Information Security Officer (ISO): ISOs are responsible for developing and implementing an organization’s overall cybersecurity strategy. They may also oversee the organization’s security team and budget and work with other departments to ensure that security is integrated into all aspects of the organization.


Cyber Security Risk Manager: Security risk managers are responsible for identifying, assessing, and managing cybersecurity risks. They may also develop and implement risk management plans and procedures.


Security Awareness and Training Specialist: Security awareness and training specialists are responsible for developing and delivering cybersecurity awareness and training programs to employees. They may also work with employees to help them identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks.


Security Consultant: Security consultants provide cybersecurity consulting services to organizations. They may help organizations to develop and implement security policies and procedures, conduct security audits and assessments, and train employees on cybersecurity best practices.


Security Sales Engineer: Security sales engineers are responsible for selling cybersecurity products and services to organizations. They may work with customers to understand their security needs and recommend solutions that meet those needs.


Security Marketing Manager: Security marketing managers are responsible for developing and executing marketing campaigns for cybersecurity products and services. They may also work to raise awareness of cybersecurity issues and promote best practices.


If you are interested in a career in cybersecurity, but you do not have a technical background, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for a non-technical role:


Look for cybersecurity certifications. There are a number of cybersecurity certifications available, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). These certifications can demonstrate your deep understanding of cybersecurity and can serve as an entry point for your career.


Network with people in the cybersecurity industry. Attend cybersecurity conferences and events, and connect with people on LinkedIn. Networking can help you learn about different cybersecurity roles and companies, and it can also lead to job opportunities.


Volunteer your time to a cybersecurity organization. This is a great way to gain experience in the cybersecurity field and to network with other professionals.


Set up job alerts. To break into the job market, set up alerts for entry-level positions or internships in the field.


Attend a cybersecurity boot camp. A boot camp will help you improve your cybersecurity knowledge and provide you with the necessary skills to launch your new career. Many boot camps have connections within the security field and can supply you with an entry-level job.

Gain hands-on experience. Experience is often valued higher than a master’s degree. Start doing cybersecurity work as a freelancer if you can’t find work in-house. This will help you hone the hard skills you need for your job search. You will need strong communication skills and a solid understanding of complex systems before you start.


With the right skills and experience, you can land a non-technical cybersecurity role and build a successful career in this growing field.


What Does a Cybersecurity Analyst Do?


cyber security analyst

Roles of cybersecurity analysts: A cybersecurity analyst designs information security systems, protocols, and other protective measures to stop cyberattacks before they happen. In addition to identifying network vulnerabilities through vulnerability analysis and risk analysis, cybersecurity analysts also train other employees in good security practices.


Criminals can target employees and take advantage of their lack of knowledge (e.g., the use of an unpatched open-source operating system) to carry out cyberattacks on computer systems, so it’s important to make sure everyone in the organization understands the fundamentals. Sensitive data is stolen every day, which is why this particular career in cybersecurity is gaining traction. Once a breach occurs, other members of the cybersecurity team will assist with the investigation and remediation.



How Can You Get Into Cybersecurity Without Any Experience?


digital lock image with laptop

Getting into cybersecurity without any experience is possible through various avenues:

Education: Start with foundational courses and certifications in cybersecurity to gain theoretical knowledge.


Practical Experience: Participate in internships, volunteer projects, or independent cybersecurity projects to gain hands-on experience.


Networking: Connect with professionals in the field, join online communities, and attend cybersecurity events and conferences.


Soft Skills Development: Focus on developing essential soft skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork.


Entry-Level Jobs: Pursue entry-level positions such as Information Security Analyst, Incident Analyst/Responder, IT Auditor, Junior Penetration Tester, Network Security Administrator, or Cybersecurity Specialist.


Continuous Learning: Stay updated on industry trends, technologies, and best practices to advance your career in cybersecurity.


By following these steps, individuals can break into the cybersecurity field and embark on a rewarding career path, even without prior experience.


How Can You Get Into Cybersecurity Without a college Degree?


Start with an Online Course An online course is a great place to start. It’s not nearly as expensive as a college degree and covers everything you need to know about cybersecurity and information security. You will also gain career support and access to mentors that can help you find a job in the field.


Get Acquainted With the Fundamentals If you’re completely new to this field, you’ll need to start at the beginning. This means studying the techniques a cybersecurity engineer uses to protect their company’s network and data. Here, we’ll list the main areas you’ll need to gain knowledge in the following:


Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability (CIA Triad) how to get into cybersecurity with no experience- CIA Triad: The CIA triad is a model that outlines the three most fundamental elements of an effective security policy.


image explaining CIA triad

Confidentiality refers to the rules that restrict access to information, integrity guarantees the reliability of the information, and availability ensures the people who need the information have access to it.


Risk Management Weaknesses cannot be dealt with until they are identified. Risk management refers to the process of finding, analyzing, and monitoring potential security risks.


Data and Network Security A catch-all term for the information technology systems that protect a company’s network and data from potential breaches. This can refer to both software and hardware, plus the protocols put in place to restrict and access data.

Security Control Security control is the term used to describe a measure that aims to protect the confidentiality and integrity of a set of data.


Threat and Vulnerability Assessment how to get into cybersecurity with no experience - Threats and vulnerability assessment This refers to the analysis of a company’s systems to determine vulnerabilities and identify high-threat areas.


Recovery Recovery refers to the procedures used to restore data that has been lost or compromised during an attack or system failure. Skilled personnel are required for remediation.


Get To Know Other Cybersecurity Students

Find a Specialization and Ideal Career Path Technology is used by companies in every country and most industries, which means there are a lot of places you can go as a professional, and no shortage of entry-level openings.


Researching the kind of work you want to do and what kind of company you want to do it at is a crucial step in your journey toward entering the industry.


Complete a Bootcamp College degrees are not the only accepted form of education when it comes to the tech industry. Everyone has their own learning preferences, and it’s okay to follow the path that works for you as you work your way towards becoming a security specialist.


A popular alternative to the college route is completing an online cybersecurity boot camp.

A good cybersecurity boot camp for beginners will be taught by industry professionals and can take eager cybersecurity enthusiasts from total beginners to job-ready graduates in a matter of months. You can start an entry-level job after completing a boot camp, which makes it ideal for beginners.


Pursue a Certification Certifications provide a standard of knowledge about the technical aspects of the job and skills that are very helpful for companies during the hiring process. In the cybersecurity industry, certifications are particularly important, and many high-paying jobs will require certain certifications alongside education, e.g., in information systems, security network management, or cloud computing.


For junior and intermediate roles, we recommend these three certifications:


  • CompTIA Security+ The CompTIA Security+ certification verifies your skills in the foundations of cybersecurity and confirms your capability to thrive in a professional role. It’s recognized globally and is rather well known—you’ll likely see it many times during your job searches. The certification includes a performance section that tests your hands-on skills.

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) requires applicants to demonstrate that they are qualified for a professional role in cybersecurity.

  • Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate (ISACA) This Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate by ISACA offers an optional online course that teaches the skills and knowledge required to pass the final exam.


Gain Some Practical Experience Practical experience is extremely valuable both for your development as a cybersecurity professional and your resume. However, practical experience does not have to be paid experience.


Volunteer Work


Hands with volunteer written

There are many other ways to practice your cybersecurity skills in a real-world and collaborative setting. Here are some of our recommendations:


In a world where cybersecurity is needed by many, but not everyone has access to it, volunteer projects are easy to come by. There are even organizations that provide free cybersecurity to charities that can’t afford it for themselves.


Pursue an Internship how to get into cybersecurity with no experience-internship Source: Glassdoor An internship is an ideal way to gain practical experience before your first job in cybersecurity. They can sometimes be hard to come by, so make sure to check sites like Indeed and Glassdoor frequently as you work through your education.


Work on Independent Projects Open-source cybersecurity projects are a great way to practice and develop your skills. High-profile projects can even be included on your resume, as interviewers will likely have experience with them as well.


Build a Portfolio A portfolio is a useful tool when it comes to landing interviews without experience. They are best made over time, so we recommend getting started on your cybersecurity portfolio projects as soon as you can. Include case studies that highlight how you would handle security breaches at an organizational level or showcase your security knowledge with a whitepaper.


Find a Mentor There is no right way to find a mentor, and a valuable mentorship does not need to be official, either.


Whether it’s through an internship or school, finding a skilled professional who is willing to answer your questions will be highly beneficial for your development.

Build a Strong Network A good network can provide endless value, including future job opportunities.


LinkedIn LinkedIn is a crucial tool for network building. Regardless of whom you meet or how you meet them, sending out an invitation to connect on LinkedIn is always appropriate.


Communities and Conferences The online communities mentioned earlier are a perfect place to begin your networking efforts. You can also take advantage of both online and on-site cybersecurity events and conferences where high numbers of professionals will gather.


Personalize Your Resume and Apply for Entry-Level Jobs When you begin searching for jobs, a really useful tip is to personalize your resume for each application you make. Read through the job description, research the company, and angle your resume toward its exact needs.

This will help your resume stand out, as it will include a high number of keywords and skills that recruiters have been instructed to look for.


Essential Skills for a Cybersecurity Specialist

key having its head written as skill

In this section, we’ll provide a list of the fundamental skills you’ll need to cover before you’re ready for your first job. This skills list can also be useful for writing resumes, personal statements, and cover letters.


Technical Skills A cybersecurity expert must be skilled in the following areas:


Programming Languages: Software is a critical element in any cybersecurity system. You’ll need to use a programming language like Python to write software and identify its vulnerabilities and to automate tasks. Software development knowledge is a plus.


Operating Systems: The operating system used by a company will greatly influence how its security system is designed and how you will interact with it.

In order to maximize the number of job adverts you can respond to, it’s best to gain experience with Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.


Risk Management: Identifying threats, flaws, and vulnerabilities is one of the day-to-day responsibilities of a cybersecurity professional. You could also work towards becoming an information security specialist focused on risk.


Incident Response and Handling: Knowing how to handle incidents and minimize their negative impact is a key skill that will be useful in any role.


Security Architecture security architecture: The first thing you will need to do when you land your first job is to get familiar with the security protocols of your company. Knowing the industry standards and up-to-date trends in security architecture will be essential for this task.

Reverse Engineering When a security breach happens, it’s sometimes necessary to reverse engineer the malware that was used in order to understand how it works and how you can defend against it.


Cryptography: Cryptography refers to the study of secure communication, so you should be well-versed in the ways in which messages and information can be transformed and hidden from anyone but the intended recipients.


Analytics: A cybersecurity professional is not simply hired to fix security flaws, but to find them as well. Skills in analytics will enable you to perform tests and functions that detect and mitigate threats to your security network.


Soft Skills: Soft skills are the people and practical skills that allow you to navigate and bring value to a professional environment.


Problem Solving: Many elements of cybersecurity responsibilities, such as risk management, reverse engineering, and analytics, require excellent problem-solving skills.

Critical Thinking Everyone has critical thinking capabilities, but what really makes this a skill is the ability to apply it everywhere and at all times.


Communication: Communication is an essential skill within any collaborative work environment. No matter how skilled you are, you won’t be able to maximize the value you bring to a team without good communication skills.


Flexibility and Adaptability: Hackers are constantly finding new ways to steal private information, so it’s important that cybersecurity specialists stay up to date on the latest developments.


Accuracy and Attention to Detail: Producing accurate work is a necessity in cybersecurity, as any mistakes you make may be exploited by cybercriminals.


Stress Management: When an attack does happen, cybersecurity professionals must work in a high-stress environment to combat the situation. It’s important to be able to keep a cool head in order to work efficiently and reduce stress. Persistence Malware and cyberattacks are created by talented individuals, and defending against them is not always straightforward. A cybersecurity analyst needs to be able to keep chipping away at a difficult problem until it’s solved.


Teamwork: When you work in a team, no job is truly done in isolation. Collaboration is a constant. You and your peers will check each other’s work frequently, so teamwork is an important skill.


Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs You Can Get Without Any Experience


Cyber Security Job pyramid


The diverse backgrounds of cybersecurity professionals are encouraging for those entering the field. Many have successfully started their cybersecurity careers without prior experience, and formal education in cybersecurity isn’t always a prerequisite. Self-initiated experience, such as participating in penetration testing or working towards becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker, can be invaluable.


Cybersecurity encompasses a variety of niches and roles, often filled by more experienced team members. However, for beginners without experience, starting with general roles that offer a wide scope of responsibilities is ideal. Here are the top job picks for those new to the field:


Information Security Analyst: As an information security analyst, you’ll contribute to the protection of company assets by analyzing data and information systems for current and emerging threats. These cybersecurity professionals monitor the network for security breaches and may conduct digital forensics following a breach.


Skills you’ll need:

Risk management

Analytics

Teamwork and communication

Identity and access management

Knowledge of cloud security

Knowledge of software development and information systems


Incident Analyst/Responder: Incident responders monitor real-time security alerts and respond to cybersecurity alerts as they happen. After resolving the problem, you’ll also need to create countermeasures to prevent it from happening again.


Skills you’ll need:

CompTIA Security+

Stress management

Industry tools (e.g., Splunk, MS Excel)

Knowledge of incident response operations


IT Auditor: It’s an IT auditor’s job to prepare companies for the third-party audits they receive, by ensuring they are in compliance with industry standards. There are many cybersecurity jobs in this field.


Skills you’ll need:

Analytics

Knowledge of security and privacy protocols

Communication (with auditors and customers)

Report writing


Junior Penetration Tester: A penetration tester focuses on the ethical hacking or penetration testing of company systems to uncover vulnerabilities and fix them before hackers can exploit them. This role often involves attacking systems to identify weaknesses and then reporting back to the team with recommendations on how to improve security.


Skills you’ll need:

Knowledge of the fundamentals of cybersecurity

Programming skills (e.g., Python, C++)

Understanding of networking and IT systems

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills


Network Security Administrator: As a network security administrator, you’ll be responsible for maintaining and securing the integrity of a company’s network infrastructure. You’ll monitor network traffic, configure firewalls, and implement security protocols to keep company data safe.


Skills you’ll need:

Knowledge of network protocols and security measures

Experience with firewalls, VPNs, and intrusion detection systems

Strong troubleshooting skills

Ability to work under pressure


Cybersecurity Specialist: Working as a cybersecurity specialist, you’ll be responsible for protecting a company’s information systems from cyber threats. This includes conducting security assessments, developing security policies and procedures, and implementing security controls to mitigate risks.


Skills you’ll need:

Understanding of cybersecurity principles and best practices

Knowledge of security tools and technologies

Experience with risk management and vulnerability assessment

Strong analytical and problem-solving skills



These roles offer excellent opportunities for beginners to gain experience and build a foundation in cybersecurity. While certifications and formal education can enhance your qualifications, they are not always required to land entry-level positions. By developing essential skills, networking with industry professionals, and pursuing practical experience through internships or volunteer work, you can successfully launch your cybersecurity career even without any prior experience.


Conclusion Cybersecurity is a dynamic and rapidly evolving field with numerous opportunities for beginners to enter and grow their careers. While the industry may seem intimidating to newcomers, particularly those without prior IT experience, it is entirely possible to break into cybersecurity with the right mindset, skills, and determination. By following the strategies outlined in this guide, including pursuing relevant education and certifications, gaining practical experience, networking with industry professionals, and continuously honing your skills, you can pave the way for a successful and fulfilling career in cybersecurity.


Remember that cybersecurity is not just about technical skills but also requires strong soft skills such as critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving. By continually learning and adapting to new challenges and technologies, you can thrive in this exciting and in-demand field, making a meaningful impact in protecting organizations from cyber threats and contributing to a safer digital world.

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