Thursday, 21 May 2020

5 Career Tips for First-Time Cybersecurity Job Seekers

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It’s a great time to work in cybersecurity. Demand for security professionals continues to grow, and the need for qualified people with certain security certifications is strong.

But getting that first opportunity to work in security can be challenging. That’s because security is a field where personal relationships count just as much as experience and education. So how can you get a leg up and develop the qualifications necessary to land a job? Here are 5 suggestions for forging your path to gainful security employment.

Train and Join an Association


One of the first places to start when you’re preparing for a career in security is a reputable association that offers training and education to help you learn the skills necessary for success. Whether through in-person classroom training or online self-paced instruction, earning a respected cybersecurity certification is a critical initial step. Education credentials not only give you a foundational background of information, they also set you up with membership in a network of cybersecurity professionals who can offer advice and feedback about job searching.

Network


Cybersecurity is a deeply personal field where relationships matter as much as skills and experience when it comes to finding employment. Once you’ve joined an association, you should plan to mine the contacts from within that group. Networking can mean you find leads on potential job openings within key sectors, positions and employers.

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Seek out local chapter events for security industry groups and plan to attend national security conferences when possible. These are some of the best opportunities to have conversations and network with others in the industry.

Look for Internships or Volunteer Opportunities


We know. Working for free is not ideal. But experience is just as important as education and certification in security. Without being able to demonstrate some relevant experience, many security jobs, even entry level, may be out of reach for first-time job seekers.

An internship can provide real-world experience. And volunteering for organizations can offer you the opportunity to learn some of the skills and tools you need for a security job. It is like getting free education.

Look for opportunities to volunteer or intern at companies you are interested in, or at nonprofit organizations pursuing a mission you are passionate about. Also, keep in mind that some internships do pay – and both volunteering and interning can even lead to full-time positions in the future.

Get a Mentor


Finding a mentor who is already working in cybersecurity can open up additional channels to new connections and job leads. It is also a great way to get constructive feedback and advice as you job search. An experienced, trusted mentor can help you realistically evaluate if you are ready for that job opening you are eyeing and can offer advice on where you might need to refine or develop your skills.

Be Patient


It can be tough to land that first paying opportunity in the cybersecurity field. While there is a global shortage of around 3 million cybersecurity professionals, getting your foot in the door is a process. But with patience and a plan, trust that you will get there.

Source: isc2.org

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