How to Land an Entry Level Cyber Security Job - Part 2

 
 
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Designing the perfect resume is only a fraction of your job hunting efforts. Not only do you need to list the information effectively and efficiently, but you also need to be able to back it all up. The right skill set, relevant past experiences, and education are some of the credentials needed to get you through the door of any entry-level cyber security position.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN I.T

Past professional experience in any area of information technology can be very helpful when taking a step towards cyber security. Experience in I.T provides you with a solid foundation to expand your understandings and skill set. Instead of starting from the bare bottom, you are already a few steps ahead.

For example, if you have a history in network administration, it will be easier for you to convert into a network security analyst role. Displaying a well-established competency in networking, in addition to the right company, this can be considered applicable past experience. There is a variety of cyber security domains that you could potentially convert into from other areas in information technology.

To help you land an entry-level role in cyber security it helps to have:

  • 3-5 years of experience in an I.T field

  • Experience in key technological areas such as networking, programming, and software development.

  • Working knowledge of Linux, Unix, and Windows operating systems.

CYBER SECURITY EDUCATION

When it comes to formal education. A bachelors and or masters degree in cyber security or computer science can compound your chances. This can be one of the easiest ways to knock on the door of entry-level positions, but there are still some barriers you might have to overcome before that door will open. Just getting a degree on its own is not a guaranteed ticket to getting hired. Acquiring certain certifications in addition to your formal education will improve your odds.

For example, If you want to become a penetration tester, getting a certification in CEH (Certified Ethical Hacking) is a way to back up your knowledge in the area. When you are looking to specialize in a specific area of cyber security, it is important to complete the right kind of certifications. Certain ones will look better on your resume than others.

TOP REQUESTED CERTIFICATIONS:

TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE:

Not only will a proper education and specialized certification help, but a well-rounded knowledge of certain technologies will also fill out your cyber security skill set.

  • Programming / Soft. Development: Java, C++, and others.

  • Scripting: Python, shell

  • Operating Systems: Linux / Unix / Windows

  • Networking: Firewalls, TCP/IP, IDS, IPS

  • Cutting edge technologies

    • IOT

    • Cloud

    • Encryption

    • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

 

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, IT'S WHO YOU KNOW.

It’s easier to get someone to open the door when they know the person on the other side of it. Networking is vital for anyone in any field. Building strong and positive professional relationships can be huge contributors when working towards getting an entry-level position. Including continuing to grow your entire career. It is best to put yourself out there and network as much as possible. Attending meetups, conventions, open houses, tech panels, or even engaging in online communities. Getting noticed and connecting with the right person has a world’s worth of advantages.

 

FOCUS

As the cyber security domain is so vast, be sure to focus into one area of expertise. You want to develop and master your theory knowledge. Understanding concepts and the current state of affairs in a particular area. Staying on top of what the biggest issues that area is currently facing. Working knowledge on how to discover, analyze, discover and develop solutions to those problems. You may not be able to implement those solutions, but demonstrating your competency in depth is important. When someone looks at your resume, the employer should see consistency across the page.

 

KEY TRAITS (CONCEPTS AND METHODOLOGY)

Beyond a working knowledge, your character traits and interpersonal skills can work in your favor when landing an entry-level role in cyber security. Critical thinking and communication skills are essential when working on a different variety of different roles and tasks. Having a strong sense of intellectual curiosity can help keep you on your toes and allow you to become more well rounded during your career growth. You should have the desire to question everything so you can try to understand what it is. For example, how wifi works to how security is implemented. The more technical knowledge you have, the better off you will be. The drive to learn more and do better trumps anyone who just goes with the flow.

 

TO GET STARTED

When starting off your career in cyber security, some of the more common entry-level positions you can find are:

  • SOC Analyst

    • The Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst position is assigned to the Security Operations Team. The primary purpose of this position is to help coordinate and report on cyber incidents impacting State, Local, Tribal and Territorial (SLTT) governments.

  • Junior Pen Tester

    • Or you could say ethical hacker, goes through and scouts for and exploits any security vulnerabilities in web-based applications, networks, and systems.

  • IT Security Auditor

    • IT Security auditors work closely with a company so the can provide an audit of their security systems. Once the audit is completed, the security auditor will then provide a detailed report of information systems. From these reports, it will outline whether the system is running efficiently or effectively. These audits can help to make changes where it is needed in order to improve the integrity of the companies systems.

  • Network Security Analyst

    • These analysts are there to ensures a company's information systems and computer networks are secure. They conduct investigates on security breaches, develop strategies for any issues that may appear, and utilizes the help of firewalls and antivirus software in order to maintain security.


Beyond the resume, the skills, and the networking leverage; it all comes down to also applying to the right position from the get-go. A job might look great to you, but it might not be the perfect fit. Making sure you apply to the right jobs that you are qualified for will also help you land that position.