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Fight Cybercrime as a Cybersecurity Professional

October 26, 2021 | Ed2Go

cybersecurity worker

Do you ever imagine what it's like to fight crime? Or how a detective looks for forensic evidence? Do you have strong computer skills? If so, you may be interested in a cybersecurity career where you help companies and organizations protect their networks and much more.

The stakes are high with cybercrime on the rise. It is the greatest threat to companies worldwide, costing $6 trillion in damages in 2021. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of cloud computing, increased risk in remote work, and, unfortunately, the activities of cybercriminals. Whether it is hacking, phishing, malware, ransomware, or DDoS attacks, the industry is seeing data breaches in record numbers.

It is no wonder there is enormous demand for cybersecurity professionals. Their job is to protect computer systems and networks from cyberattacks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts employment of information security analysts to grow 33% from 2020 to 2030. That is four times faster than for all occupations on average. The 2020 median salary is $103,590. And there is a skills shortage of 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs in 2021.

Since October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, there is no better time to dive into this high-demand industry. Keep reading as we discuss the career paths you can take in this field, the certifications needed for success, and how you can break into this lucrative and rewarding career.

Breaking Into the Cybersecurity Field 

If you already have an IT background, this already gives you an edge in specializing in cybersecurity. That is because you will be applying a similar skill set of analysis and problem-solving. Plus, having knowledge and experience in hardware (networks, servers, storage, routers), software (firewalls, VPNs), database management, web applications, security (cryptography, mobile or web security), or programming (C++, Java, Python, Ruby, Perl, or Power Shell) will give you an advantage.

On the other hand, if you have no IT experience, you will need to invest in your education. Get a college degree in cybersecurity or get online training and certification.

Cybersecurity Training and Certification 

Whether or not you have an IT background, you will still need to get as many relevant cybersecurity certifications as possible. Certifications are highly valued by employers as they demonstrate that your knowledge is aligned to standards. Some of the most sought-after cybersecurity certifications are:

If you must prioritize, start with the CompTIA Security+ certification. Other popular certifications are CISSP, CISM, CISA, and CEH.

A great way to prepare for the exams and earn these certifications is to enroll in an online cybersecurity training program or course. We offer courses that cover the basics if you are just starting out. We also have advanced training if you want to pursue any of these cybersecurity certifications and accelerate your career.

Career Paths 

The thing is, there is no single job title for a cybersecurity professional. The field is enormous, and it is impossible to be an expert in everything. The key is to specialize, and with the different career paths in cybersecurity, you have multiple career options.

Operations Path

If you want to be in the trenches of fighting cybercrime, an operations career path is for you. There is a wide array of job titles that involve analyzing and responding to cyberattacks or hacking systems to test them. You can also specialize in protecting computer networks on-premises or platforms and applications hosted on the cloud.

  • Information Security Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Consultant
  • Network Administrator
  • Application Security Specialist
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Specialist
  • Penetration Tester
  • Ethical Hacker
  • Security Auditor

Engineering Path

Now, if you are more of a builder and have engineering experience, you can pursue the cybersecurity engineering route. Just like architects and engineers, your job is to design, develop, and implement secure systems to protect your network, data, and cloud applications against cyber threats.

  • Lead Software Security Engineer
  • Network Security Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Architect
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
  • Cloud Security Engineer

Leadership Path

The third career path is to take on a leadership role. You need to have years of experience and advanced degrees in information systems, cybersecurity, and management to take on this kind of responsibility. You will oversee the entire operations and manage a team of cybersecurity professionals.

  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Global Information Security Director

Want to learn more about starting a career in cybersecurity? Explore our online cybersecurity courses today >