How Long Will it Take to Become a CyberSecurity Professional?- Before you begin your cyber security journey, you’ll almost certainly wonder how long it will take to get started. How long will it take for you to become a cyber security expert? While much of the answer is dependent on your background, there are a few general guidelines we can follow and things we can do to speed up the process.
So, how long does it take to become knowledgeable about cyber security? Most people can get into an entry-level cyber security position in two to four years if they focus on gaining education, experience, certifications, and a security clearance.
You’ll notice that I mentioned four requirements: education, experience, certifications, and clearance. The first three are crucial to your cyber security success and quick entry into the field. Security clearance is not required for all jobs, but it is for many, and it is certainly desirable.
You’ll also notice that our timeline is typically two to four years long. Let’s look at how you can get into cyber security in as little time as possible by accelerating your timeline.
Strategy #1: Take Classes in Cyber Security
Never before in human history has there been such a wide range of learning opportunities available to such a large number of people for such a low cost and effort. This is also true in terms of cyber security. There are hundreds of excellent college degree and technical school options available, including many that are available online or on a self-paced basis.
If you’re pursuing a career in cyber security, you should be enrolled in some sort of class or training nearly all of the time. There are far too many things to learn and far too many ways to learn to not take part in an educational programme.
Strategy #2: Don’t Concentrate All of Your Attention on Your Classes
You’re off to a solid start if you used strategy #1. But don’t make the common error of assuming that enrolling in a college or training class will suffice.
Many of us feel that a college degree alone will secure our place in a career, which is an inaccurate belief that appears to be widespread in our higher education system and society in general. Alternatively, we may believe that graduation from a technical school will properly prepare us. Many people complete four years of coursework with no further preparation, then walk across the stage at graduation and assume they moved from not ready to join the workforce to ready to join the workforce at that point.
Many college advisers and guidance counsellors are now aware that getting people prepared requires more than just the classroom, and many are advising this. However, it appears that we have been socialised to believe that a classroom education is the golden ticket. Consider what a college counsellor recently told me:
“Students will not sign up for anything extra to improve themselves,” and “We can’t get the students to participate in any extracurricular activity.”
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just attending coursework would get you into cyber security. You’ll have to do a lot more than that, and you’ll have to do it all at once.
Strategy #3: Take a look at the Cyber Security Daily
Reading an hour or more per day is one of the most effective strategies used by the most successful people in every field. Warren Buffett has spent much of his career reading 500 pages or more per day. Mark Cuban spends three hours or more per day reading.
Within three years, reading an hour or more per day in your field will propel you into the top 10%. There is so much to learn about cyber security, and so many new attacks occur on a weekly basis, that the only way to stay informed is to read every day.
Make it a habit to read something about cyber security every day, whether or not you’re taking a class at the time.
Strategy #4: Get a Technical Job ASAP
If you’re working a part-time job or not working at all, you should start looking for a part-time job in the technology field right away. Because of the high demand for technology professionals at all levels, many employers will hire part-time rather than full-time employees, offer flexible schedules when they would not otherwise, or hire someone with less experience than they would normally require.
Many people who are just starting out and have taken a few courses believe they aren’t ready yet. They believe they don’t know enough yet to transition from a non-technical to a technical position. This isn’t correct.
Given the abundance of opportunities and the increased flexibility of employers, you should take advantage of the opportunity to supplement your education with practical experience.
If you work full-time and rely on your salary to support yourself or your family, keep in mind that part-time options exist, including technological options that allow you to work from home. Investigate these possibilities and think outside of the box.
To shorten your timeline, it’s critical to supplement your coursework with experience as soon as possible.
Strategy #5: Earn a Certification Every Six Months
Many of your classes will be related to well-known certifications in the field of cyber security. And you won’t be in classes at some point during the year, most likely during the summer or winter. Make use of this time outside of class to study for and obtain certifications.
Certifications provide you with an additional credential in addition to the classes you’re taking, and they’re important to a lot of employers. Perhaps most importantly, they demonstrate extra effort and drive, and they set you apart from everyone else in a cyber security training programme who isn’t earning certifications.
Every six months, work on obtaining a new certification.
Strategy #6: Attend Cyber Security Networking Events
Every month, a variety of professional networking events and conferences are held throughout the county. The majority of them do not require membership and are inexpensive to attend. Look into chambers of commerce, technology councils and groups, and professional associations in your area. In Google, look for cyber security events in your city. Make a schedule and attend several of these events.
Attending cyber security events benefits you in ways you may not realise. It primarily allows you to network with people who are further along in their cyber security careers than you are. The majority of these people will be more than happy to assist you.
You’re more likely to hear about job openings, get resume help, land an interview, find an internship, find a mentor, and get someone to sponsor you for a security clearance through these people. It’s important to remember that it’s not just about what you know, but also about who you know.
There are numerous strategies listed above to help you get started on your path to a career in cyber security. It may appear to be overwhelming. Don’t allow it to happen. Take it one step at a time and enjoy the ride. Keep in mind that every action you take will bring you closer to your goal of pursuing a career in cyber security. While you are under no obligation to follow these steps, they have been shown to be the most effective in shortening the time it takes you to find work.
Is it possible to learn cyber security for free? There are numerous free resources available online and through local library systems that can provide a wealth of information on cyber security. Investing in additional knowledge will almost certainly become necessary at some point along any learning path.
How long does it take to get knowledgeable about cyber security? Most people will need at least two years of dedicated study to adequately comprehend and apply basic cyber security concepts. This time frame is partly dependent on the person’s background and how in-depth they wish to study about cyber security.