How to Get a Job in Cybersecurity
By The Fullstack Academy Team
Last updated 3/24/2022
If you’re reading this blog post, you likely already know that cybersecurity is booming. Maybe you’ve read about the 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs or learned that—despite the pandemic’s impact on the economy—the career opportunities in cyber continue to grow. But how can you actually get a job in cybersecurity? Read on to get answers to some of the most-asked questions about launching a cyber career.
Do You Need a Technical Background to Get Hired?
No—you don’t need a prior technical background or work experience to get your first job in cyber. In fact, 70–80% of Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp grads who earned jobs had no tech experience before the bootcamp. We’ve had alums transition from previous careers in marketing, event-planning, and a range of other fields.
A “secret” to getting your first job in cybersecurity is knowing how to leverage the skills you've built or utilized in your previous work to make you stand out to employers. In fact, helping grads navigate their career switch by leveraging past skills is one of the most important goals of the Fullstack Cyber Career Success team.
How Can You Train to Become a Cybersecurity Analyst?
To get the skills you need for your first cybersecurity job, there are a few major training options. Common methods include university undergraduate programs and master’s programs or tech bootcamps.
The Cyber Bootcamp route is beginner-friendly and has no degree prerequisites. At Fullstack, the part-time program lasts six months and spreads the learnings over classes that meet twice weekly in the evenings and on Saturday mornings. Additionally there is the immersive, full-time bootcamp, which lasts three months and is much more rigorous.
All the programs mentioned above will prepare students for entry-level cybersecurity jobs like Cybersecurity Analysts.
What Specific Skills Are Employers Looking For?
Thriving in a cybersecurity career depends on interpersonal strengths as well as technical skill. A solid training program should help you master both. Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp teaches both the technical expertise and practical skills - like how to work on a cyber team in any role - so you can launch not only a successful cybersecurity career, but a fulfilling one.
1. A Passion to “Live and Breathe” Cybersecurity
Employers are looking for individuals who have a thirst for knowledge to keep current with cybersecurity news, bloggers and social media in their spare time while applying their constantly evolving skill set with side projects that demonstrate their ability to solve cybersecurity problems in real world situations. In order to do this, a firm background in technical skills and expanded soft skills must to nurtured.
2. Technical Expertise
In a recent episode of Breaking into Cybersecurity, former Gilt Groupe CISO and current Security Scorecard CEO Aleksandr Yampolskiy shared, “No matter how big the organization, a good cybersecurity professional needs to have a great technical understanding in order to be effective—even if he or she is not doing all of those tasks.”.
To get you set up for success technically, Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp leads you through a five-part curriculum covering:
- Foundations (AWS basics, Linux Command Line, Computing and Networking Concepts),
- Security Essentials (Data Encoding, Basic Cryptography, Networking and HTTP, System Administration, Security Concepts)
- Red Team (Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing Methodology, Attack Types, OWASP Top 10),
- Blue Team (Threat Modeling, AWS Best Security Practices + Tools, Firewalls, System Hardening, Identity and Access Management, Log Hunting, Splunk, Incident Response).
Last, you’ll complete a Final Project, which will be a powerful tool as you apply for your first role.
3. Practical Skills
Soft skills and the ability to collaborate are important in any job, but they are especially critical when working in the cybersecurity field. According to Fullstack Director of Academics Veer Dedhia, Fullstack prioritizes collaboration because it’s essential to being a successful cybersecurity expert.
Veer says, “A job in cybersecurity requires teamwork and communication, both soft skills that are equally important as the technical know-how. You often have to provide 24-7 coverage, which requires shifts and may even include teams in different time zones.”
He continues, “Documenting and communicating incident state is paramount to ensuring that your coworkers can pick up where you left off. Larger incidents require escalation to incident management teams, which must operate as a cohesive team.” Naturally, given these demands, communication is essential.
According to Veer, “Growing in a cyber career requires learning these soft skills, especially to communicate technical concepts to nontechnical audiences. At Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp, we train all of the above alongside our rigorous technical training.”
Want to become a cybersecurity pro?
Learn more about our full-time and part-time cybersecurity bootcamps.
The Fullstack Academy Cyber bootcamp prepares you with the skills, knowledge, specialized training, and support needed to pursue these recognized industry certifications. With some additional independent study, your Cyber skills and foundational understanding of security concepts will help you ace these assessments–helping your resume to stand out in the field.
This entry-level certification demonstrates you have the foundational knowledge to qualify for entry-level Cyber positions–as well as practice identifying and analyzing security incidents.
Following certification in CompTIA Security+, students may pursue this intermediate-level Cybersecurity Analyst certification to highlight their proficiency in the application of behavioral analytics.
Getting Your First Job
There are many techniques you can use to get your first cybersecurity job offer. Professional Career Coaches at Fullstack Academy support grads in optimizing the job search process with technical resume and LinkedIn page writing assistance, networking guidance, best practices, and interview preparation.
Plus, the team will be working behind the scenes to recruit employers for our in-house networking event, find openings that are right for you, and stay up-to-date on the latest recruiting trends to make sure they prepare you for everything.
Looking Ahead: Cyber Career Growth Potential
There are many opportunities for advancement in a cyber career path. Surprising to most people is that an entry-level cyber professional can, in as little as one year, increase their pay to $101,231 as a Penetration Tester.
After four years in the field, they can work their way up to a Cybersecurity Architect role with an average salary of $146,144 (source: cyberseek.org). It’s worth noting that this is just one example of what your career path could look like as an ambitious cyber expert. As with other industries, everyone’s path will be different.
Today, the New York, Newark, and Jersey City regions have nearly 30,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions, according to CyberSeek, and the supply of cyber workers is very low. Since the job demand will continue to grow higher as more and more businesses need to protect themselves from cyber threats, now is a perfect time to launch your cyber career.
Apply to the Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp today or check out our free Hacking 101 video series focusing on current cyber threats or try our free Cyber OnRamp course to learn Linux Command Line for beginners.