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    How to Get a Job in Cybersecurity

    By The Fullstack Academy Team

    How to get a job in cybersecurity 2

    Last updated: May 2024

    With industry experts predicting there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2025, it’s no surprise many are looking to break into the field. As opportunities in cyber continue to grow, you may be wondering—how can I actually get a job in cybersecurity? Read on to get answers to some of the most common questions about launching a cyber career.

    What Is Cybersecurity?

    In today's hyper-connected world, our personal and professional lives are increasingly reliant on digital technologies. But with this reliance comes a growing vulnerability in the form of cyber threats.

    Cybersecurity is the digital shield that protects networks and individuals alike from these ever-evolving threats. It safeguards our sensitive information, systems, and infrastructure from data breaches, unauthorized access, and malicious attacks. Understanding this fundamental function of cybersecurity fundamentals is the first step toward navigating this in-demand field.

    Cybersecurity Job Requirements

    Landing your dream job in cybersecurity requires a unique blend of technical skills, knowledge, and interpersonal qualities. Here's a roadmap to the essential requirements for cybersecurity positions:

    • Technical Skills: A strong foundation in computer networking, operating systems, and network security principles is essential. Familiarity with firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and security information and event management (SIEM) tools is also a plus.

    • Cybersecurity Knowledge: Understanding common cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and attack vectors equips you to identify and mitigate risks—while knowledge of security best practices and compliance standards is valuable in safeguarding business data.

    • Analytical Thinking: Problem-solving skills and a keen eye for detail are crucial for analyzing complex data, identifying patterns, and troubleshooting security incidents.

    • Communication Skills: The ability to communicate technical concepts clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing, is essential for collaborating with colleagues and explaining security issues to non-technical audiences.

    • Passion for Learning: Staying updated on the latest threats and technologies is also essential for career advancement because the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve rapidly.

    While a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or cybersecurity is often preferred, industry-recognized certifications and demonstrable skills can open doors to entry-level cyber roles. We'll explore alternative paths in a later section.

    What Does a Cybersecurity Analyst Do?

    Cybersecurity analysts are defenders on the cybersecurity frontline, playing a critical role in protecting an organization's data, systems, and infrastructure. Their daily tasks can be broadly categorized into three areas:

    • Security Monitoring and Threat Detection: Cybersecurity analysts vigilantly monitor networks and systems for suspicious activity—analyzing logs and security alerts to identify potential threats. They utilize various tools and techniques to detect vulnerabilities, malware infections, and unauthorized access attempts.

    • Incident Response and Management: When a security breach does occur, analysts spring into action. They work to contain the damage, eradicate the threat, and minimize potential losses. This involves forensic analysis, evidence collection, and implementing measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

    • Security Posture Improvement: Cybersecurity analysts don't just react to threats; they proactively work to strengthen an organization's overall security posture. This involves vulnerability assessments, security configuration reviews, and implementing preventative measures like firewalls and intrusion detection systems. They also stay up-to-date on emerging or evolving threats and recommend security best practices to circumvent them.

    By performing these core tasks, cybersecurity analysts play a vital role in ensuring the digital safety and security of businesses and organizations.

    Ready to jumpstart a career in cybersecurity?

    Learn the skills you need to fight cybercrime with Fullstack Academy's part-time and full-time bootcamp programs

    Can You Get a Cybersecurity Job With a Non-Technical Background?

    Cybersecurity isn't just for tech wizards! The truth is that there's a growing demand for individuals with non-technical backgrounds in the cybersecurity field. While technical skills are necessary to launch a career in cybersecurity, a natural inclination toward logistical thinking is integral to developing them. Analytical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and strong communication can be invaluable assets for roles like cybersecurity analysts, compliance specialists, and even cybersecurity risk management professionals.

    So, if you're passionate about cybersecurity but lack a technical background, you may explore career paths that allow you to build the skills you need while leveraging your unique strengths.

    Popular Cybersecurity Jobs

    The cybersecurity landscape offers a diverse range of career paths, catering to a range of skill sets and interests. Here's a glimpse into some of the most popular cybersecurity jobs:

    • Cybersecurity Analyst: Cybersecurity analyst is a broad role where you'll monitor networks and systems for suspicious activity, analyze security alerts, and investigate potential threats. It's a role ideally suited for those who wish to build a generalized cybersecurity skill set.

    • Security Engineer: Security engineers design, implement, and maintain security controls to safeguard systems and data. This role requires a more specialized technical background and offers the opportunity to build proficiency in security tools and technologies.

    • Penetration Tester (Pen Tester): Pen testers think like attackers, identifying vulnerabilities in systems and networks before malicious actors can exploit them. This role requires a strong understanding of hacking techniques and penetration testing methodologies.

    • Incident Response Analyst: When a security breach occurs, incident response analysts take center stage. They work to contain the damage, eradicate the threat, and minimize potential losses. This role demands strong communication and collaboration skills to effectively manage security incidents.

    These are just a few examples, and the ideal entry point depends on your skills and interests. Remember, a strong work ethic, a passion for learning, and relevant certifications can go a long way in breaking into the exciting world of cybersecurity.

    Tips To Start a Career in Cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity is a growing field with tons of exciting opportunities. So, how do you break in? Here are some tips to get you started:

    1. Level-Up Your Cybersecurity Knowledge:

    Think of this as building your cybersecurity toolbox. Free online courses, tutorials, and certifications like CompTIA Security+ are a great way to learn the basics. These resources will equip you with the essential knowledge to understand cyber threats and security measures.

    2. Find Your Cybersecurity Niche:

    The world of cybersecurity is vast! Cyber professionals may focus on an array of specialties including securing networks, analyzing threats, or even investigating digital crimes. Explore different areas like security operations, network security, or digital forensics to see what interests you most. This will help you tailor your learning experience to your ideal cybersecurity job outcome.

    3. Get Hands-On Experience:

    Learning by doing is key! Here's where you can put your new knowledge to the test. Participate in cybersecurity challenges, contribute to open-source security projects (think of these as collaborative coding projects focused on security), or pursue certifications that offer practical labs.

    4. Build Your Network:

    The cybersecurity community is notoriously passionate about what they do, and is often open to sharing knowledge and experiences. Connect with other aspiring professionals, attend industry events (both online and in-person if possible), and network with people on LinkedIn. Building strong connections can open doors to potential opportunities, as well as mentors who can guide you on your cybersecurity journey.

    5. Show Off Your Skills:

    Don't wait for the perfect experience before putting yourself out there. Create a website or blog to showcase your cybersecurity knowledge and skills you've learned. You can also participate in online security forums and discussions to demonstrate your expertise.

    6. Continuous Learning:

    The world of cybersecurity is constantly changing, with new threats emerging all the time. Stay on top of the latest trends, threats, and technologies by following industry blogs, attending conferences, and taking advantage of professional development opportunities.

    Bonus Tip: Explore Cybersecurity Bootcamps!

    Cybersecurity bootcamps offer a fast-paced, intensive learning experience designed to equip you with job-ready skills in a shorter time frame compared to traditional college degrees. Look for bootcamps with strong curriculums, experienced instructors, and career support services. Fullstack Academy Cybersecurity Analytics Bootcamp is a great example, designed to transform you into a cyber threat detection and analysis specialist in a focused program in 12-26 weeks.

    By following these tips and showing your passion for cybersecurity, you'll be well on your way to landing a successful and rewarding career in this exciting field!

    Ready to jumpstart a career in cybersecurity?

    Learn the skills you need to fight cybercrime with Fullstack Academy's part-time and full-time bootcamp programs

    Do You Need Experience for a Cybersecurity Job?

    While experience is always a plus during the job search, you don’t need a prior technical background or work experience to get hired in a cybersecurity role. In fact, many cybersecurity professionals come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, such as marketing, event planning, and prior military service.

    A “secret” to getting your first job in cybersecurity is knowing how to leverage the skills you've developed in your previous work to make you stand out to employers. In fact, many cyber professionals navigated their career switch by applying existing non-technical or “soft” skills toward tech roles.

    Steps to Getting a Job in Cybersecurity

    There are many different ways to break into cybersecurity. Here are three steps you can take to prepare for a career in the field:

    1. Learn Cybersecurity Fundamentals

    The first step to kickstarting a career in cybersecurity is to learn the fundamentals and basic principles. There are many ways you can learn cybersecurity foundational knowledge, and we’ll explore a few training options below!

    2. Practice Your Skills

    To become a successful cybersecurity professional, you need to practice your skills in real-world settings. Many cybersecurity bootcamps, like those offered by Fullstack Academy, help students gain real-world experience through projects and assignments. There are also multiple cybersecurity training simulations available.

    3. Earn Cybersecurity Certifications

    Earning a cybersecurity certification is a great way to help you stand out in the hiring process—especially if you’re new to the industry. These certifications will validate your knowledge of key cyber techniques, skills, and tools. There are many cybersecurity certifications available based on your career interests and experience. Here are some of the best cybersecurity certifications to earn:

    • CompTIA Security+: 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.

    • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA): Ideal for mid-level professionals, this certification demonstrates your ability to plan, execute, and report on audits using a risk-based approach.

    • ISACA Cybersecurity Fundamentals: Tailored to students and recent graduates, this certification will help you develop a deeper understanding of cybersecurity fundamentals.

    In addition to general industry certifications, there are also vendor-specific certifications. These types of cybersecurity certifications demonstrate you have knowledge of certain cybersecurity vendors, such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. Some popular vendor-specific certifications include:

    • AWS Certified Security - Specialty Certification: This certification validates your ability to create and implement security solutions in the AWS Cloud.

    • Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals: This certification shows have a foundational understanding of general cloud concepts and Microsoft Azure.

    • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification: This certification demonstrates you have a foundational understanding of the AWS Cloud, services, and terminology. It’s ideal for those with no prior IT or cloud experience.

    How to Become a Cybersecurity Professional

    To get the skills you need for your first cybersecurity job, there are a few major training options, including university programs or tech bootcamps. Your path to becoming a cybersecurity professional will depend on your goals, interests, and prior experience. Here are a few resources to help you get started on your cybersecurity journey:

    Ready to jumpstart a career in cybersecurity?

    Learn the skills you need to fight cybercrime with Fullstack Academy's part-time and full-time bootcamp programs

    Cybersecurity Skills Employers Want

    Thriving in a cybersecurity career requires interpersonal strengths as well as technical skills. A solid training program should help you master both technical expertise and practical skills—like how to work on a cyber team in any role—so you can launch a successful and fulfilling job in cybersecurity.

    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 and trends. You can showcase your passion through side projects that demonstrate your ability to solve cybersecurity problems in real-world situations. In order to do this, firm technical skills and expanded soft skills must be nurtured.

    2. Technical Skills in Cybersecurity

    According to former Gilt Groupe CISO and current Security Scorecard CEO and Co-Founder Aleksandr Yampolskiy, “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 develop your technical expertise, the Fullstack Academy Cyber Bootcamp leads you through a seven-part curriculum covering:

    • Cybersecurity Fundamentals

    • Asset and Inventory Management

    • Network Systems

    • Programming with Python

    • System Administration

    • Red Team

    • Blue Team

    You’ll also complete real-world career simulations to put your skills to the test.

    3. Practical Skills in Cybersecurity

    Non-technical interpersonal skills, also known as soft skills, including the ability to collaborate are important in any job, but may be especially critical when working in the cybersecurity field. Cybersecurity professionals need to know how to collaborate and communicate, as they often work in teams across multiple time zones. Plus, when navigating a cybersecurity incident, it’s important to communicate and document the state of the incident so everyone knows the status and what actions have been taken.

    Getting Your First Job in Cybersecurity

    The job search will look different for everyone, but regardless of where your journey takes you, it’s important to be prepared. Before you start applying to cybersecurity roles, you should update your LinkedIn and create a technical resume, if you haven’t already.

    The interview process with vary depending upon the company, job title, and experience required. However, a typical interview process includes a phone interview, a skills test, and a technical interview.

    Finding a job can be stressful, especially if you’re making a career change to an entirely new industry. Luckily, some tech bootcamps, like those offered by Fullstack Academy, pair you with a Career Coach who can support you with technical resume and LinkedIn optimization, networking guidance, best practices, interview preparation, and more.

    Plus, the team at Fullstack Academy works behind the scenes to recruit employers for in-house networking events, find openings that are right for you, and stay up-to-date on the latest recruiting trends to make sure they prepare you for a career in the field.

    Looking Ahead: Your 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 earn an annual salary of $90,077 (Indeed) on average as an Information Security Analyst.

    After four years in the field, they can work their way up to a Cybersecurity Architect role with an average salary of $149,344 ( 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, there are over 600,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions, according to CyberSeek, and the supply of cyber workers is very low. Since job demand will continue to grow as more and more businesses need to protect themselves from cyber threats, now is the perfect time to launch your cyber career.


    1. How do I start a career in cybersecurity?

    Building a cybersecurity career starts with acquiring foundational knowledge. Taking online courses and gaining certifications like CompTIA Security+ is a great starting point. Identify your area of interest (cybersecurity analyst, network security, etc.) and gain practical skills through challenges, open-source projects, or cybersecurity bootcamps. Network with professionals and showcase your skills through a portfolio or online presence. Most importantly, stay updated on the evolving cybersecurity landscape!

    2. Is it hard to get a cybersecurity job?

    The cybersecurity job market is growing, but skills and experience are key. While some entry-level jobs require a technical background, others value strong analytical thinking and communication skills. Earning industry-relevant certifications and building a portfolio can demonstrate your capabilities, making you a strong candidate.

    3. What qualifications do I need to work in cybersecurity?

    Qualifications vary depending on the specific cybersecurity role. A bachelor's degree in computer science or information technology is often preferred, but not always required. Industry certifications, demonstrable skills, and a passion for learning can open doors, especially for entry-level positions.

    4. How do I start cybersecurity with no experience?

    Don't let a lack of experience hold you back! Build foundational knowledge with free online courses and tutorials to get started. Consider participating in cybersecurity challenges or contributing to open-source security projects to gain practical skills. Cybersecurity bootcamps offer intensive training to get you job-ready quickly.

    5. Does cybersecurity require math?

    While strong analytical thinking is essential, advanced mathematical skills aren't typically required for most cybersecurity roles. However, a basic understanding of algebra and logic can be helpful for certain areas like cryptography or vulnerability analysis.

    Ready to launch a career in one of the most rapidly growing industries? Apply to the Fullstack Academy Cybersecurity Bootcamp today!

    Ready to jumpstart a career in cybersecurity?

    Learn the skills you need to fight cybercrime with Fullstack Academy's part-time and full-time bootcamp programs