Six ways to take your cyber security career to the next level

Cyber security professionals have never been more important to businesses than now. Cybercrime damages are predicted to cost more than $6 trillion by 2021 and organisations are clamouring for skilled security experts to help protect themselves.

With a reported worldwide shortage of cyber security professionals anticipated to hit 1.8 million by 2022, businesses are paying amazing salaries to attract the best specialists.  

Here are six things you can do to show your security credentials to an employer and help you kick your cyber security career into the next gear: 

Get exposure to security early on

If you are in the early stages of your IT career and looking to progress into your first, fully-fledged security role, getting exposure to a variety of situations while in a 2nd or 3rd line support position is key. Being able to demonstrate this experience to an employer is a great way to help you secure that first cyber security position.

Take certifications

Whether you are new to cyber security or looking to take the next step up the career path, gaining certifications are a sure fire way to demonstrate your commitment to continued professional development. 

Certifications like the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) could help you unlock higher-level positions and give you a huge advantage over other candidates for senior positions.

For those looking for entry-level roles, the CompTIA Security+, GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF) and Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) are good differentiators to stand out to employers.

Improve your soft skills

As you move up the cyber security ladder, your so-called ‘soft skills’ will become more and more important. Chief Information Security Officers, Heads of Governance and other senior security positions will be require you to effectively communicate complex technical information to key business stakeholders. 

Working closely with mentors in senior positions is a great way to build your own communication skills and develop your own leadership ability. Talking about your soft skills and having tangible examples of how you have dealt with stakeholders in the past will help impress an employer at an interview or in a covering letter. 

Become a specialist

Nobody can be a specialist in every single area of a field as diverse as cyber security, so focusing on a niche part of cyber security can be key to unlocking the top salaries in the industry. While an exposure to all aspects of security is vital in the early stages of your career to gain a foundation of knowledge, once you know which direction you want to head, then specialising is the path to a higher salary and progressing your career. 

Whether you want to head down the network security or app security route, or specialise as an ethical hacker or security operations analyst, organisations are looking to pay the best salaries to true specialists, rather than a jack-of-all-trades. 

Build your security network

Whether on social media or by attending meet-ups with fellow industry professionals, it is important to get insight into how different businesses and other seasoned security specialists tackle problems. Not only that, by growing you network you find out more about the intricacies of other security roles to help you tailor your future career path, but you never know how extending your network might help you find a new role when you begin your job search.

Tell a story on your CV

Wherever you are in your cyber security career, it is vital that your CV isn’t just a long list of skills and platforms you have used. Those who can use their CV to tell the story of how they have applied their skills and the benefits and problems they have solved are likely to catch the eye of an employer. 
 

Take a look at our latest cyber security jobs or contact our team for more cyber security careers advice.

Are you an employer looking to hire your next cyber security professional? View our cyber security employer site to find out how we can help.
 

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