How to Become a Cybersecurity Expert

Cybersecurity is on many people’s minds these days. It is also one of the fastest-growing industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in this field are growing at a much faster pace than average. What does it take to become a cybersecurity expert? 

Get an Entry-Level Job

You have to decide how you will develop the knowledge and skills to master cybersecurity. Work experience is crucial and often the key to meeting the requirements of critical advanced certifications that will mean better opportunities in this industry. 

Since cybersecurity companies are facing a labor shortage, now is an excellent time to try for that entry-level position that will train you and pay you at the same time. You will need to go to the job interview with plenty of knowledge, though. If you are not in a place where you can go back to school, then self-study using the internet. This may give you just enough information to get your foot in the door.

Get a Certificate

Some starter certifications you can take will give you enough to get an entry-level job. Many have no experience prerequisites, too, so you can take them even if you don’t work in the tech industry. 

Some examples of starter certificates include:

  • Microsoft Technology Associate Security Fundamentals – For just a little over one hundred dollars, you can learn core security principles and some other basic security concepts. To earn the certificate, you must pass an exam. 
  • ISACA CSX Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate – CSX is recognized for some of its advanced certifications, but they also offer a fundamentals course. There are no prerequisites for this course, but you must pass a 2-hour exam to get the certificate. It costs less than two hundred dollars. 
  • CompTIA Security+ – The Security+ course helps you establish core knowledge regarding cybersecurity. The course has the approval of the U.S. Department of Defense, possibly making you eligible for an entry-level government job. That bonus means the course costs a little more. You’ll pay 381 dollars to take the exam. 

All three of these are self-paced self-study courses. Once you think you know the information, you take an exam. If you pass, you earn the certification. You could also opt to go to college for a two or four-year degree in information systems or network security.


Get a Specialty

Cybersecurity is a broad term that includes many types of expertise. For example, you could be the person who designs secure networks or stays up to date on trends in hacking. You could also test the various connections looking for intruders. 

Each path is significant, but they can be different, too. You get to the expert level faster if you pick one instead of trying to learn everything at once.