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How to Get a Cyber Security Job With No Experience

Find out how to get a job in cyber security, even if you have no experience. Get tips, learn what you need to know, get advice, and start your job journey today.

How to Get  Cyber Security Job With No Experience

The number of cyber security jobs is growing every year. The global cyber security workforce reached 5.5 million in 2023, according to the ISC2 Cyber Security Workforce Study. This is a 9% increase from 2022.

And the trend appears to be continuing. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 32% of employment growth in cyber security from 2022 to 2032. This is much faster than the market average.

First Steps for Building a Cyber Security Career

The cyber security industry is fascinating. Each year, thousands of new job opportunities become available worldwide.

Still, the question of getting into cyber security is a major concern.

You may have a degree in cyber security. A bachelor's degree is an advantage. However, developing specific skills is critical when you want to get a job in cyber security.

We advise step-by-step guidance. Here are 5 steps to take for individuals breaking into cyber security.

Select Your Desired Path in Cyber Security

Your first step is to define whether you want to hold a technical or a nontechnical job in cyber security. If you have a technical background, you should first decide:

Am I interested more in network security or information security?

Your answer will determine the skill set you should focus on to build a career in cyber security.

Knowing the skills needed for cyber security is important before you start your career. Cyber security has many branches, and each branch needs specific skills. To find the best matching cyber security role, ask yourself these competency questions:

  • Am I passionate about exploring and dissecting information?
  • What is my level of confidence in solving analytical problems?
  • Do I possess effective communication skills?
  • What is my method of sharing information with colleagues or friends?

By answering these questions, you will determine the starting point and your next career step. You can not possess each competency. However, the competencies that you possess will determine your strengths. Hence, you can gain an understanding of the exact cyber security roles that are relevant to your skills.

We coach fresh graduates interested in pursuing a career in cyber security. For any career-related inquiries, please email us at career@keepnetlabs.com.

Choose Your Ideal Work Environment

In the cyber security industry, three primary types of employment exist: fully remote, hybrid, or on-site. For individuals who are just entering the field, we advise prioritizing on-site job opportunities. At the beginning of your career, you can learn excessively from your senior colleagues. On-site positions provide an optimal support structure for these roles.

As you move up the career ladder, a wide range of opportunities will become available both at home and internationally.

Acquire Relevant Cyber Security Credentials

Gaining a relevant cyber security certification is an important step in pursuing a career in the cybersecurity industry. Getting the right certification can seem like a big challenge. We recommend starting with the general and widely recognized programs.

Later, you can move on to specialize in your area of interest as you increase your overall knowledge and skills. Hence, you have a solid foundation in cyber security and can build on your expertise over time.

Commit to Continuous Cyber Security Education

Getting a certification or undertaking a course will probably elevate you in the selection process as a candidate. We also recommend improving your knowledge through open-source training and reading articles and blogs.

To begin your learning journey in Information Technology, research and learn the following key terms and concepts.

  • Basics of Computer Systems Knowhow
  • Open-source Operating Systems
  • Open-source Firewall Knowhow
  • Basic Internet Protocols like DNS, IP, Nat
  • Basic Network Knowledge: What the network is, how the network works, how to design networks
  • Common social engineering attacks like phishing attacks and ransomware
  • Incident Response Steps
  • Data Breaches and Security Breaches

Maintain Persistence in Your Cyber Security Journey

Cyber security is a long journey. As online cyber threats quickly change, new jobs and abilities are needed. Being able to adapt to these changes is very important for a career in cybersecurity.

Common soft skills in the cybersecurity field are:

  • Self-learning
  • Problem-solving
  • Ability to work under stressful incidents
  • Agility
  • Adaptation

Roles to Start a Career in Cyber Security with No Experience

The entry-level cyber security jobs with no experience are high in number. Some of these jobs require technical knowledge, but some do not.

Technical Starter Cyber Security Roles

Some entry-level technical roles are:

  • Network Security Engineer
  • Cyber Security Specialist
  • SOC Engineer
  • Cyber Crime Specialist.

These roles generally require a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Other requirements are basic knowledge about the systems and networks, firewalls, and security vulnerabilities.

Non-Technical Starter Cyber Security Roles

You may not have an engineering degree, but you are still interested in pursuing a career in cyber security. The cyber security market offers full-time opportunities for you.

If you have little or no technical skills, Security Awareness Specialist is an ideal role to start. This role mixes basic technical skills with excellent soft skills.

How to Start a Career in Cyber Security with No Experience

We will introduce you to the best ways to get into cyber security. Below are the steps to start and advance your career as a cyber security professional.

Begin with Digital Learning Modules

The digital learning modules are a great starting point for getting into cyber security. These are courses as well as open-source materials. You can search for open source information and educate yourself about the common terms:

You can watch videos like the one below and learn about cybersecurity threats like social engineering.

Master the Basic Principles

As you get to know the basics of cyber security, you'll start to understand it better. We've talked about these technical ideas earlier. This big picture view helps you find out what parts of cyber security interest you the most. So, you can learn more about these areas and improve your skills.

Leverage Web-Based Educational Tools

Web-based educational tools and e-learning sites are great ways to increase your knowledge. You can also follow the blogs and career pages of cyber security professionals. Cybersecurity companies provide free learning tools and internship programs at certain times.

Identify Your Special Area and Career Goals

Leveraging your know-how, you will discover your skills and strengthen your muscles. Accordingly, you can decide on the cyber security career that applies to you.

Undergo Intensive Training Programs

You can improve your expertise even if you have a limited budget. You can attend sponsored cyber security awareness training programs. You can participate in boot camps and ethical hacking competitions.

Achieve Professional Accreditation

Before deciding on a certain training program, make sure that they provide a certification after completion. Accreditations are one of the most effective ways to prove your profession if you do not have hands-on experience yet.

Two of the certifications that we recommend are:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Have Hands-On Experience

To build your cyber security career, it's important to mix what you know and can do with real-world experience. You can get this experience by doing an internship or working a job in cyber security, whether it's full-time or part-time.

If you do not feel comfortable with a job yet, you can gain hands-on experience by building your lab. You can self-practice phishing simulation tools and conduct simulated phishing exercises. For example, you can send simulated phishing emails to your inbox. Furthermore, you can develop cyber habits such as secure email handling, password management, and secure web browsing.

Seek Guidance from Industry Veterans

Industry experts are incredible resources to empower your cyber security knowledge. You can follow their professional pages, LinkedIn, and blogs. Each piece of their content will contribute to your skills and expertise.

Cultivate Professional Relationships

Professional relationships support you through the next steps of your career. They are a great learning opportunity, as well.

Customize Your Application Materials

Do not forget to include information about the certifications, accreditations, and skills that you cultivated in your CVs.

You can watch the video below for the first steps of your cybersecurity career.

How to Advance Your Career in Cyber Security

To advance in your cyber security career, we have three tips for you:

  1. Information Technology offers you diverse opportunities. You can deeply advance your skills in one specific area or you can transfer to another one. For example, you can start with a penetration testing role. Your next step can be the cyber security analyst or digital forensic role.
  2. Develop yourself by taking certifications and learning from open sources. Start with improving yourself with the basics of information technology and continue advancing in network, operating, and security systems.
  3. 92% of all organizations face cyber security skill gaps. Follow the trends and gaps in the industry.

If you think you can fill the skill gaps, focus on improving yourself in the areas of your interest. Ask for career guidance from your managers, HRs, and industry leaders.

Career Path in Cyber Security Roles

Starting a career in cyber security, you will have diverse opportunities. You can choose to enhance your career in technical roles. Some of those roles are Penetration Tester, Incident Response Specialist, Cyber Security Analyst, and Vulnerability Assessments Engineer. As you make progress, you will have the chance to move up into leadership roles.

A less technical career path is also available. You can focus on the roles that contribute to increasing security awareness. You may think nontechnical roles sound less important. In reality, these roles are significant in preventing cyber attacks on organizations.

Career paths in cyber security roles.png
Picture 1: Career paths in cyber security roles

For questions about a career in cybersecurity, please reach out to our team of experts at careers@keepnetlabs.com for comprehensive insights and support.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I start a career in cyber security with no experience?

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You can start a career in cyber security even if you have no experience. To achieve this, you should develop basic terminology, know-how, and soft skills.

Can I do cyber security with no IT background?

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You can have a cybersecurity job even if you do not have an IT background. Not all cyber security roles require in-depth technical skills. You should search for nontechnical entry-level positions such as Cyber Security Awareness Specialist.

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