How To Get into Cybersecurity with No Experience?

Have you ever thought about, “how to get into cybersecurity with no experience?”

Luckily, you don’t necessarily need years of experience in the industry to get a job in cybersecurity.

There are plenty of ways to break into cybersecurity with no experience. We’ll share them below, but first let’s dive into what skills you don’t need to get started down this career path.

Table of Contents

How to get into cybersecurity with no experience! Click below to find out!

You Don’t Need Experience to Get into Cybersecurity
Do I Need a Degree to Get a Job in Cybersecurity?
Don’t Know How to Code?
Do I Need a Security Clearance to Work in Cyber Security?
What Qualifications Do I Need for Cybersecurity?
Get to Know the Cybersecurity Industry
How to Get into Cybersecurity with No Experience? (6 tips)

You Don’t Need Experience to Get into Cybersecurity

Here’s the thing about cybersecurity: you don’t need experience to get into it.

The industry is in desperate need of talent, so there are plenty of entry-level jobs available.

And since they’re entry-level, they’re often not that demanding in terms of skill set or previous experience.

You can find one where you can learn on the job and take on more responsibility as you go along.

If you’re willing to put in the hard work, there’s no reason why a few months at an entry-level position couldn’t turn into years of full-time work in cybersecurity.

Do I Need a Degree to Get a Job in Cybersecurity?

No, you do not need a degree to get an entry-level job. However, if you plan on getting a degree, you’ll probably want to determine if pursuing a cybersecurity degree is worth it to you.

Don’t Know How to Code?

No, you don’t need to know how to code. Cyber security is an extremely broad discipline.

If you want to be able to get into more technical roles like penetration tester, ethical hacking, or threat hunting, then having coding knowledge is an absolute necessity.

However, if you’re interested in analyst, engineer, or management roles; or learning more governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) type of work, there isn’t much demand for coding skills (although they’re still valued).

Do I Need a Security Clearance to Work in Cyber Security?

No, you do not need a security clearance to work in cybersecurity. And, the good news is that a security clearance is not always required for entry-level positions.

However, if you want to work in more senior roles or positions that have access to sensitive and/or classified information, then a security clearance may be necessary.

In short, if you have no idea what kind of work you’d like to be doing in cyber security, there’s no harm in applying for entry level roles for government positions; if the position does require a clearance, it’ll be stated in the job posting.

What Qualifications Do I Need for Cyber Security?

Good qualifications are how to get into cybersecurity with no experience! In order to become a cybersecurity professional, you’ll need certain skills and qualities. A few of the most essential ones are:

Team Work

Cybersecurity is not a one-person job. You’ll be expected to work with teammates to achieve the organization’s overall security infrastructure.

Problem Solving

Solve various problems related to security breaches and vulnerabilities. For example, you might be tasked with determining the source of a network breach or what data was compromised.

Analytical Thinking

Understand the mindset of the malicious actor, and what their intent was when creating the threat. This may also involve analyzing malware code and determining what type of attack it could cause or whether it has been used before (aka “reverse engineering”).

Get to Know the Cybersecurity Industry

It’s important to understand what the cyber field entails before you jump into it.

As such, the cybersecurity industry employs a range of professionals including…

  • Technology vendors
  • Consulting firms
  • Financial services firms
  • Government agencies
  • Research institutions
  • Large corporations
  • Media outlets
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Healthcare
  • Legal service firms
  • Defense contractors

Because there are so many areas of cybersecurity, you really need to understand what area you wish to pursue.

How to Get into Cybersecurity with No Experience?

Once you understand the basic qualifications, researched the industry, and are strongly motivated, it’s time to start the process. Let’s look at a few things you can do to jump start your career:

Teach Yourself Cybersecurity!

The best way to start learning cyber security is to “learn by doing.” Get your hands dirty and start solving problems; there are a couple of things that you can do to get started:

Reading Material. Read books, articles and blogs about cyber security. The internet is full of great resources for learning about the topic.

Educational Videos. Watch educational videos on video platforms like Cybrary or Udemy – there are countless hours of content available online! If you want free, a common approach to learning cybersecurity is through free self-study opportunities such as those provided by YouTube. Professor Messor and Sunny Classroom, are two popular online channels with hundreds of videos teaching security topics.

Find an IT Support Role

Find a job in a related field that’ll help you get the experience you need. For example, if you want to work as an incident responder and don’t have much experience, consider applying for jobs as a junior security analyst or IT support specialist.

These roles will give you access to computers and networks similar to those used by incident responders, allowing you learn about them firsthand and gain some valuable knowledge.

You can also try volunteering at local charities or non-profit organizations where they may have their own tech teams who could use some extra help.

This could be valuable especially if there are any technical issues that need fixing or anything else related

Whether or not your first job is right for you, it will give you a chance to get some experience and make connections with people who can help out later on.

Don’t Stop Applying!

If you find a cyber position that interests you and seems relevant, don’t be afraid of applying even if there are no open positions available!

And, if they like what they see in your application materials, they’ll likely keep it on file until an opening comes up.

And even if there aren’t openings right now, getting their attention now means that when one does come up everyone will remember who applied before anyone else did (or at least know who to call).

Cyber Security Apprenticeship Opportunities

If you want some hands-on experience, another option for getting into cybersecurity trying a cyber apprentice program.

They’re shorter than an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree and can be completed in one year or less, depending on the program difficulty.

Consider Getting a Cyber Security Certification

Security certifications are designed as a way for employers and hiring managers to gauge applicants’ skills and experience in cybersecurity.

If you have no prior job experience, certifications can help make up for that lack of work history.

Certifications are also great because they’re usually very hands-on, which gives you the opportunity to learn directly from other professionals who have been working in the field for years.

The lessons you’ll take away from these certifications can be directly applied toward your own career goals in cybersecurity!

Before deciding what security certification you want to achieve, consider your cybersecurity goals and the areas of interest.

For example, if want to become a security analyst, the CompTIA Security+ certifications is a great start. But, if you want to become a security auditor, then perhaps ISACA’s CISA certification would be better suited for you.

Thinking about a cybersecurity bootcamp to jump start your career! Authorized security bootcamps offer a great way to quickly get you on the right track for a security career.

Invest in a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity

If you already have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, a Master’s degree in cybersecurity may be a good place to start.

This can be done online and typically takes less than two years.

If you’re interested in pursuing a master’s degree, find an online university program offering an accelerated timeline to complete your coursework faster.

by Amit Doshi

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