Never Call Yourself a Cybersecurity Expert!

Have you ever asked yourself, Am I a cybersecurity expert?

If so, then you need to really stop and read.

Okay, so what is a cybersecurity expert?

Well, that’s a good question!

Cybersecurity is such a massive field spread across so many industries, that’s it’s nearly impossible to find anything other than the most generic definition.

Surprisingly, Google with its almighty algorithms, couldn’t even give me a better answer.

Google Output for Cybersecurity Expert

And ChatGPT made it sound like a cybersecurity expert pretty much knows everything cyber.

ChatGPT Output for Cybersecurity Expert

Unfortunately, the term has such a vague definition that it has almost no meaning.

But then how do you become a cybersecurity expert?

Do you happen to know what the typical job description of a cybersecurity expert is – because I certainly don’t!

In the loosest sense, a cybersecurity expert is a professional with several years of experience in a specific domain.

As you know, you can’t really define experience with numbers, but I’d say a typical expert has at least 10+ years of experience under their belt.

And not just floating around learning skills from different domains (although there’s nothing wrong with that).

However, the bulk of your experience should be in a specific cybersecurity domain. There are more domains than you realize.

Cybersecurity Domains
Source: LinkedIn

If you’re not an expert, then check out this article to get a few helpful tips to become a cybersecurity specialist.

But if you’re good at it, why shouldn’t you call yourself an expert?

If you’re claiming you’re the expert, you better be really good at what you do.

But let’s face it, calling yourself the “expert” makes you sound like an a**!



On top of that, there’s a good chance that it’ll lead you into an expertise trap.

So, instead of calling yourself an “expert”, try “subject matter expert” (SME). If you already do, then good for you!

Cloud security SME, app security SME, etc…you get the idea.

So, should you ever call yourself a “cybersecurity expert”?

That depends, most companies with knowledgeable HR/Recruiting teams generally don’t search for cyber security experts because its overly broad.

They search for people who are experts at specific security issues.

For example, if my system’s infected with ransomware, I’m not calling a cybersecurity expert – I’m reaching out for a malware or digital forensics analyst.

So, if you’re trying to find a job using the search term “cybersecurity expert”, I wish you luck in finding a job.

Also, it probably means you’re dealing with a client that has no idea what they need, which makes it that much more frustrating.

And while the job’s themselves may require expertise; the job descriptions will likely be very generic.

But here’s a word of advice…just because you’re calling yourself a SME or “expert”, doesn’t mean employers are using those words.

You should always do a domain specific search, (e.g. “cloud security” or “application security“).

Looking to upgrade your career?
View our listing of cybersecurity jobs!

What Do You Think?

Are you currently a cybersecurity expert?

Which is better, Cybersecurity “expert” or “SME”?

What do you call yourself in front of others?

Or do you call yourself something else entirely?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

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