Today’s story from WSJ on the urgent demand for cybersecurity professionals best of all training to be a cybersecurity pro does not require a lengthy college degree 4-5 years, a master’s degree another 1-2 years before hitting the $100,000 a minimum wage in high cost cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco but a nice salary in a mid to low cost city. All the skills required to obtain cybersecurity status start with a humble desktop personal computer preferably a Windows based machine oh a dedicated open source computer or Linux. Experiment, have natural inclination for probing or as Steve Jobs said-Curiosity is important. Formal training can start online at CompTIA, bootcamps, or local accelerated program at a community college. In 2 years or less with verifiable experience or as the WSJ article mentioned have a portfolio.
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Daniel Elisio says
I support the basic idea laid out in the WSJ article above. A young (or mature) person should really take a hard look at the opportunities in the job world that can get them the income and opportunities they desire. The IT world should not be overlooked. Cybersecurity is not the only avenue into IT, because many folks start in a tech help desk role and can eventually move into system admin, security, and / or networking roles. I think that the CISCO, Linux, and Microsoft system admin and networking certifications can take a person a very long way. It must be noted that the CISCO certification paths alone provide a very rich set of options to include general networking, cloud admin, modern wireless networks, security and data center management. This should not be overlooked. One only has to look at Microsoft’s abundance of mid level and professional level certifications to see that an interesting and diverse career can evolve from just about any path: web development, system admin, Machine Learning and / or Cloud administration. I did not mention Amazon’s AWS in any of the previous discussion, but it too represents accessible opportunity for training in the cloud. There are many online resources to learn and expand one’s earning potential, a short list of which follows:
There is no excuse not to be learning or current with some aspect of technology. Doing so may pay your bills and get you to a new place professionally. Something to think about.
Robert D Flores says
Yes I agree with Daniel Elisio, the IT operations world should not be overlooked.
In fact, the article points out that among those cybersecurity professionals who came from an IT background, over half of them credited their IT background as being helpful when they later transitioned into cybersec.
Therefore, if one is a bit unsure or anxious about getting into the cybersec field, he (or she) might consider IT helpdesk first.
A year or two in this field will expose the person to working with systems and users that are part of a domain, which is how most businesses and organizations are set up.
This is quite a contrast than working on systems that are independent and set up locally.
If one is not interested in providing IT support to users, yet is also still ambivalent about getting into cybersec right away, then the software quality assurance field might be a viable alternative.
The field is similar in that the QA tester is looking for anomalies (bugs) in the software being it is released.
This helps to prevent disruption and to expose vulnerabilities in the software, so that they are corrected before being released.
All three of these fields, Cybersecurity, IT Support, and QA testing do not require a college degree, though they do require some proficiency in computer hardware/software, and a certification or two would help as well.
Impressive answer from an IT pro who knows what it takes to succeed in IT.