Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing sectors, and the cybersecurity skillset is in great demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field—also known as information security analytics—will grow by 33% by 2030. This significantly outpaces the overall growth rate of 8%.
Why is cybersecurity such a rapidly expanding field? In part, it’s because businesses in just about every sector have realized the importance of protecting themselves from hackers and data breaches. If you’re looking for a job with good compensation, plenty of demand, and enough challenges to keep you interested, then a career in cybersecurity may be a great fit for you.
The question is, how can you get started on your cybersecurity career? Don’t worry—we have you covered. Whether you’re already in the tech sector, looking to switch careers, or a new graduate just getting your feet wet, keep reading to find out how to start a career in cybersecurity.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computer networks and data against malicious actors. Cyberattacks usually aim to steal personal data, crash computer networks, or force businesses to pay a ransom to maintain their normal operations.
This is a growing problem and one which cannot be ignored. Hackers may have mainly targeted large organizations and big corporations in the past, but today even small businesses can experience ransomware attacks, data breaches, and other forms of cyberattack. The average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million in 2021, and that number may be increasing. The emotional and social cost of a data breach is also a very real issue, as more and more personal data is stored online.
Cybersecurity exists to keep people and organizations safe online. Cybersecurity analysts play an important role in society, and that’s why the job is so well compensated and in demand.
What Do Cybersecurity Analysts Do?
Cybersecurity analysts protect computer networks, hardware, and software from attacks by hackers and other malicious actors. They also protect sensitive data from being accessed by unauthorized users.
Cybersecurity analysts constantly learn about new and emerging threats to defend against them effectively. They help develop security protocols to insulate networks from threats. But cybersecurity analysts don’t just focus on prevention. When security breaches do happen, analysts need to take immediate action to protect the network and minimize the damage. Following the attack, they beef up network security and double their efforts to protect their data.
Is It Hard To Get a Job in Cybersecurity?
Here’s the good news for anyone wondering how to get a job in cybersecurity. The field is understaffed, which means there is a high demand for talented analysts but not enough to fill those jobs.
This is the cybersecurity talent gap. In a recent study, nearly all cybersecurity professionals surveyed said the cybersecurity “skills crisis” has existed for years and isn’t improving. There are still plenty of jobs waiting to be filled by skilled workers.
Some jobs in the field do require a specialized degree. But many positions require just the right skill set— you won’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree in a tech field as long as you have the right abilities. So, how can you develop the skills you need to get hired as a cybersecurity analyst?
To be an effective cybersecurity analyst, you’ll need to be fluent in computer languages like Python and PowerShell. You’ll need a solid foundation in skills like scripting and operating within cybersecurity frameworks. You’ll need to know network security operating systems and intrusion detection, and it’s a good idea to have a solid understanding of cloud computing as well.
Soft skills like communication and collaboration are also strong assets for anyone looking for a job in cybersecurity. You can develop all of these through the UMass Global Cyber Security Bootcamp.
How Much Do Cybersecurity Analysts Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a cybersecurity analyst is $103,590.
Related jobs in the same field, but with more experience or a specialized skillset required, may pay even more. Glassdoor lists the following salaries for jobs in the cybersecurity space:
What Qualifications Do You Need To Work in Cybersecurity?
The truth is, every business is a little bit different. Some value degrees in computer science or related fields, and others focus less on traditional credentials and prefer candidates who have earned a certification or have been through a great training program, like a bootcamp.
But all employers have one thing in common: they need employees with the right skills to hit the ground running. That means both the hard skills, like computer languages and threat penetration, and the soft skills, like communication and the ability to withstand high-pressure environments.
Cybersecurity is in such high demand that skilled workers can usually find entry-level work even when they don’t have a college degree in the field. And once you’ve got your foot in the door, you can move up through the ranks.
How Do I Get Started With a Cybersecurity Career?
There are plenty of great ways to get started with a cybersecurity career. You can attend a four-year college and graduate with a computer science degree. You can also begin working in an adjacent field and switch to a cybersecurity job.
Alternatively, the flexible 6-month, 100% online UMass Global Cyber Security Bootcamp is an option that will allow you to build the cybersecurity skills you need to get hired. The bootcamp prepares you to pass the CompTIA Security+ certification, which will help you stand out to employers. Our bootcamp pairs you with an industry mentor who is already an expert in the field, and you’ll learn key aspects of information technology, security auditing, and fixing malicious code. It’s a great way to prepare for a career in cybersecurity.
Do Cybersecurity Bootcamps Help You Get a Job?
The right bootcamp can put you in a great position to get a security specialist job. Look for one that provides solid mentoring from a security professional who is already well-established in the field. It should also offer career coaching, so you have access to interview practice, resume help, and time-tested job-hunting techniques.
How Do I Get Started in my Cybersecurity Job Search?
The first step of any career is becoming qualified for the position. Attending a great bootcamp puts you on the path to a cybersecurity job because it equips you with the skills you need for the field.
You’ll also need a solid resume and strong interviewing skills. And of course, it’s important to comb through job postings and make the most of every networking opportunity, including those on social media.
The cybersecurity field continues to grow, making it a great opportunity for anyone with the right skills. If you’ve always been interested in the field, maybe it’s time to explore your options! Fortunately, the UMass Global Cyber Security Bootcamp provides a direct path to building the skills you need to get hired. You’ll graduate with a certificate and plenty of hands-on experience in the field. You’ll also benefit from a mentor and career coach who can help you land your first job after graduation.
Take the first step in your new career. Learn more today about the UMass Global Cyber Security Bootcamp.