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Essential Tech Skills for a Career in Cybersecurity

Date: 05:54 PM EDT - Oct,07 2021
Category: security
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Thanks, in part, to the vast increase in online activity over the last few years, an accelerated digital transformation, and technological innovation, cybercrime is perhaps more prevalent and ultimately more damaging than ever before.

Cybersecurity is commonplace in the modern age, from the biggest corporations right down to the individual internet user.

As technology advances and software is fine-tuned, cybercriminals seek to utilize new techniques in their efforts to deceive.

In order to stay safe online and for the world's data to remain safe from the clutches of malicious parties everywhere, a new generation of cybersecurity experts must be trained. If you feel as though the opportunity to stand at the forefront of digital discovery, to make a positive impact on the world, and put your tech skills to the test could be the ideal career path for you, here are some tips and tricks to think about.

Personal Traits

Many of the best cybersecurity professionals working today possess an incredibly diverse skill set, one that is complimented by some outstanding personal traits such as:

- Tenacity - Grueling days spent in front of the screen can take their toll, particularly when it comes to data analysis and deadlines, so perseverance and tenacity are critical.
- Attention to Detail - Learning how to spot potential breach points requires a high level of attention to detail, especially considering what's at stake when protecting high-value assets.
- Commitment to Learning - Even the most well-rounded skill set can start to lose its effectiveness if it is allowed to stagnate, so a willingness to keep learning at every turn is crucial.
- Effective Communication - Effective communication is essential to ensure that you can put points and ideas across clearly. Plus, it is generally a superb life skill to nurture, both in and out of the professional arena.

Certifications

Not only can certifications open doors in your career, but they can show potential employees and clients that you do indeed know exactly what you are talking about.

Returning to college should always be a possibility on the horizon, particularly now that the world of online education can offer you so many benefits in terms of flexibility, affordability, and of course, quality.

You may want to check out Baylor University's Online Masters in computer science for a wonderful example of what to expect from one of the highest levels of remote learning. This can look wonderful for your resume but also allow you to hone your skillset as you venture forth into the world of cybersecurity.

Understanding Programming

Working in cybersecurity means learning how to understand various programming languages to an elite level, as you will likely be working with a host of various APIs (application programming interfaces) throughout your journey.

Some examples to brush up on include:
- Python - A wealth of cybersecurity measures operate on python, and it is a popular language for programmers everywhere.
- JavaScript - In many ways, JavaScript is the language of the internet, so it is safe to say that coming to grips with the basics is fundamental in cybersecurity.
- C++ - A high-functioning programming language, one that is utilized on many different operating systems, making it a powerful ally for anyone working to combat cybercrime.

It is worth noting, however, that having a deep understanding of computer languages is not necessarily essential when first starting out in the world of cybersecurity, but it will certainly have its advantages later on down the line. Plus, it will likely turn you into a stronger candidate when you apply for your first job.

Proficient in Using Various Operating Systems

You may have inadvertently gained experience with macOS and Windows throughout your time spent in the 21st century, but it is vital that you are proficient in using Linux as well. Linux is widely utilized by cybersecurity professionals, app developers, programmers and NASA employees, partly due to its versatility and accessibility.

There are many operating systems to think about, so it is probably worth familiarizing yourself with some of the most popular iterations used in cybersecurity.

The Fundamentals of IT

There are so many behind-the-scenes IT fundamentals to consider; it might appear a little overwhelming at first.

However, it is just like learning a new language, as it will soon become second nature, provided you put the time in.

For example, understanding how a computer network operates, from the hardware to the software, can provide you with solid foundations for building your digital skillset.

An Affinity for Math

Math can be used to explain the foundational elements of much of the universe. It can be beautiful, yet for some reason, it is not always taught that way.

Possessing a strong understanding of math is a must in many, many avenues of technology-related careers, so it is certainly worth thinking about whether or not you need to brush up on your skills. Math is used to aid in the data analysis process, and until quantum computers make their grand entrance into the public domain, systems will still need to work on a binary basis, so adopting a math-centric approach to your learning is vital.

Careers

Many entry-level cybersecurity jobs require little to no experience, which might be great news for anyone wishing to bolster their skillset moving forward.

Experience is invaluable, so even if you feel like your personal understanding of cybersecurity and computing is beyond an entry-level position, you will likely still need practical experience to make yourself a viable candidate.

Entry-level jobs worth checking out include data entry, junior cybersecurity engineering, IT intern, and security analyst.

On the other end of the spectrum, some great, high-paying roles worth aspiring to find yourself include computer security specialist, chief information security officer, or software architect. In most cases, the top positions will likely require you to possess at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, so making sure that you are always on the lookout for more learning opportunities can ensure that you keep yourself well and truly prepared for a future career in cybersecurity.


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