How to further your career in cyber security

 

With so much of our life now online, including a huge amount of our personal information, cyber security risks are continuing to grow. Yet there is also a growing skills gap when it comes to this area of technology, with a shortage of qualified professionals in the industry.

As such, professionals in the sector are in high demand right now, making this the perfect time to further your career in cyber security. Below, we discuss the top ways to advance your career in the industry and stand yourself in good stead for the future.

Find some work experience

You may be studying for relevant qualifications, or you may already have these, but never forget the importance of work experience. If you’re in education, why not consider taking on a summer internship alongside your studies to help you gain more practical skills and real-world experience.

Alternatively, if you’re already working but hoping to take your career to the next level, perhaps do some volunteer work, or choose to specialise in a particular area of cyber security. Employers are always looking for previous experience. So take every opportunity you can to work on different projects and build up your CV. Why not take a look at the National Crime Agency for some work experience.

Take on an apprenticeship

You might choose to take on an apprenticeship instead of going to university, or you may choose to do so once you’ve completed your degree. However you choose to go about this, an apprenticeship can offer you on the job training and teach you the practical skills that employers are looking for. Plus you’ll be earning while you learn – it’s a win, win! Learn more about cyber apprentices by looking at QA Apprenticeships

Keep learning

There are a number of additional qualifications and certifications you can gain once you’ve complete your degree. It always pays to keep learning new skills. Particularly in an industry such as cyber security, where new threats are always presenting themselves.

With jobs in the industry growing fast, many senior positions are being left unfilled, offering some fantastic opportunities to those in the sector. As such, it can be useful to take a master’s degree in cyber security, which will be more in-depth than your previous studies. A list of universities offering NCSC-certified Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in cyber security can be found at NCSC

There are also a number of certifications that allow you to specialise in different areas of cyber security. Consider where you want your career to go and choose these accordingly. If you aren’t able to return to education, many of these courses can be found online and completed in your own time.

Attend industry events

In such a fast-paced industry, attending events and listening to talks can help to keep you up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends. This is important if you wish to stay ahead of the competition and impress potential employers. As there are always new threats to cyber security emerging, it’s vital you are as clued up as possible. Here’s a list of some upcoming cyber events. 

Build a network

Networking isn’t just important in the early stages of your career. By attending industry events, meeting with like-minded professionals and connecting online, you can build up a strong network that can help you in the future. You may find they are able to help you out with job opportunities, recommending new qualifications or keeping you updated on new technologies. LinkedIn have a great collection of different online cyber groups you can join.

Work on projects in your own time

A great way to show your passion is to work on personal projects in your own time. This can really help you to stand out from the competition, as well as work on your skills and advance these. Employers will be looking for those who are going above and beyond their day job, and there are a huge number of IT projects you can get involved with in your personal time.

In summary

Professionals working in the cyber security industry are highly sought after right now, so it’s the perfect time to bolster your CV and further your career. The best way to do this is by always learning new skills, keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and networking with other professionals in the sector. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be ready to take the next step in your cyber security career in no time!

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