Would you like to work in cybersecurity? This is a question that many people would respond with an astounding “yes.” But then they follow it up with “I don’t know how to code though” or “I don’t have a computer science degree” or “I am not an expert in tech or IT.” And they let that dream slip away. The truth is you do not need to be an expert, have a degree, or know how to code to work in cybersecurity. I am telling you now, do not let that dream slip away!
What You Think You Need
Many people think you need years of experience in tech, be an expert coder, and have an impressive setup with multiple monitors and fancy devices to work in cybersecurity. None of this is true. While knowing some languages is beneficial, it is more about if you are open to learning them if you need to but not all roles use programming. Yes, some jobs will require you to have a specific degree or certain amount years of experience, but that is true of any industry. You will be starting from the bottom, but you will be able to get your foot in the door and slowly move up. As the CEO of Offensive Security, Ning Wang, explains, “just like all the other fields, that 10,000-hour rule applies here as well. You have to do the hard work and it does take that to become really good at it.” There is a lot of on-the-job training, especially in entry levels IT roles such as a technical support specialist. If you work hard enough, the right person can use an entry-level IT job as a stepping stone into cybersecurity. To get into these beginner roles, an entry-level CompTIA certification, such as an A+ certification or Fundamentals+ certification, is the only IT training necessary to get in.
The Many Roles in Cybersecurity
Unless you are in the industry, you may not realize the variety of roles that are cybersecurity. Each role takes you down a different path of training and certification you need. For example, if you are not a programmer, you could look at roles in:
- Security architecture
- Vulnerability and path management
- Incident response
- Security operations
- Network structure and defense
- Information security management
If compliance or information security management interests you, check out a lead implementer course or lead auditor course. While going down a networks path, a Network+ certification is what you need. Many great options for people without coding experience.
If you are a skilled programmer you might look into roles in:
- Penetration testing
- Cyber threat hunting
- Informationa security engineering
- Cybersecurity analyst
Other technology options you could investigate that can be used in cybersecurity, but is not necessarily cybersecurity, are blockchain technology, machine learning, and AI. Learn more about these technologies through self-paced Arcitura courses such as Certified Blockchain Architect or Certified Machine Learning Specialist.
What You Need Instead
In many ways, what unites security professionals is not a shared knowledge of technical skills but a security mindset that enables them to critically test an organization, process, or tool and to understand how it can be exploited. As Wang explains it:
“It’s not that you need all the IT background, but what you do need, you need to have a curious mind. You need to be willing to put in the hours, you have to persevere, got to have attention to detail. And over time you learn, you develop the wisdom, the pattern recognition, and that’s how you become really good at cybersecurity.”
A curious mind, a life-long learner, attention to detail, perseverance, and being able to understand how things work and can be exploited are the traits you need rather than being an expert in tech. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a cybersecurity course today and get started on your journey to a career in cybersecurity.