What to Expect in Your Cybersecurity Job

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Cybersecurity professionals are in demand all over the world with an estimated shortage of 4 million cybersecurity candidates today. The difficulty in filling existing cybersecurity jobs has created a candidate’s market for cybersecurity professionals – driving compensation and benefits higher as companies compete for the attention of applicants.

Because of this, cyber professionals can expect to make a substantial salary, and have opportunities throughout their career to be selective about who they choose to work for, where they want to live, and how they would like their career to progress, while receiving highly competitive compensation and benefits.

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If you are considering a career in cybersecurity, you may be wondering what a typical day in the life of a cybersecurity professional is like. The good news is that the term ‘cybersecurity’ actually covers a wide range of job functions, all with diverse requirements, so there’s a good chance that you can find the one that best matches your interests and abilities.

Diverse Job Functions.

In general, cybersecurity professionals protect sensitive data from exposure. However, there are a number of diverse positions within this larger function, with different responsibilities that can appeal to different personalities and/or interests.

For example, the Cybersecurity Workforce Framework created by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) established seven different roles that are related to cybersecurity functions. These range from ‘securely provision’ (build a secure network or system) to ‘operate and maintain’ (ensure security in daily operations); to ‘incident response’ - the high pressure, emergency response team that works to minimize damage while a cyber event is occurring.

Each of these roles requires a different skill set and a different type of daily life for the person in the job.

  • A person who securely provisions is an architect, detail-oriented and willing to invest time into testing and quality assurance. Their days would be measured, and planned, requiring more interactions and communications with various other departments in the organization. 
  • In contrast, an incident response professional must be calm under pressure, willing to work around the clock under stress and intense scrutiny to minimize damage during a breach or event. Their days are spent in analytics and testing until an incident occurs - at which point the pressure to respond is on.

Related Reading: 5 Skills You Should Master to Get Noticed by IT Recruiting Firms

Universal Requirements.

At the same time, there are some skills that are required of all cybersecurity jobs. A candidate for these positions should possess:

1. Technical Expertise

Technical skills including operating systems, networking, cloud and virtualization are all key to a career in cybersecurity. Knowledge of the basic programming languages is important as well, as are development and analytical skills. Most importantly, a successful cybersecurity professional should have a deep understanding of technical systems, and the ability to pick up new skills as necessary. This may include a degree in IT/CS, or participation in a training, bootcamp, or certification program.
 

2. Critical Thinking

While technical expertise can be demonstrated with a certification or skills test, critical thinking is harder to quantify. However, it can be equally as important to cybersecurity success as technical skills – creating a foundation for analysis and judgment that can be applied to a number of different situations; from development to management, detection to prevention.
 

3. Project Management

Project management skills help a cybersecurity team to ensure a streamlined process, timely deliverables, and swift resolution of any problems or issues that arise. A solid footing in project management keeps cybersecurity on track and aligned with organizational strategy.
 

4. Communication and Leadership

While the idea persists that soft skills are unimportant in technical jobs, the reality is that cybersecurity professionals must operate within an organizational structure. A candidate with strong communication and leadership skills, balanced with technical proficiency, is well-placed for a successful career in cybersecurity.
 

5. Lifelong Learning

In cybersecurity, threats are continuously evolving, as malicious actors take advantage of new opportunities to breach system security. Because of this, it is critical that a cybersecurity professional be committed to continuous learning, keeping skills up to date to successfully address ever-more sophisticated attacks.
 

So, is Cybersecurity Right For You?

Now is the time to explore cybersecurity as a profession. The shortage of skilled candidates is expected to continually grow in the future, making cybersecurity one of the most in-demand positions across all industries. If you are interested in a career in cybersecurity, consider partnering with a staffing agency like the Sparks Group.

Sparks Group is a nationally-awarded staffing and recruiting firm with a proven record of successfully matching candidate to opportunity. Our recruiters work closely with candidates, perfecting resumes and interviewing skills to help you land your ideal job.

Visit our job board or contact Sparks Group today to get a start on your new career in cybersecurity.New call-to-action

Sources: 
[1] https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2019/11/08/cybersecurity-workforce-skills-gap/

 

Written by Sparks Group

Sparks Group

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