How to Get into Cybersecurity: 2024 Career Guide

Advanced generalist careers focus on non-technical and managerial knowledge and skills, such as risk assessments, regulatory frameworks, and privacy laws. You need to have strong social skills to succeed in these positions and a wide range of knowledge on many cyber security topics. These positions set you up to become a key decision-maker in an organization later in your career as you progress onto the C-suite. An advanced generalist will pursue certifications such as the CISSP, CIPT, or CISA to qualify for these positions. If you’ve been trying to get a cyber security role lately, you will have quickly seen that every company says they want experience for an entry-level position.

The certification covers topics such as architecture, engineering, and management. Security+ is a CompTIA certification that is considered a basic cert among cybersecurity professionals. A simple way of thinking about a cybersecurity specialist is someone who keeps tabs on a company’s or organization’s security while also helping other employees and teammates how to become a security specialist stay current on best practices. But CompTIA is more than just certifications – they’re a community of experts and professionals, passionate about advancing IT and promoting excellence. That’s why they offer a range of resources and support for their members, including training and development opportunities, networking events, and research and policy work.

Steps to Becoming a Security Specialist

It makes sense to start thinking about what kinds of certifications are required by an employer, or what kinds of certifications make job applicants competitive within the field. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of IT Security Specialists. You will be equipped with the knowledge and skills you need to start your career in Business Analysis by gaining 4 accredited certifications. However, check beforehand whether an employer does want you to have a cyber security certificate, and which specific one they have in mind. After all, you don’t want to waste your time, effort, and money on a qualification you don’t need or that won’t come in handy for your chosen career path. Infrastructure security covers the protection of physical and digital assets through the architecture itself.

how to become it security specialist

Don’t lose sight of your goal—if you keep at it, you’ll eventually land the cybersecurity role of your dreams. Growing your network can also mean joining a professional network on Meetup or Facebook to connect with cybersecurity professionals in your area. Whether you are a fresh graduate, switching from another career, or already working in IT and hoping to advance, there are many paths you can take to achieve your career goals. And don’t worry if you feel like you’re “behind.” You can start right from where you are now. The median annual wage for IT security specialists is $112,000, according to the latest data from the U.S.

IT Security Foundations: Core Concepts

The good news is, the job outlook for IT security specialists is exceptionally strong—and only getting better. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in this sector is projected to grow 31% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Plus, demand for this role continues to be exceptionally high with no signs of slowing. Explore the necessary certifications for security specialists and learn more about the educational requirements for this profession. Start your journey to becoming a security specialist by earning one of these certifications. The security specialist role best suits people who enjoy new challenges and want to protect data.

how to become it security specialist

This could be penetration testing, threat hunting, malware analysis, DevSecOps, or even a GDPR position. These careers are what most people think of when they first start their cyber security journey. In today’s era of rapidly escalating threats and sophisticated cyber warfare, organizations must be vigilant in combating attackers and protecting information assets. Once you’ve gained the necessary education, you can start applying for roles. Without much experience working in the cyber security field, you’ll probably need to apply for entry-level IT or cyber security positions.

What Does a Security Specialist Do?

Doing so ensures that the department can continue to function at all times and does not experience downtime. IT security specialists continuously test each of the steps listed in the plan to ensure that it is fit for purpose. These cyber security experts use their in-depth understanding of security threats, technologies, and countermeasures to ensure that an organization has robust computer security systems. A security specialist will run regular checks on network and computer systems and suggest improvements where necessary.

  • Your package includes the following courses, all of which are the gold standard for their respective areas of expertise.
  • The following examples are taken from real security architect job listings on LinkedIn.
  • At this stage, you have a strong foundation in general IT and networking, and you can now use this foundation to learn cyber security-specific skills and start your cyber security career.
  • To become a cybersecurity specialist, you should complete a formal education—like a degree or a cybersecurity bootcamp—in information security or a related subject.
  • Security remains a top concern for IT hiring managers as the frequency and devastation of cyber attacks rise.
  • This is where you qualify as an expert after years of experience in the industry performing either an advanced generalist or specialist role.

To get hired as a security specialist, you always want to develop your skills and knowledge as much as possible, and certificates help you to do exactly that. Given the broad scope of cybersecurity specialist work, not all employers require significant professional experience when hiring. Some organizations employ these specialists in entry-level roles, allowing them to develop on-the-job experience. If you’re new to cybersecurity, you may start out in an entry-level IT role, such as a help desk technician, network administrator, or software developer. Many cybersecurity professionals enter the field as a junior information security analyst after gaining some experience in IT.

Start with an entry-level cybersecurity job.

Cybersecurity professionals tend to get paid well for their skills, even at the entry level. As you gain experience and move into more advanced roles, salaries often go up as well. To give you an idea of what’s possible, here’s a look at the average total pay of several cybersecurity jobs in the US in October 2023, according to Glassdoor.

In this role, you might manage security teams, coordinate between teams, and ensure security compliance. Typically, the highest security role in an organization is that of chief information security officer (CISO). Working in security at the executive level often means managing operations, policies, and budgets across the company’s security infrastructure. Internships and entry-level IT positions will help you gain hands-on experience with security tools and protocols. Learning how to prevent and counteract threats and attacks efficiently takes practice and experience. Any knowledge you can gain from working with systems and networks as well as with others in the field will make you more marketable to employers.