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Cyber security career change

Thinking of a cyber security career change?

According to a report by the British Government, approximately 653,000 businesses (48%) in the UK are struggling to find the basic skills recommended in the skills advised in the Cyber Essentials scheme. Entry-level skills such as configuring firewalls, storing or transferring personal data, or identifying and removing malware are in short supply.

Further up the scale, around 408,000 UK businesses (30%) are unable to find people with advanced skills in critical areas such as penetration testing, forensic analysis, and security architecture. Another study revealed that meeting the global demand for skilled cybersecurity workers would need an increase of 145%. These figures highlight the increasing concern for business leaders and a tremendous opportunity for anyone thinking of career change in tech.

The good news is many of the training courses, and qualifications do not have any prerequisites making the tech industry an attractive proposition for everyone. Regardless of your skill level, there has never been a better opportunity to enter a career in tech. If you are looking to learn more about how to enter a career in cybersecurity or obtain the skills and qualifications that businesses are searching for, we will guide you through every step.


Pursuing a career in cyber security

Cyber security as a profession is a relatively new concept to many, and career paths are still evolving. This makes it the perfect time to join the industry and play a crucial role in protecting businesses in an increasingly digital world.

Whether you are entering the world of tech for the first time or an existing IT professional looking to specialise in cybersecurity, gaining the proper certifications will be critical to your career progression. Although building your knowledge and technical skills is essential, improving your communication and soft skills will be equally important.

Whether you are at entry-level, mid-level or advanced, there are many cyber security courses to help make your dream job in tech a reality. From IT fundamentals to career-ready, these industry-leading certifications will equip you with the right skills to help you create a path to one of the 100,000 unfilled cyber security jobs in the UK expected over the next few years.

You can learn these skills and gain the certifications you need at your own pace and alongside your existing employment. But one of the most important people on your journey should be a career consultant who will help you demystify the technology industry and keep you on the right path to success.  

For example, one of our students, Riekert Jansen Van Rensburg, worked in sales for over ten years and found himself no longer excited about his role. Instead, he wanted to follow his dreams and study for a tech career, and a phone call later, Riekert began building a path to turn his long standing dream into a reality.



Why choose cyber security as a career

Although there are many stories in your newsfeeds warning that computers, automation, and even robots are replacing traditional job roles, there are also many new job roles with unfilled vacancies. For example, did you know that the cyber security industry currently has a 0% unemployment rate?

Almost every global organisation you can think of has suffered a data breach or been the victim of a hack. Another concern for businesses is the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which can impose fines of up to €20 million, or 4% of worldwide turnover, whichever is higher. So far, Amazon, WhatsApp, Google, and H&M have collectively paid more than one billion pounds in fines. Additionally, being the victim of a cyber-attack can impact a brand’s reputation for over five years.

The stakes have never been higher for enterprises of all sizes. As a result, the demand for cyber security analysts, network security engineers, and certified ethical hackers is outstripping demand. For these reasons alone, it has presented individuals outside of tech with an easy opportunity to future-proof their career and secure a high salary.

CWJobs, the leading UK IT job board, reports that the average salary for Cyber Security jobs is currently £62,500. Existing IT professionals who want to specialise in critical areas such as cryptography and penetration testing are also demanding six-figure salaries. So, if you want to begin a career in tech and enjoy a role where you can make a difference while getting paid handsomely, cyber security could be the career for you.


Best beginner cyber security certifications

The Cyber Security Career Starter collection is the perfect starting point for those new to the tech industry looking to obtain industry-leading certifications that are attractive to employers. The package contains everything you need to secure an entry-level IT position and begin your career as a cyber security professional.

CompTIA A+ is a perfect course to begin your journey if you are entirely new to IT. The certification is held by more than one million IT professionals around the world. It’s also widely seen as the best way to grasp a more in-depth understanding and demonstrate it in your professional career. Best of all, the course has no prerequisites and will ease you in gently by teaching you all the essential aspects of IT in a language that everyone can understand.

At the heart of every IT infrastructure is a network. It’s fundamental in ensuring employees can access critical information and applications. Data must flow not only smoothly but also securely, and one of the biggest reasons why the relationship between networking and security is so important. The CompTIA Network+ course will arm you with your skills to troubleshoot, configure, manage and understand the world of networking.

With an understanding of IT and networking, things will quickly get exciting with the CompTIA Security+ course, which will help you secure all the areas you have learned about so far. CompTIA Security+ will provide you with the tools needed to secure networks and deter hackers. You will learn everything from the intricacies in access control and identity management to cryptography, threats, and vulnerabilities.


Cyber security career change


Best cyber security certifications

The previously mentioned, the  CompTIA Security+ is seen as the standard prerequisite by employers. It will demonstrate competence in threat management, security infrastructure implementation, risk identification, and identity management. But it’s important to remember that the certificate will need to be renewed every three years to ensure that your skills are up to date.

CompTIA CySA+ is an intermediate certification that will further strengthen your ability to manage high-risk cybersecurity situations. It will enable you to demonstrate your skills in preventing and detecting cyber security threats using behavioural analytics and data analysis. The certification will help you be seen as a specialist in threat mitigation 

while also instinctively managing network architecture, identifying threats, and reducing vulnerabilities.

The CompTIA CySA+ is highly desirable by employers and will open up a wide range of cyber security job roles such as compliance analyst, threat intelligence analyst, incident responder, or application security analyst, to name but a few. But these are just a few of your options, and you might decide to specialise in a different area of cyber security.

If penetration testing or vulnerability management excites, you might be better suited to another intermediate-skills level cybersecurity certification called CompTIA PenTest+. The course will teach you offensive skills through pen testing and vulnerability assessment. But it will also help you plan, scope, and manage weaknesses, not just exploit them.

If you prefer to be on the defensive side in the battle against cyberattacks, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) course might better suit you. The advanced certified ethical hacking course will teach you about the attack technologies commonly used by hackers and how to act in fighting back against these attacks. Ultimately, you will gain the same knowledge and tools as a malicious hacker, but you will use them for the greater good. Lawfully, and legitimately.


Cyber security career change


Helping you change careers into cybersecurity

While technical skills can be taught, it’s crucial to remember that communication skills are probably the most significant prerequisite. It’s no good being the most intelligent and most technical person in the team if you can’t explain the importance of the vulnerability, you’ve just uncovered. This is just one of the reasons why IT needs more people with soft skills.

We know that the number of cyber threats will continue to increase and grow in sophistication. Every business is challenged with training and equipping people new to IT with the skills and understanding required to tackle these risks. Could that be you?

The Cyber Security Career Starter collection will help you develop the core set of IT skills to understand the roles of networks, systems, and administration in the workplace. This knowledge will secure you an entry-level IT position. At the same time, you take the next step by working towards the highly sought-after CompTIA Security+ certification to accelerate your path into cybersecurity.

However, this is just the beginning of your cybersecurity career, and there will be many options available to you. Every individual is unique, and some will prefer to take a deep dive into specialising in more technical skills. In contrast, others will take the management route and feel more comfortable in security governance and oversight roles. But you do not have to make any big decisions on your own. 

Whether your passions are compliance, risk management, cloud security, ethical hacking, project management or identity, and access management, we will work closely with you to determine the best path forward.

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