Starting from Scratch: 7 Tips to Land a Cyber Security Job with Zero Experience


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people often ask me how I got started in this field. The truth is, I didn’t have any formal education or experience in cyber security when I first started out. I came from a completely different background, but with determination and the right mindset, I was able to land my dream job in cyber security.

If you’re in the same boat as I was, feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to break into the industry, don’t worry. I’m here to share with you 7 valuable tips to start from scratch and land that coveted cyber security job.

Ready to take the leap? Let’s dive into it.

How do I get into Cyber Security field with no experience?

Getting into the cybersecurity field with no experience can be daunting, but it’s not impossible. Follow these steps to start your exciting career in cybersecurity:

  • Get Acquainted With the Fundamentals: Learn the basics of cybersecurity, including networking protocols, operating systems, and programming languages. This will give you a foundation to build on.
  • Take Advantage of Online Resources: The internet is a wealth of knowledge. Watch videos, read blogs, attend webinars, and join online communities to gain insights from experts.
  • Find a Specialization and Ideal Career Path: Cybersecurity encompasses a variety of roles, from penetration testing to risk management. Identify your strengths and interests to find what suits you best.
  • Complete a Bootcamp: Many cybersecurity bootcamps offer hands-on experience and real-world scenarios to prepare you for the workforce.
  • Pursue a Certification: Certifications such as CompTIA Security+ and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) can give your resume a boost and show employers you’re serious about your career.
  • Gain Some Practical Experience: Volunteer your skills at a local non-profit or participate in a cybersecurity competition to gain hands-on experience.
  • Find a Mentor: A seasoned cybersecurity professional can provide valuable guidance and advice as you navigate the industry.
  • Build a Strong Network: Attend conferences, join industry associations, and connect with professionals on LinkedIn to build your network and increase your chances of finding job opportunities.
  • By taking these steps, you can begin your journey into cybersecurity and consistently grow your skills and expertise. Remember that learning and development is a continual process in this constantly evolving field.

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Start by conducting research: Research is the first step towards your journey into the cybersecurity field. Start with online resources to gain an understanding of the industry and its requirements.

    2. Get certified: Grabbing a cybersecurity certification is an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge and commitment in the field. Certifications such as the CompTIA Security+ or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) are great places to start.

    3. Join online communities: Joining online communities will expose you to industry professionals and enable you to connect with others who might be in the same position as you. Participate in discussions and ask questions; this will improve your knowledge and skillset.

    4. Consider volunteer work: Volunteering in the field is a fantastic way to gain practical experience. Consider volunteering at a local non-profit, educational institution, or community center.

    5. Leverage networking: Attend industry events, cyber security meetups, and conferences. This is an excellent opportunity to meet experts in the field, build relationships, and learn about current trends.

    Fundamentals: Getting Started in Cyber Security

    Getting into the cyber security field with no experience might seem daunting at first, but it is definitely possible. Familiarizing yourself with the basics of cyber security is a great place to start. Cyber security is a broad field with various aspects of information security, so building a strong foundation in the fundamentals is essential.

    Firstly, it helps to understand the types of threats in the field of cyber security. Malware, phishing, social engineering, and unauthorized access are just a few examples. Once you understand the types of threats, it’s important to understand how to defend against them. Familiarize yourself with different security measures like firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions.

    Other important skills include network security, vulnerability management, cryptography, and incident response. Start by looking at online resources like YouTube videos, blogs, and forums to learn the concepts of these areas in cyber security.

    Bullet points:

  • Build a foundation in the basics of cyber security; understand the types of threats and how to defend against them.
  • Familiarize yourself with security measures like firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and SIEM solutions.
  • Learn key skills in network security, vulnerability management, cryptography, and incident response through online resources.

    Expanding Your Knowledge: Taking Advantage of Online Resources

    Once you have a basic understanding of cyber security fundamentals, it’s time to start expanding your knowledge. Fortunately, there are many free and paid online resources available that can help you advance your skills in this field.

    To start, consider taking online courses that are focused on cyber security. Websites like Cybrary, Udemy, and Coursera offer a wide range of courses that cater to varying levels of expertise. Join online communities like Reddit, Discord servers, and LinkedIn groups dedicated to cyber security to stay up-to-date on new trends, network with other professionals, and learn from experts.

    Additionally, attending webinars and virtual conferences can expose you to topics that you may not have access to otherwise. Many of these resources offer certificates of completion, which can add value to a resume.

    Bullet points:

  • Take online courses on cyber security to develop skills.
  • Join cyber security communities to stay up-to-date, learn from experts, and network with other professionals.
  • Attend webinars and virtual conferences to get exposure to topics that aren’t readily available.

    Identifying Your Path: Finding Your Specialization and Ideal Career

    Once you have a strong foundation and advanced knowledge in cyber security, it’s important to identify your specialization and career path. Cyber security is a broad field with different specializations, and it’s important to find one that you’re passionate about.

    Careers in cyber security offer a wide range of roles, including penetration tester, security analyst, security engineer, security consultant, and many others. Consider your current skills and work experience to see which roles align the best with your interests. Identify gaps in your current knowledge and work towards filling them to achieve your ideal career.

    Bullet points:

  • Identify your specialization within cyber security by considering your interests, skills, and work experience.
  • Research different roles within cyber security, including penetration tester, security analyst, security engineer, and security consultant.
  • Fill gaps in your knowledge to achieve your ideal career.

    Hands-On Experience: Completing a Cyber Security Bootcamp

    A cyber security bootcamp can be an excellent way to get hands-on experience and build skills in this field. Bootcamps offer in-depth training in various aspects of cyber security, and many offer guaranteed job placements upon completion.

    Bootcamps vary in length and cost based on the course and instructor. Some may take only a few weeks to complete, while others may last several months. Regardless of the length, bootcamps offer practical experience and hands-on training that traditional education may not always provide.

    Bullet points:

  • Complete a cyber security bootcamp to get hands-on experience and build skills in the field.
  • Bootcamps offer in-depth training and practical experience in various aspects of cyber security.
  • Consider length and costs when choosing a bootcamp.

    Proving Your Skills: Pursuing a Certification

    Earning a certification is a great way to show future employers your mastery and expertise in various aspects of cyber security. Certifications are available through organizations like CompTIA, ISC(2), ISACA, and SANS.

    Choose certifications based on your career goals and interests. Entry-level certifications include CompTIA Security+, while more specialized certifications include Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Having certifications not only showcases your skills and expertise, but it can also help you stand out among other candidates.

    Bullet points:

  • Pursue certifications in areas of specialized interest to showcase your skills and expertise.
  • Select certifications based on your career goals.
  • Certifications like CompTIA Security+ provide entry-level certification while more specialization certification includes CISSP and CEH.

    Applying Your Knowledge: Gaining Practical Experience

    Practical experience is vital to a successful career in cyber security. Shadowing cybersecurity professionals, participating in Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions, and taking internships are all ways to gain hands-on experience.

    Consider volunteering with a non-profit or other organization that may not have the budget for a dedicated cyber security team. This provides you with practical experience and a chance to give back to your community while at the same time developing your skills.

    Bullet points:

  • Shadow cyber security professions to gain hands-on experience, Participate in CTF competitions and taking internships.
  • Volunteer with an organization that doesn’t have a dedicated cybersecurity team to get practical experience.
  • Volunteering provides an opportunity for practical experience while giving back to the community.

    Learning from Others: Finding a Mentor

    Finding a mentor in the field of cyber security can be invaluable to your career. A mentor can offer guidance, provide opportunities, and help you navigate the industry.

    Consider reaching out to professionals on LinkedIn or at industry events for possible mentor relationships. Universities and bootcamps may also have established mentor programs, so be sure to ask instructors and advisers.

    Bullet points:

  • Look for professionals in the industry you can reach out to for mentoring relationships.
  • Ask universities and bootcamps about established mentor programs.
  • A mentor can provide guidance and opportunities, and help navigate the industry.

    Creating Connections: Building a Strong Network in Cyber Security

    Building a strong network is beneficial to any career, and cyber security is no exception. Not only can a network provide job opportunities, but it can also provide valuable insights into the industry.

    Joining industry groups on LinkedIn or attending local cyber security meetups are good ways to meet other professionals in the field. Consider attending conferences and other industry events to build a stronger network. Also, participate in online forums and webinars to expand your network and gain more insights.

    Bullet points:

  • Join LinkedIn groups and attend cyber security industry events to build your network.
  • Participate in online forums and webinars to expand your network and gain more insights.
  • Building a strong network can provide job opportunities and valuable insights into the industry.