Starting from Scratch: Beginner’s Guide to Cybersecurity with No Experience


As an experienced cyber security expert, I have seen countless individuals and companies suffer the devastating effects of cyber attacks. In today’s increasingly digital world, it is essential to protect yourself and your assets from the ever-evolving threats of cybercrime. However, for someone with no previous experience, the thought of tackling the world of cybersecurity can be overwhelming. Don’t worry though, I have been in your shoes before and know just how to help you get started.

In this beginner’s guide, I will take you through all the basics of cyber security step by step. From understanding the different types of threats you may face, to implementing security measures that work for you, you will gain the knowledge and confidence to keep yourself and your information safe. Whether you are a small business owner or simply a curious individual, this guide will give you the foundation you need to start your cybersecurity journey from scratch.

Let’s dive in together and learn how to protect ourselves from the growing risks of cyber attacks.

How do I get into cybersecurity field with no experience?

If you aspire to delve into a career in cybersecurity but don’t have any experience in this field, don’t fret. With a set plan and an eagerness to learn, you can indeed penetrate the cybersecurity field. Here are some steps that can help you get started:

  • Get Acquainted With the Fundamentals: Before delving into cybersecurity, you need to understand the basics of information security. Gain knowledge of system administration, network architecture, and software development, and build fundamental programming skills.
  • Take Advantage of Online Resources: You can learn anything online, including cybersecurity. Join cybersecurity forums, watch YouTube tutorials, read cybersecurity blogs and books, and get acquainted with various security tools.
  • Find a Specialization and Ideal Career Path: Cybersecurity has various paths, each requiring a unique set of specialized skills. Identify your niche early and pursue it with passion, whether it is risk management, compliance and governance, or penetration testing.
  • Complete a Bootcamp: Take a cybersecurity bootcamp to hone your skills and get hands-on experience with security tools. This approach will provide you with structured learning and practical skills in a short period.
  • Pursue a Certification: Getting certified is one way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Some common certifications include CompTIA Security+, CEH, OSCP, and CISSP.
  • Gain Some Practical Experience: While a certification and course completion are vital, practical experience in a job or internship is invaluable. You can take up voluntary opportunities, work on open-source security projects, or seek entry-level security jobs.
  • Find a Mentor: Mentoring is an effective way to gain knowledge and receive guidance from experienced professionals. Through networking, ask people in the industry if they would be willing to mentor and offer advice on how to navigate the cybersecurity field.
  • Build a Strong Network: Finally, build a network in the cybersecurity industry, attend conferences, join cybersecurity groups, and engage with others in the field. Networking is critical in providing career advice, job leads, and opportunities to learn and grow.
  • By implementing these steps, you can establish yourself as an expert cybersecurity professional, even without prior experience. Remember, cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field, and top talent is always in demand. So be persistent, stay curious, and keep learning.

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Research and Learn: Before you jump into any field, it’s important to do your research and understand what the industry entails. Learn about the different types of cybersecurity jobs, skills required, and certifications needed.

    2. Certifications: Getting certified can be an excellent way to show potential employers that you’re serious about the field. Look into industry-recognized certifications like CompTIA Security+, CISSP, and CEH.

    3. Internships and Volunteer Work: Consider doing internships or volunteering with organizations that deal with cybersecurity. This will give you hands-on experience, and it can also be an excellent way to network and meet people in the field.

    4. Learn New Skills: There are many skills that complement cybersecurity. Learning coding, networking, and web development skills can give you an edge over other applicants.

    5. Network: Attend cybersecurity conferences and networking events to meet other cybersecurity professionals. Networking can help you land your first job in the field.

    Get Acquainted With the Fundamentals

    If you’re interested in starting a cybersecurity career but don’t have experience, your first step should be to get familiar with the basics. You need to get a solid understanding of fundamental concepts such as networking, system administration, and operating systems. There are several ways to gain these foundational skills.

    Enroll in a College Course: You can consider enrolling in college courses relevant to cybersecurity or take online classes. Some courses can even give you credit towards a degree.

    Read and Study: There are many books and online resources that you can use to gain a basic understanding of cybersecurity fundamentals. For instance, you can study popular terms like VPN, firewalls, and encryption techniques.

    Participate in Open-source Projects: You can also consider working on open-source projects that are relevant to cybersecurity to apply your knowledge and hone your skills. This way, you will be able to demonstrate your potential to employers.

    Take Advantage of Online Resources

    Online resources are a fantastic way to gain the skills and knowledge needed for a career in cybersecurity. Many cybersecurity professionals use online resources to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and insights.

    Online Videos: Many cybersecurity experts provide informative videos on a range of topics, from basic cybersecurity concepts to more advanced topics. You can find these on platforms such as YouTube and Coursera.

    Online Communities: Online communities like Reddit and GitHub are excellent sources for meeting fellow cybersecurity enthusiasts, sharing knowledge, and receiving tutorials or resources.

    Online Courses and Certification Programs: There are many online courses and certification programs available that can help you gain practical knowledge and certifications. Some of the well-known ones are Cybrary, SANS, and Udemy courses.

    Find a Specialization and Ideal Career Path

    Once you have a basic understanding of cybersecurity fundamentals, you need to explore different areas and types of cybersecurity jobs. There are many different cybersecurity disciplines, and specializing in one can help you have a heightened focus on one field.

    Security Intelligence and Analysis: This career path focuses on analyzing and preventing hacks on systems by monitoring and scanning for threats.

    Security Engineering: This career path requires those with skills in creating, designing, and implementing security policies, procedures, and controls, and ensuring they’re followed correctly.

    Security Consultant: Security consultants work with clients to audit their systems, identify vulnerabilities, and suggest the best security solutions to protect their assets.

    Complete a Bootcamp

    Bootcamps are practical training programs that can help you acquire the technical expertise and skills needed for a cybersecurity job. Bootcamps vary in terms of duration, cost, and curriculum, and you can pick the one that best suits your interests.

    Schedule: Bootcamps work on a schedule, and students need to focus on their lessons which are structured and pre-determined.

    Setting: Bootcamps can be done in a classroom with a tutor or online, and even some are hybrid.

    Cost: Some graduates from bootcamps may be able to secure employment right away, making the cost of a cybersecurity bootcamp worth the investment.

    Pursue a Certification

    Certifications are professional qualifications granted to individuals who have passed a rigorous exam and have demonstrated their professional skills in a particular field. These credentials are evidence of your knowledge, experience, and competency.

    Cybersecurity Certifications to Consider:

    • CompTIA Security+
    • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)
    • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
    • CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor)
    • CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control)

    Gain Some Practical Experience

    Gaining practical experience is crucial for landing a cybersecurity job. You can acquire experience by performing internships, volunteering, and working on example projects.

    Participate in Organizations: There are several organizations that you can join that can help you gain practical work experience, such as the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA).

    Volunteer: Volunteering at non-profit organizations not only helps to give back to community, but it can also give you the chance to gain cybersecurity work experiences without landing a paid job.

    Find a Mentor

    Finding a cybersecurity mentor is one of the best ways to get more insights into the industry. A good mentor can help you understand the skills and expertise needed for cybersecurity jobs, as well as provide you with helpful advice and guidance.

    Networking: You can reach out to cybersecurity professionals and attend conferences/networking events to seek out potential mentors.

    LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a great tool for finding cybersecurity mentors who are active in your field, share similar interests, and can share their experiences with you.

    Build a Strong Network

    Building a strong network is important for gaining insights, job opportunities, and staying updated on changes in the industry. You can join organizations of other professionals, attend conferences to meet new people, connect with people on LinkedIn, and keep in touch with those you work with.

    Networking Events: Attending cybersecurity events such as conferences, webinars, and meetups to meet peers in the industry.

    Social Media: Connect with professionals on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, where you can join cybersecurity groups and forums.

    Collaborate:Collaborate with colleagues, work on projects together, and actively participate in online and offline discussions to gain more insights and learn from others.

    In conclusion, while starting a career in cybersecurity without experience can be challenging, it’s possible when you follow these steps. You need to have a solid understanding of cybersecurity fundamentals, take advantage of online resources, find a specialization and ideal career path, complete a bootcamp, gain practical experience, find a mentor, and build a strong network. With hard work, dedication, and a focus on continual learning, you can successfully launch a rewarding career in cybersecurity.