Breaking into Cybersecurity: No School Required – Here’s How!


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I’m often asked how to get started in this field without a formal degree. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to spend years in school racking up student debt to land a career in Cybersecurity. In fact, some of the most successful Cybersecurity professionals I know didn’t go to college or study in any formal setting.

But, let’s be honest, breaking into the Cybersecurity field isn’t easy. There’s a lot to learn, and competition is fierce. However, if you’re ready to put in the work and learn from the right resources, the rewards can be immense.

In this article, I’ll share with you some of the best strategies to get started in Cybersecurity, regardless of your educational background. From finding mentors to building hands-on experience, I’ll show you how to set yourself apart from other hopefuls and land your dream Cybersecurity job. So, let’s get started!

How to get into cyber security without school?

If you’re interested in cybersecurity but don’t have a formal education, don’t worry! There are still many ways to get into the field. Here are some suggestions:

  • Start by learning the basics of computer networking, programming, and security concepts, using online resources such as YouTube, blogs, and free online courses.
  • Practice your skills and knowledge by participating in online hacking challenges, bug bounty programs, or virtual environments, such as TryHackMe or HackTheBox.
  • Engage with the cybersecurity community on social media and attend virtual conferences to keep up to date with the latest trends and technologies.
  • Find a mentor who can guide you in your learning journey and provide you with valuable feedback and advice. Consider joining a cybersecurity meetup group or an online forum to connect with like-minded individuals in the field.
  • Consider earning industry-standard certifications such as CompTIA Security+ or CISSP, which demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers.
  • Look for cybersecurity job opportunities that don’t require formal education, such as entry-level cybersecurity analyst or junior penetration tester positions.
  • Ultimately, the key to success in cybersecurity is to be self-motivated, persistent, and continuously learning new skills and techniques. With dedication and hard work, you can make a career for yourself in this exciting and rewarding field.

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Start with the basics: Research and learn about the fundamentals of cyber security, including network architecture, security protocols, encryption, and more. Online resources such as blogs, forums, and websites can offer extensive knowledge for free.

    2. Get hands-on experience: Seek opportunities to apply your knowledge through internships, volunteering, or other community-based programs. You can also practice your skills through online challenges or sandboxes to get a feel for real-life scenarios.

    3. Build a network: Attend industry events and join online communities to network with cyber security professionals. You can even leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with people in the field and gather advice on how to break in.

    4. Specialize in a niche: Decide on a specialized area of cyber security that piques your interest and focus your learning efforts accordingly. Specializing will make you a more attractive job candidate and may also improve your earning potential.

    5. Earn certifications: Consider earning industry-respected certifications such as CompTIA Security+, CISSP, or CCSP. While these programs may require some formal training, they’re a recognized way to demonstrate your skills and knowledge to potential employers.

    How to Get into Cyber Security without School

    The Importance of Cyber Security in Modern Society

    In today’s digital age, cyber security is more important than ever. With technology advancing at an unprecedented rate, the risks and threats to our online security have become more complex and sophisticated. Cyber attacks can happen to anyone, regardless of their background or level of expertise, and the consequences can be disastrous. From data breaches to identity theft, cyber attacks can have serious financial, legal, and reputational consequences. Therefore, the need for professionals who can protect our digital systems has never been greater.

    How to Understand the Fundamentals of Cyber Security

    To get started in cyber security, it’s important to have a solid understanding of its fundamentals. This includes knowledge of networking, cryptography, risk management, and threat analysis. Fortunately, there are a wealth of resources available online that can help you gain a broad understanding of these concepts. Some of the most popular resources include online courses, tutorials, and articles that cover the basics of cyber security.

    Here are some popular resources for learning the basics of cyber security:

    • Cybrary
    • Open Security Training
    • Khan Academy

    Note: Before diving into learning resources, start with a broad understanding of cyber security and then delve into specific areas of interest.

    Finding Resources and Learning Materials for Cyber Security

    Once you have a basic understanding of cyber security and its fundamentals, you can start exploring more advanced topics. Here are some popular resources that can help:

    • Cybrary
    • SANS Cyber Aces Online
    • Udacity’s Cybersecurity Nanodegree
    • SecurityTube
    • Kali Linux

    Note: Always choose resources that align with your learning objectives, and pace your learning to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

    Building Practical Skills in Cyber Security through Projects

    One of the best ways to build your practical skills in cyber security is through projects. This can include setting up virtual labs, testing security vulnerabilities, and building penetration testing skills. Projects allow you to apply the concepts and skills you’ve learned in a real-world setting, and can be an effective way to demonstrate your abilities to prospective employers.

    Here are some project ideas for building practical skills in cyber security:

    • Build a honeypot
    • Conduct a penetration test
    • Set up a virtual lab
    • Participate in CTF competitions

    Networking in Cyber Security: Connecting with Professionals

    Networking in the cyber security industry is essential for gaining exposure, building relationships, and finding opportunities. There are many ways to connect with professionals in the field, including conferences, meetups, professional organizations, and online forums.

    Here are some popular cyber security networking opportunities:

    • Black Hat
    • Defcon
    • ISACA
    • ISSA
    • LinkedIn Groups

    Considering Cyber Security Boot Camps as a Learning Alternative

    If you prefer an organized, more supervised method of learning, a cyber security boot camp could be the best option for you. Boot camps typically offer immersive, intensive programs that cover the essentials of cyber security in a condensed timeframe. This can be a great option for individuals who want to get up to speed quickly and don’t have the time or resources to pursue a traditional degree.

    Here are some popular cyber security boot camps:

    • Cyberdefenders
    • Sans Institute Cyber Security Bootcamps
    • CyberCampus

    Building a Career in Cyber Security without a Degree

    While a degree in cyber security can be valuable, it is not always necessary to build a successful career in the field. Many employers place more emphasis on practical skills and experience than on formal education. Therefore, gaining hands-on experience through projects and internships can be an effective way to build a career in cyber security.

    Here are some tips for building a career in cyber security without a degree:

    • Build a strong portfolio of projects
    • Participate in CTF competitions to demonstrate skills
    • Get certified in industry-standard certifications such as CompTIA Security+
    • Find internships or entry-level positions to gain experience

    Staying Up-to-Date on Emerging Trends and Threats in Cyber Security

    Finally, staying up-to-date on emerging trends and threats in cyber security is essential for building a successful career in the field. This includes keeping up with industry news, attending conferences, and reading blogs and articles that cover the latest developments.

    Here are some popular resources for staying up-to-date on emerging trends and threats in cyber security:

    • The Hacker News
    • Dark Reading
    • Threatpost

    Note: As cyber security is an ever-evolving field, staying up-to-date is important for anyone working in the industry. Make a habit of dedicating time every week to learn and keep up with trends in the industry.


    Getting into cyber security without a degree is possible, but it requires dedication and commitment. By taking advantage of the many resources available online, building practical skills through projects, connecting with professionals, and staying up-to-date on emerging trends and threats, anyone can succeed in the field of cyber security. Whether you choose to pursue a traditional degree or a more immersive learning experience such as a boot camp, with hard work and dedication, you can build a successful and rewarding career in cyber security.