With cybersecurity being a flourishing industry with promising job opportunities, recent college graduates may have their sights set on a career in cyber threat intelligence. The notion that graduates must obtain a degree in computer science, computer programming, or machine learning to land a career in cybersecurity is no longer the case.
Many skills developed throughout undergraduate programs are applicable to jobs in the cybersecurity sector. Cybersecurity leaders are seeking candidates with varied skill sets to create holistic teams. Job candidates who view tasks from different perspectives are in demand as they are usually more effective at problem-solving and embrace creativity. There are several aspects to consider when searching for a position within the cybersecurity sector.
It can be overwhelming to decipher where to begin when commencing the job search. Begin with researching popular roles within the cybersecurity field and select several that sound appealing. Listing the positives and negative attributes associated with each role can provide value during the job search. For graduates with a non-technical background, strategic intel, writing, and open-source positions require less technical expertise in areas like Python and YARA.
Assess hard skills and pinpoint which are transferable. Transferable hard skills, such as project management, are associated with a specific skill set and training, therefore, worth highlighting on a resume tailored to a cybersecurity role. Additionally, soft skills, such as critical thinking and communication, should not be undersold as they can be applied to management roles within the industry.
Research and take advantage of open-source resources available via the industry’s leading companies and professionals. Leading sources such as The Hacker News, BleepingComputer, Flashpoint, Fortinet, and Palo Alto Networks provide the latest industry trends and news. Prolific individuals to follow in the cybersecurity sector include Katie Nickels, Joe Slowik, and Lesley Carhart. These resources are excellent tools to expand your knowledge and acquire expertise in the industry. Recruiters are searching for candidates who stay current on emerging technologies as the threat intelligence space is always evolving.
Research certifications that are commonly referenced in the industry. Industry certifications such as security+ basic level intro, certified ethical hacker for threat intel beginner, GIAC CTI for advanced, as well as subfield certifications (i.e. incident response and digital forensics) can provide an edge when applying for advanced roles.
Seek a Mentor within the Industry
A mentor figure can provide advice and feedback in terms of career goals and overall trajectory. This figure can be a peer or a seasoned professional you hold in high regard. Meet with the individual several times a year for guidance and to acquire the latest industry insights.
Interact with individuals in the cybersecurity sector via LinkedIn, professionally on Twitter, or a trade association. Individuals integrated within the industry have a wealth of knowledge, insights, and connections.
Attend an RH-ISAC Regional Workshop or the Cyber Intelligence Summit
By attending a Regional Workshop or the Cyber Intelligence Summit, job seekers can engage in interactive discussions with top cybersecurity leaders and teams along with acquire knowledge relating to the industry’s leading practices.
Keep in mind, some positions require a certain level of self-teaching while on the job. There is no set formula or conventional path leading to a career in cybersecurity. Regardless of educational background, everyone has an opportunity to acquire a role in the cybersecurity industry.