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Categories: Cyber Security
19 March, 2018
by Nicole Nelson
Content Marketing Manager
Cyber security is one of the fastest growing career paths in information technology.

By 2022, Forbes is predicting that it will become a $232 billion global market. As of the present, it’s valued at around $132 billion and growing. More than 1 million jobs are currently open in this sector, and an estimated 1.8 million will need to be filled by 2020.

Needless to say, it’s a smart career choice where supply is this far off from catching up with demand for employers. To successfully enter this market, you’ll want to have a checklist of things to know and do first. These tips will give you a head start.

No. 1: Find Your Niche

Finding your niche is not nearly as difficult as you may imagine it to be. According to Inc., there are many different niches that you can pursue once you have the right amount of cyber security training under your belt. One of the most sought after is IoT, where you’d be helping to create security measures for connected devices, WiFi, banking and more. This critical sector of information technology is the most vulnerable to intrusion, and therefore also is one of the most critical positions in this field that you can pursue.

Other popular niches that you can consider include: Cloud protection, proactive defense, mobile computing security and others. When considering a career in cyber security, the first place you’ll want to start with is your niche. What drives you to this field? What do you see yourself doing in five years? Is this the career choice that you believe will become a lifelong pursuit? Asking these simple questions can help you better decide if this is the right career path.

No. 2: Learn Your Options

The next step that you’ll want to take is with exploring your options. What will you need to know to enter this field? What prerequisites should you be taking if you plan on making this career change? For example, some accelerated Cyber Security courses like the one offered  by Woz U require a knowledge and background in computer support. Related courses will require other prerequisites, so it’s good advice to conduct some research first.

The good news is that many of the skills you’ve likely already learned with a basic high school education … courses like algebra and calculus. While exploring your options, make sure you learn more about cyber security training online, where there are faster options for getting certified.

No. 3: Research Available Careers

The next thing you’ll want to look into are available career options. As we’ve mentioned above, there are more than 1 million job openings nationwide—making cyber security careers one of the most in-demand in information technology at the present. But this does not necessarily mean that these jobs are in towns or cities near you.

Run some quick searches on career related websites to get more clarity. For example, Glassdoor finds more than 20,000 cyber security job openings with a quick search. LinkedIn shows more than 22,000, and Indeed finds more than 36,000. Chances are good that if you live near a major metropolitan area, there are ample openings in this field that you can pursue once you’ve completed a cyber security course and have gained the necessary certifications.

No. 4: Create a Plan-of-Action

All good things start with a great plan. When it comes to a career change, you’ll want to have a solid one in order. Did you know that with the online cyber security course offered by Woz U, you could be ready to enter this growing workforce in as few as 12 weeks? Make sure you consider your career training options when creating a plan-of-action.

Next, plan for your tuition costs. Usually, there will be financial assistance available for you. If you have the means, you can always consider taking out private loans too. With proper planning, you’ll be able to get the ball rolling on a new career path a lot sooner than you think. And don’t forget, with salaries starting at six-figures, tuition will more than likely pay for itself when you get your first cyber security job.

No. 5: Set Realistic Goals

What type of career goals do you have? If you, for example, aspire to be a Security Analyst, you’ll want to plan the courses that you take and build around that. What’s more, you’ll want to look at the available careers in your area and plan for possible internships you can consider along the way which will give you valuable on-the-job experience that you can include on your resume.

By setting realistic goals for your entrance into the workforce, you can avoid letdowns and pitfalls. Realize that the first part of the plan is your education. The next part is applied experience, building up your resume and pursuing hot career opportunities as they arise.

No. 6: Create a Practice Lab

You can always consider setting up a cyber security practice lab. You’ll need a newer computer (preferably more than one) and some resources so that you can get started.

Here are a few places online where you can fine-tune your cyber security skills:

  • Wargames, URL: http://overthewire.org/wargames/. Wargames to learn security concepts.
  • Hack-me, URL: https://hack.me/explore/. Mini-challenges built by community contributors.
  • Running your own CTF: https://github.com/facebook/fbctf/blob/master/README.md
  • DIVA Android, URL: https://github.com/payatu/diva-android. A vulnerable Android app.
  • DVIA, URL: http://damnvulnerableiosapp.com/. A vulnerable iOS app.
  • Game Hacks, URL: http://www.gameofhacks.com/. Vulnerable code exploitation.
  • Hack This Site, URL: https://www.hackthissite.org/. Training for web applications.
  • Wargames, URL: http://overthewire.org/wargames/. Wargames to learn security concepts.
  • Hack-me, URL: https://hack.me/explore/. Mini-challenges built by community contributors.
  • Running your own CTF: https://github.com/facebook/fbctf/blob/master/README.md
  • DIVA Android, URL: https://github.com/payatu/diva-android. A vulnerable Android app.
  • DVIA, URL: http://damnvulnerableiosapp.com/. A vulnerable iOS app.
  • Game Hacks, URL: http://www.gameofhacks.com/. Vulnerable code exploitation.
  • Hack This Site, URL: https://www.hackthissite.org/. Training for web applications.


No. 7: Get Certified with a Cyber Security Training Course Online

If you are ready to enter this exciting career field, you’ll want to make sure you have the necessary skills. The cyber security online course at Woz U is a great place to start. With online classes, mentoring programs, career assistance, labs and more—you can get off to a running start with your new career.

Nicole Nelson

Nicole is Woz U’s social media and content manager who loves to build communities and break though barriers to find common ground. After graduating college, Nicole joined Woz U as an intern and quickly rose up in the ranks to become the voice of the brand on social. When she’s not documenting Woz U’s Demo Day, you can find her cheering on her local soccer team or getting her ‘zen' on practicing yoga.

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