The field of cyber security has grown significantly over the years, with the demand for professionals who can protect our digital systems and information from cyber threats. It is a fast-paced and exciting field that promises excellent career prospects. However, before pursuing a career in cyber security, there are three critical things you need to know to ensure success and avoid disappointments.
Networking Is Key
One of the things you need to understand before entering the field of cyber security is networking. Networking is the process of connecting and communicating with other people in the industry to learn, share knowledge, and gain insight into the field. As a cyber security professional, you will need to have a solid understanding of networking basics, at least at the CCNA level. Without this knowledge, you will find it difficult to secure networks and protect information systems effectively.
Networking is not just about making friends; it is about building relationships with people who have the same interests and goals as you. These relationships can help you get new opportunities, learn about emerging technologies, and stay up to date with the latest trends and best practices in the industry.
Financial Compensation Expectations
Another thing you need to know before pursuing a career in cyber security is financial compensation expectations. You may have been told that you will earn a high salary right after completing your studies, but the reality is different. Entry-level cyber security jobs require experience, and you should not set your salary expectations too high.
An entry-level security analyst or engineer should expect to earn around $50,000 to $60,000 annually, which is a good starting point for someone with no experience. However, this salary may vary depending on the area of the country or the world you live in. For example, in the Bay Area or New York, you can expect a higher salary due to the higher cost of living. It is essential to set realistic expectations to avoid disappointments when you start your career.
The Need for Continuing Education
Finally, cyber security is a constantly evolving field. New technologies and threats emerge every day, and it is essential to keep your skills up to date. You need to commit to lifelong learning and keep up with the latest developments in the industry to stay relevant.
Continuing education can take many forms, such as attending industry conferences, participating in online courses, or pursuing higher education. Additionally, you can pursue cyber security certifications, such as CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) to demonstrate your skills and knowledge to potential employers.
Entering the field of cyber security can be a rewarding experience if you have the right knowledge and expectations. Networking, understanding financial compensation expectations, and committing to continuing education are three things you need to know before pursuing a career in cyber security. While it is an exciting and growing field, it is essential to set realistic expectations and commit to lifelong learning to stay ahead of the curve and succeed.