If you work in IT, you probably know that you have to be proactive to advance your career. You have to keep up with trends and changes in the field, learn new skills, and be ready to adapt to new tech.
For a lot of IT professionals, making the switch to cybersecurity is part of adapting. If you’re an IT professional wondering how to get into cybersecurity, read on for everything you need to know about making this career move.
In the 21st century, cybersecurity means job security. It is one of the most in demand fields right now and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for information security analysts is expected to grow 28% through 2026. That’s much faster than most jobs in the United States.
Right now, there are major shortages in the cybersecurity world. A 2016 study predicted that by 2019, there would be a worldwide shortage of 2 million cybersecurity professionals.
And we can’t ignore the fact that because they’re in high demand and perform extremely important duties, cybersecurity professionals are well-compensated. The average salary for an entry-level cybersecurity analyst is around $90,000!
How to Get Into Cybersecurity from IT
Having a background in IT gives you a huge advantage over other people trying to enter the field. There is a lot of overlap in the skills and education so many employers look for people with a background in IT when trying to fill cybersecurity roles.
When it comes to cybersecurity, most people believe you have to have a four-year degree to get into the field. This isn’t always the case. While some jobs will definitely require a degree, a lot of employers are happy to hire skilled workers who can get the job done, even if they didn’t earn a degree.
Cybersecurity Job Requirements
There are dozens of cybersecurity jobs and the requirements vary for each. As we mentioned, some require a four-year degree, or even a masters degree while some positions don’t require any college education at all.
Two requirements any cybersecurity job will have? Cybersecurity certifications and real world experience. Cybersecurity certifications that are especially helpful when making this career change…
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- CompTIA A+ and Network+
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
- Certified Ethical Hacker
Employers love hiring IT professionals for cybersecurity positions: they have on-the-job experience in a field that is very close to cybersecurity.
In addition to cybersecurity certifications, here are a few more qualities employers look for…
- Candidates that have a strong foundation in IT (e.g. networking, systems admin, database management, web apps, etc.)
- People that are well-versed in day-to-day operations of an IT department
- Candidates that can communicate with non-IT colleagues and work well in a team
- People that understand business processes & procedures
- Candidates that know how to code (you’ll be working in and around code so it’s important that you understand it!)
- People with a solid understanding of the cloud
- Problem solvers
If you’re trying to make this career move, focus on earning your cybersecurity certifications, learning on your own, and getting as much hands-on experience as possible.
In addition to the aforementioned certifications and experience, it’s important to know what you want to do in cybersecurity. Do you like working to secure network hardware? If so, network security engineer might be a great position for you. If you like working in the cloud and have a strong understanding of the unique security challenges it presents, cloud security engineer is probably a good fit for you. Find the aspect of cybersecurity that interests you most so you can earn those certifications and get hands-on experience with that type of work.
IT Jobs that Can Lead to a Career in Cybersecurity
While you can get into cybersecurity from a lot of IT jobs, these are some of the best to be in if you want to make the switch:
- Network Administrator
- Web Administrator
- IT Technician
- IT Technical Support
- IT Customer Service
- Computer Programmer
- Computer Software Engineer
- Computer Support Specialist
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Database Administrator
- Network Engineer
- Network Systems & Data Analyst
- System Administrator
Put Your Career in Motion With MyComputerCareer
At MyComputerCareer, you can earn the cybersecurity certifications employers are looking for to help you make the move from IT to cybersecurity. With certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA, and EC-Council and our job placement services, we’ll help you make the moves that will benefit your career most.