How do you become a cyber security engineer with NO experience?
I ran across this question on Quora.com recently and felt compelled to write a response. I’m finding this is a growing question with newcomers to security, with very little guidance or answers.
According to our 2 question survey we ask you to complete when you sign up to our website, you’re having the same question. Along with knowing what certification to get.
So I’m on a mission to help solve these problems…starting with giving guidance on how to have a successful career in security.
Here is the question that someone asked on Quora.com:
I am trying to become a cyber security engineer. I have no prior experience with computers. Where should I start?
And here is my response:
If you are looking to get into cyber security, specifically as an engineer, it’s not going to be an easy path with no experience.
But it’s not impossible! You can do it with some proper planning and hard work.
I get asked this question a lot. In fact, I created an online course specifically to help with this, and other questions.
The first thing I recommend is to forget about security certifications right now. That will come in time. Certifications may seem like an obvious answer, but this will hurt you more than it will help at this stage.
Right now, learn about cyber security. Learn about the industry. What interests you? What are the current trends? Where are the jobs?
Once you have a better handle on things, research the following roles: Security engineer, security analyst, and security officer.
These are great entry level roles that pay pretty well and give you some room to grow.
That will help you narrow down your interests. Pick out skills employers are looking for in those job descriptions that you’re not familiar with. Start educating yourself on those topics.
That will give you a good start.
You can always focus on learning the material for the CompTIA A+ certification as a good place to start as well. You’ll need a solid understanding of computing components and software communications. You can pick up a book or take an online course to get the information you need.
You don’t need the A+ certification, but you can get it if you want to. It won’t help you much in security, but it might help with goal setting and keeping you motivated.
Once you’re comfortable with all of this, move on the the CompTIA Security+ or the (ISC)2 SSCP material. You’ll want to get one of those certifications. The GIAC/SANS GSEC is another option, but much more expensive to get than the others.
When you’re done with all of that, you’ll have MUCH better understanding of computers and a basic understanding of security.
And you’re on your way to reaching your goal of becoming a cyber security engineer!
At that point, you can start looking for internship or entry-level opportunities.
I hope this helps you get started! If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my course.
All the best to your success!