How to Get Into Cyber Security from an IT Background

Getting into Cyber Security with a General IT Background

Pursuing a cyber security role with a general IT background may be a great move. In fact, many employers look for cyber security pros who have other kinds of IT work experience. Some entry level job titles may be penetration tester, incident analyst, or IT auditor.

So how could you transition from IT pro to cyber security expert?

For one, you could update your education. Security pros like Information Security Analysts need to earn at least a Bachelor’s degree. But, many go a step further and earn a Master’s degree – like an MBA in Information Systems. 

You could also earn an information security certification. Earning one could be a chance to learn new cyber security skills. You could earn a more general certificate, like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Or, you could certify in a certain skill area, like ethical hacking. 

And, you could look for cyber security roles that may build on your past experience. For instance, a computer systems analyst may be able to pursue a systems security role. A database admin could pursue a database security role. 

Cyber Security Jobs to Target

These entry level cyber security positions might be a step toward a cyber security career path: 

Computer Programmer

Programmers write code for software and computer applications. They also test the code to make sure it’s bug free. Programmers could pursue enhanced roles, after they gain experience. These may include cyber security roles – like IT Security Manager.

Network Engineer

These pros plan, implement and oversee the computer networks that support in house voice, data, video and wireless network services.

Computer Systems Analyst

Analysts look at how computer systems work in a company. They find ways to use IT to improve how the company runs. So, many may go on to pursue leadership roles. That could include becoming an IT Security Manager. 

Database Administrator

These pros store and organize data. That could include financial info, shipping records, and more. Security is important when working with data. Some database admins may pursue Information Security Analyst roles that involve database security. Others may pursue IT Security Manager roles. 

Penetration Tester

Pen testers probe vulnerable points in networks and systems. Penetration testing helps to do two main things. One is to secure them. And the other is to protect them against malicious attacks. 

Computer Support Specialist

Support specialists give customer service to computer users. They could work in all different areas. For instance, they could support a business or help home computer users. Many end up pursuing other IT career paths. These could potentially involve cyber security. 

Software Engineer

Engineers design software programs. They also manage the process of building the software. That includes planning for security concerns. Software engineers could pursue IT manager roles. These roles may call for knowledge of cyber security. 

IT Auditor

IT Auditors bridge the gap between finance and computer science. They collect systems data and information to analyze tech performance. This means that they score the effectiveness of a company’s tech systems.

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