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How to become a cybersecurity professional from scratch

Everyone goes through a phase of utter confusion at the beginning of their careers. Which path to undertake? Which institute to join? Which courses to enroll in? Which companies to apply for? During the initial stages of everyone’s career, guidance plays a key role. Coming to the topic at hand, ethical hacking is a hot choice among youngsters who are seeking a solid career in the Information Age. Most of these youngsters don’t have anyone to guide them through this process as their parents or seniors have lived in a time when cybersecurity was not considered a mainstream career choice. The aim of this blog post is to provide you a basic step-by-step self-help guide so that you can make an informed decision in your career in information security.

1. Research, research, research
Research is always the first step in any decision making task. Surely, you will have researched a lot about the field itself but what about the courses? There are many types of security disciplines in the cyberspace like network defense, application defense, ethical hacking and post-breach defense. Don’t just latch yourself to the first course that you come across. Research in detail about the different areas and then take your pick after due consideration.

2. Enroll for a course
There are plenty of institutions offering cybersecurity training, both online and offline. It can be tough to choose your future alma mater but don’t stress it. More than the location, campus, and other factors, consider the teaching quality. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you attended a famous college or an average one, as long as you are skilled in your craft. Make sure your teachers and mentors are worth every buck and second that you invest. To make your decision easier, you can talk to alumni of your shortlisted institutions and ask for their genuine feedback. Your education quality will impact your skill quality so make sure you spend most of your research time in this step.

3. Apply for a job
After you have enrolled yourself in a course and gotten yourself certified, you will need to start your career from somewhere. This can also be a daunting task since your starting point impacts your career trajectory in a significant way. While applying for a job, make sure you research the company properly. Their hiring and firing policies, growth opportunities, workload, office culture, change of roles, everything will affect you directly once you become an employee.

4. Grow your skill
Nobody wants to be stuck in an entry-level job for the rest of their life. Once you get your first job, you will probably become comfortable in it but remember that cybersecurity is a dynamic and highly unpredictable field. Hackers keep finding new methods of attack thanks to emerging technological progress. If you don’t upgrade your skill, then you will be beaten at your game by the swift technological innovations. Whatever you learn in your ethical hacking course can only sustain you to a point. You will need to keep yourself abreast of all the changing trends, new technologies and cybersecurity tools with time.

5. Get a better job
It is important to get a good job but it is also important to get a better one after a while. To grow in your career, you must research new opportunities in the market and apply in better companies for better job roles that benefit you more and challenge you to upgrade your skill and take more responsibility. A good way to get a better job is to add extra certifications in your quiver. For example, if you are a professional Certified Ethical Hacker, you can go for a higher certification later, like LPT or CPENT.

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