9 Creative Ways To Start a Career In Cybersecurity With No Experience

Is it possible to enter the cybersecurity field without any prior experience? Google Trends indicates that the question has been searched numerous times—

Make constant efforts to expand your knowledge and skills—you cannot become a locksmith if you never learn anything about locks. 

Fortune Business Insights projects that the cybersecurity market will grow to $366.10 billion by 2028. 

Approximately 4 million cybersecurity professionals are needed worldwide, according to non-profit organization ISC2.

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the process of preventing hackers from accessing data, networks, and critical information kept on servers, in the cloud, and online. It is also capable of adopting an offensive posture, probing holes in networks to prevent weaknesses, and uncovering latent dangers in current systems.

Private information, from credit card numbers to medical records, can have significant value if it falls into the wrong hands. For this reason, you are required to double authenticate or generate a strong password whenever you log into a device or website.

How to break into cybersecurity with no experience

The 2023 Cybersecurity Skills Gap at Fortinet A fascinating trend is revealed by the Global Research Report: Leaders in the cybersecurity sector now prefer to hire people with tech-related certifications 90% of the time, up from 81% in 2021. The same percentage of executives are prepared to pay for their staff members’ cybersecurity certifications.

This indicates that although businesses value expertise, they are also prepared to hire a qualified applicant with less experience who will eventually receive the necessary training and certification. Even if you currently lack experience, you can demonstrate to potential employers that you are a teachable person by doing the following:

1. Understand yourself and the cybersecurity playing field

Determine what you’re good at first, then consider what the world needs and what you can charge for. 

2. Learn the fundamentals of the role you’re interested in

Following your research on a position that piques your interest, it’s time to acquire the necessary skills. Earning certifications is one of the best ways to learn without having any practical work experience.

3. Get certified to show employers that you understand the fundamentals

Certifications demonstrate your commitment to learning and improve your employment prospects. For recent graduates and those changing careers, the entry-level ones are especially helpful. Choose more general knowledge and widely recognized certifications while exploring, and don’t be tied to any particular vendor.

The first certificates to think about applying for are these:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): This certification from EC-Council costs anywhere from $1,699 to $2,049 depending on test location—it covers white hat hacking and proves that you can think like a hacker and be on the offensive. 
  • GIAC Penetration Testers (GPEN) Certification: Depending on the test location, this EC-Council certification can cost anywhere from $1,699 to $2,049; it covers white hat hacking and demonstrates your ability to think like a hacker and go on the offensive.
  • CompTIA Security+: This $392 certification attests to your proficiency in managing cloud, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) environments, evaluating an organization’s security, and proving your familiarity with legal and regulatory requirements.

Remember that a large number of the most prominent entry-level certifications will exempt you from having a degree and work experience requirements. A few of them require you to complete one of their training courses, such as the EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker certification.

4. Differentiate yourself from the competition

Given identical certifications and skill sets, what distinguishes you from other applicants? This issue is one that many people encounter when trying to enter the workforce.

5. Consider internship or even volunteer opportunities

In addition to gaining practical experience and expanding your network, volunteering and interning are both excellent ways to get the answers to your questions. There are many opportunities available from writing blogs to conducting cybersecurity health checks on small businesses through organizations like ISC2 and the Women Cybersecurity Society.

6. Watch, listen to, and create content 

The wealth of knowledge available on a wide range of topics is one advantage of social media. After you sort through the positives and negatives, industry experts can teach you a lot.

One can explore their curiosity, acquire maximum knowledge on a topic, and subsequently share their discoveries on social media. People who upload helpful content are seen as knowledgeable authorities in a subject and usually gain audiences, as can be seen by taking a quick look through apps like TikTok and Instagram.

7. Show off your work and rise to the top of the resume pile

You need to update your resume and build a portfolio to highlight your knowledge, abilities, discoveries, and recently acquired certifications now that you know what position you want to work for and how to achieve it. This is the course of action you should follow to land your first cybersecurity job.

8. Organizing your portfolio

Hiring managers are more interested in your online portfolio when it is visually appealing. A straightforward website or online profile displaying your code snippets, reports, case studies, and presentations will do if you don’t have a complex online presence.

Alternatively—and this is even simpler—make sure your LinkedIn and GitHub accounts are current and structured. A hiring manager should be able to quickly understand who you are as a professional. Emphasize your credentials, wins from competitions, blog posts, and other important internships, and volunteer work.

Actively participating in these platforms, sharing your work, and leaving comments on other users’ posts are effective methods to draw attention from the algorithm and expose your profile to prospective employers.

9. Rinse and repeat until you’re hired

It’s time to keep applying for interviews after you’ve created your portfolio and resume in order to get hired. A Lehigh University report states that applying for a job typically requires 100–200 applications. Recall that you are beginning from scratch. Thus, be practical, seek out entry-level jobs, ask your network for referrals, and never stop learning and applying.

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