How to Become a Cybersecurity Specialist

Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific curriculum and employment opportunities are not guaranteed. You protect your home with locks or alarm systems; you protect your car with insurance, and you protect your health by going to the doctor. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. Workers in this specialty area may spearhead organizational efforts to create stronger passwords or limit web browsing to trusted sites.

Cybersecurity specialists create and implement security audits across computer hardware and software systems. They make sure that the systems perform the way they are supposed to, and that they are safe from attack. This list of the top 50 cybersecurity networking groups and professional organizations from Digital Guardian is a good place to start. Students can attend university job fairs, ask professors about internship opportunities, and join IT security organizations. Groups like the Information Systems Security Association International host conferences and seminars that provide ample networking opportunities.

How to Become a Security Specialist

CSIA focuses on intelligence issues related to cybersecurity, military, and space. In the early 2000’s the continued growth of internet usage led to a rise in internet crime and a call for further internet security. Now, major breaches, like LinkedIn’s data leak in June 2021, threaten to affect a shocking amount of users. Threats to online security closely how to become a security specialist shadow the history and development of the internet itself. Starting as early as the 1990s, simple antivirus software like the Reaper, created by Ray Tomlinson, became necessary to protect user’s online activity. Integrity Network members typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for as a side project.

  • is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable.
  • Cybersecurity specialists protect sensitive data and analyze vulnerable spots in company networks.
  • Networking, internships, and certifications can help individuals land entry-level security positions.
  • In the Google IT Support Professional Certificate program, I learned skills to assist customers with end-to-end support, ranging from identifying problems to troubleshooting and debugging.
  • His work has been featured on, and
  • It’s a good idea to let your employer know about your plans to study, as they might be willing to help with the funding.
  • When looking at job opportunities in the cybersecurity industry, it’s a good idea to keep notes about what kinds of certifications employers are looking for.

If you’re interested in starting a career in cybersecurity, consider the Microsoft Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate on Coursera. This program is designed ​​to help individuals with no previous experience learn in-demand skills, and prepare for Microsoft’s SC-900 exam and a first job in cybersecurity, all at their own pace. Read this guide to learn about the professional certifications that can help security specialists secure higher paying jobs and promotions. “You need to understand the technology for you to be able to secure it,” Ahamad says.


Today, hackers are growing more sophisticated and security breaches are becoming more frequent. There is a need to protect against risks and threats to an organization’s data. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reports that 47 percent of adults in the US have had their personal data exposed by cyber criminals [1].

how to become a security specialist

One of the primary responsibilities of a cybersecurity specialist is to keep tabs on the systems employed by their organization and report any issues to management. They are also responsible for anticipating future threats and advising on how to deal with them. There are many pathways that people take to become a cybersecurity specialist, but they all involve some combination of education, specialized training, and experience. Explore the necessary certifications for security specialists and learn more about the educational requirements for this profession.

What skills are required to become a security specialist?

Pursuing a career in cybersecurity means joining a booming industry where available jobs outnumber qualified candidates. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of cybersecurity jobs is expected to increase by 32 percent between 2022 and 2032 [1]. Explore this page to learn how factors like location, education, and work experience affect the salary and career outlook for security specialists.

As a cybersecurity analyst, you can decide to take your career in a few different directions, depending on your interests and goals. And more than a degree itself, recruiters want to see that applicants for cybersecurity roles have gotten some hands-on experience along the way—either in school or a prior job. Cybersecurity is the process of protecting an organization’s computer systems, networks, and data from unauthorized access or damage. Cyberattacks and threats can access, change, or destroy sensitive information such as passwords, financial information, medical records, and other confidential data. It makes sense to start thinking about what kinds of certifications are required by an employer, or what kinds of certifications make job applicants competitive within the field. Always inquire with a potential employer for their specific job requirements.

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