Cybersecurity is a job field that continues to grow: in 2020, the average cost of a global data breach is $3.86 million, up 6.4% year-over-year. The U.S. had the highest average cost of all countries at $8.64 million and the pandemic is expected to increase the cost of a data breach by $137,000 on average.
We are often approached by college students who would like to enter the lucrative world of cybersecurity upon graduation. And, with good reason! “The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports information security analyst careers are expected to grow 28% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than average compared to all careers.” (PurdueGlobal.edu)
InfoSecurity and cybersecurity degrees are common at most universities and trade schools. Our friends at Trilogy Education have an excellent hands-on program, and Arizona State University kicks it up a notch with several intense 4+1 year programs in the field.
But, getting back to the question; besides formal education, how can you ensure career success in cybersecurity?
There is no better thing to get ahead than hands-on experience in the field. Experience working on cybersecurity projects with either larger companies or smaller start-ups are the leading indicator of success. College degrees and even certifications will be overshadowed by the experience listed on your resume.
According to Paul Cozza, Executive Vice President of Workforce Solutions at Tech One IT: “The only way to prove your mettle in technology is to get your hands dirty, make mistakes, and learn from mentors.”
If you need experience but are finding it difficult to break into the field of cybersecurity, consider the Talent Apprenticeship Program (TAP) with Tech One IT. We place recent graduates, with the knowledge but limited experience, in teams that work directly with some of the nation’s leading companies. It provides real-world experience, mentorship from the best in the business, and the potential of a full-time job that is almost impossible to find alone.
As a workforce solutions provider, at Tech One IT, we interview hundreds of technology graduates each year. Each person has clearly worked on their resume, and their skills and knowledge, but few take the time to consider the characteristics of a good employee.
The cybersecurity field is ever-changing. There is no set system to analyze every data breach. Being resourceful and diligent is imperative. In order to work within a team, you’ll need to be a good communicator that’s willing to speak up and offer suggestions, but one characteristic that is often missing is humility. To be successful, you must be willing to make mistakes, take responsibility, and bounce back from criticism.
We analyze each member of the TAP team using the T-shaped methodology which puts character above skills, showing that character is more important to an employer than training and qualifications which are easier to find.
One characteristic that should be highlighted in an interview is being organized. The great thing about organization is that it is a skill that can be learned through habit. How do you show strong organizational skills? Here are a few ideas:
- Show up to every interview and meeting with a notepad and pen. Take notes.
- Have a system for keeping old notes. Digital tools or old-fashioned paper and pen are both fine. Find what works for you and stick with it.
- Repeat important phrases back to a speaker and ask questions about those elements.
- Be responsive. Never be late.
- Keep your desk clean and clear of clutter.
There is every reason to look at cybersecurity as a good avenue for a career. Following our advice will help you to get your foot in the door.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Technology Apprenticeship Program (TAP), click here: www.techoneit.com/technology-apprenticeship-program | If you’d like to see what cybersecurity jobs we have open currently, click here: https://technoneit.com/jobs