Top 5 Tips For Transitioning To Cybersecurity
Transitioning into a career in cybersecurity is something I have done and many others are intending to go this route as well. Since cybersecurity is such a broad field, I have some actionable tips for you to use that can both put you to ease as well as be a guide.
I transitioned into cloud security from pursuing a career in medicine. In the midst of applying to medical schools in a pandemic, I had an aha moment and decided to research and educate myself on which career path in Tech would be right for me. Here are 5 practical tips that I followed to transition from the healthcare industry to the Cybersecurity world.
1. Talk to Cybersecurity professionals
One of the most daunting aspects of changing careers or rethinking your life goals is the lack of direction and the possibility of reaching out to strangers. That fear is natural and valid, however, you won’t know what you like or dislike about an industry if you don’t have a reference point.
Whether from within your network or cold messaging cybersecurity professionals, you must hear from those that have already established themselves in cybersecurity. This will provide invaluable context as well as giving you an idea of the necessary steps you will need to take.
2. Referrals matter.
Upon interviewing and reaching out to those already in cybersecurity positions, they all advised that I prepare and start applying to jobs. One job application after the other, it was quite hard to secure an interview. It wasn’t until I had gotten an apprentice opportunity, talked with coworkers throughout my company that I realized just how valuable referrals are. More than 60% of the folks that worked with this particular company were referrals. The statistics across all industries are jarring as well — referrals are more than 5x more likely to be hired.
Establish those key relationships and state your desire for a referral once you have found a position that suits you. It can be frustrating but your efforts will pay off, especially with persistence.
3. Use LinkedIn
If you’re like me, then you never bothered with Linkedin until you were faced with the undeniable fact that networking in Tech is of absolute importance. Networking, in general, is necessary but it’s crucial in cybersecurity to establish a LinkedIn account. The great thing is that you can both contact professionals as well as secure referrals all on LinkedIn, so I hope this is the encouragement you need if you haven’t started an account yet.
Besides networking, LinkedIn is also where I familiarized myself with relevant cybersecurity topics, discussions, and news. One more tip on LinkedIn — take “aspiring” out of your title. Trust me.
4. Learn, Everyday
As you reach out to others, network, or apply to relevant positions, make sure you are staying up to date and learning as you go. This could be for your understanding, expertise, or an introductory certification. Pursue and study the certifications that have been recommended by professional contacts you’ve made. It’s important that you not waste money and time on certifications that won’t serve you. Youtube is a great resource for quality cybersecurity material, I especially recommend Cyberinsight.
Remember that this is a wide and broad field. I firmly believe there is a space and niche for everyone within cybersecurity.
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