Have you considered a career in cyber security?

Most school or university work fairs will encourage students to go into careers in law, accounting, or management consulting, but there are a wealth of other careers out there in the world that you may better suit your personality, skillset, or interests. For those who enjoy technology one of those possible career paths could be cyber security.

What does a cyber security specialist do?

Cyber security coves a wide range of digital fields, with specialists trained to protect the data, networks, and digital infrastructure of both private companies and public organisations such as governments or international bodies. On any given day their role will be to protect systems from digital risks, threats, and vulnerabilities and monitor, detect, investigate, analyse, and respond to security events.

Cyber security is a key part of a modern IT team, with private and public organisations reliant upon such specialists to keep their networks secure and prevent attacks from both malware and individual hackers.

How much do cyber security specialists earn?

The compensation for the role varies widely by the size of organisation, experience, and the seniority of the role, but according to Glassdoor’s statistics the average base pay in the industry is over £41,000.

The figures also show that there are around 3,000 new job openings for cyber security specialists each month, and critically that those who work in the industry rate their job satisfaction as a positive four out of five and can earn up to £96,000 per annum with jobs at organisations as different as the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the National Health Service (NHS), Google, Tesco, and MacDonald’s.

How do I get started in cyber security?

As with any technical role the first steps towards a job in the industry is cyber security training. There are a wealth of options available to a budding cyber specialist, with many online platforms offering a variety of courses to help you get started for as little as $10 (£7.50) per month.

Some people prefer to learn via watching videos and following along, whilst others will perform best when learning via a gamified system that offers challenges and rewards to keep them engaged. No matter how you best learn, you will be able to find courses online.

Where can I learn more about cyber security?

Cyber security is a pretty broad field, but for those with an interest in the subject the various antivirus firms like F-Secure and Bitdefender regularly publish interesting new about large scale ongoing attacks and Google Project Zero is a great blog about recent 0day exploits and attacks. Meanwhile, the TryHackMe blog offers a wealth of resources about the subject from interviews with key players in the industry to practical advice on keeping your computer network secure.

I have some time before New Year – what can I start now?

Most online courses will let you study in your own time, but if you want to get a taste of what cyber security is all about this December, then TryHackMe is offering a free series of 25 training days to help people launch into cyber security right now.

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