How to Get Into Cyber Security in 2024: The Ultimate Guide

How to get into cyber security

So, if you’re wondering how to get into cyber security you’re headed in the right direction. And if you need an ultimate guide, look no further!

This article has it all covered- from understanding cyber security and its importance to the different cybersecurity jobs available. We will also discuss the salary range for this career path. Then we dive deep into the main part-how to get into cyber security in 2024. We will uncover the education required, essential technical and soft skills, and certificates for extra credits. And don’t miss the expert tips at the end of this article!

It doesn’t matter if you’re just a student, or you’re planning to change your career path, or if you’re just looking into different career options. We guarantee you will learn a lot from this article. We also answer the burning question: how to get into cyber security without a degree or with no experience! So, let’s get started.

What is Cyber Security?

Cybersecurity is protecting computer systems, networks, software, and data from unauthorized access, attacks, damage, or theft. It involves implementing measures to prevent, detect, and respond to security breaches. Cyber security professionals ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.

Why is Cyber Security Important?

Cybersecurity is important for so many reasons. This includes:

  • Protecting confidential information
  • Preserving data integrity
  • Ensuring service availability
  • Safeguarding national security
  • Preventing financial losses
  • Maintaining trust in the digital realm. It defends against unauthorized access, modifications, and disruptions, safeguarding any kind of data.

Current Landscape of Cybersecurity Career

Cybersecurity Jobs:

The diverse cybersecurity jobs create opportunities for people with various skill sets and experience levels. Here are some common cybersecurity jobs:

  • Cybersecurity Analyst. Analyzes security risks and monitors systems for vulnerabilities. They implement preventive measures to protect against cyber threats.
  • Network Security Engineer. Designs and implements network security infrastructure, configures firewalls, and IDS/IPS systems. They ensure secure network communications.
  • Incident Responder. Investigates and responds to security incidents. They conduct forensic analysis and implement incident response plans to mitigate the impact of cyber attacks.
  • Penetration Tester/Ethical Hacker. Conducts authorized simulated attacks on systems, networks, or applications to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in security defenses.
  • Security Architect. Designs and develops security frameworks and strategies to make systems and networks fully secure.
  • Security Consultant. Provides expert advice and guidance to organizations on implementing cybersecurity measures. This includes conducting risk assessments or even developing security policies.

These are just a few examples of the numerous cybersecurity jobs available in the field. Each of them require different skills, knowledge, and expertise. The field is constantly evolving so new roles may emerge rapidly as well.

Cyber Security Salary in 2024

Cyber Security Salaries in 2023

However, factors like skills, industry, and certifications influence salary by a lot. But still, cyber security jobs are definitely well-paid and in high demand in 2024.

So let’s look at how to get into cyber security in detail so that you take a step closer to a better and more secured future.

How to Get into Cyber Security For Beginners

We finally start the section of how to get into cyber security in 2024. Firstly, it’s important to understand where you stand in this career path of cyber security. Like what skills you currently have, and what skills you would need for your dream position. Let’s take a closer look:

Assess Your Learning Needs

Assess your current knowledge and skills. Identify the specific areas you want to specialize in based on your interests and career goals. Common domains in cybersecurity include:

  • Risk Analysis. Understanding risk management frameworks, conducting risk assessments, and implementing risk mitigation strategies.
  • Encryption: Knowledge of cryptographic algorithms, encryption protocols, and secure key management.
  • Programming Languages. Proficiency in programming languages like Python, Java, C++, or scripting languages to develop secure applications or analyze security data.
  • Incident Response. Developing skills to handle security incidents, perform digital forensics, and conduct incident investigations.
  • Network Security. Gaining expertise in securing network infrastructure, detecting and preventing network-based attacks, and managing network devices.
  • Compliance and Regulations. Understanding industry-specific regulations, privacy laws, and compliance frameworks to ensure organizations meet legal requirements.

Assessing your learning needs helps you create a targeted learning plan and choose relevant courses or resources.

Now to close the gap between the skills you have currently to the skills you need to have, education is key. And no, I’m not just talking about formal education.

If you’re a beginner (like a student) choosing the right educational path can be very beneficial. A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, computer science, information technology, or computer engineering can open doors to more opportunities.

But it’s not the only path to success. There are many majors that cover essential subjects like programming, networking, cryptography, penetration testing, digital forensics, and security law and ethics.

If a traditional degree is not feasible for you, don’t worry. Online degree programs have made it easier for individuals with other commitments to acquire knowledge and credentials in cybersecurity.

There are other alternative paths too, like certifications, job experience, and self-teaching.

But it’s very important to align your career goals to your educational choices no matter how to choose to gain the necessary knowledge. Conduct thorough research to ensure the best fit for your aspirations.

Now let’s understand the alternative choices a little better: How to get into cyber security without a degree.

How to get into cyber security without a degree?

How to get into cyber security without a degree?

To get into Cyber Security without a degree, you will need to learn from online classes or boot camps.

  • Online Courses: Platforms like Coursera, edX, or Udemy offer a wide range of cybersecurity courses, covering various domains and skill levels. Look for courses provided by reputable institutions or organizations.
  • Boot Camps: Intensive boot camps provide focused and accelerated training in cybersecurity. They offer immersive learning experiences and often include hands-on exercises and projects.

Research and choose educational options that align with your learning style, budget, and career goals. Consider factors like course content, instructor expertise, hands-on opportunities, and student reviews. Here are a few tips to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to get into cybersecurity:

  • Professional Organizations: Join cybersecurity professional organizations (e.g., ISC2, ISACA, OWASP) to access resources, industry insights, and networking opportunities.
  • Conferences and Events: Attend cybersecurity conferences, webinars, and workshops to learn about the latest trends, technologies, and best practices.
  • Cybersecurity Blogs: Follow reputable cybersecurity blogs and news sources to stay informed about emerging threats, vulnerabilities, and industry developments.
  • Online Communities: Engage in online communities like Reddit’s cybersecurity to connect with fellow professionals, ask questions, and share knowledge.

How to get into cybersecurity with no experience?

Like mentioned above, there are different ways to improve your skills and expand your knowledge outside a degree. If you have that, you can start trying to gain hands-on experience:

  • Internships: Seek internships at cybersecurity companies, government agencies, or organizations with dedicated security teams.
  • Entry-Level Positions: Start with entry-level roles such as security analyst or junior cybersecurity engineer to gain practical experience.
  • Competitions and Hacking Events: Participate in cybersecurity competitions, capture-the-flag (CTF) challenges, or hacking events to apply your skills in real-world scenarios and learn from peers.

Practical experience not only strengthens your technical abilities but also provides opportunities to network with professionals in the field.

Build Your Professional Network

Networking is crucial in the cybersecurity field for getting a head start and for career growth. It’s how you can find opportunities even without degree or experience. Here’s how to build your professional network:

  • Industry Events: Attend industry conferences, seminars, and meetups to connect with professionals, experts, and potential mentors.
  • Online Communities: Join cybersecurity-related online communities, forums, and social media groups to engage with peers, seek advice, and share knowledge.
  • Professional Associations: Join cybersecurity professional associations, both local and global, to access networking events, resources, and job boards.
  • Mentorship Programs: Seek mentorship from experienced professionals who can provide guidance, support, and industry insights.

Building a strong professional network can lead to job opportunities, mentorship, collaborations, and access to valuable resources and knowledge.

Also, if you don’t have a degree or experience, we would highly recommend getting credible cybersecurity certifications:

Gain practical experience in cyber security

Acquire Cybersecurity Certifications

Acquiring cybersecurity certifications validate your expertise and can enhance your career prospects in cybersecurity, no matter what your educational degree may be. Some popular certifications include:

  • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional): Recognized globally, it demonstrates expertise in various domains of information security.
  • CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor): Focuses on auditing, control, and security of information systems.
  • CISM (Certified Information Security Manager): Emphasizes information security management and governance.
  • CompTIA Security+: Entry-level certification covering core cybersecurity skills and best practices.
  • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker): Focuses on ethical hacking, penetration testing, and offensive security techniques.
  • GSEC (GIAC Security Essentials Certification): Validates foundational skills in information security.
  • SSCP (Systems Security Certified Practitioner): Demonstrates knowledge of access controls, security operations, and risk identification.
  • CASP+ (CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner): Advanced-level certification covering enterprise security architecture and risk management.
  • GCIH (GIAC Certified Incident Handler): Focuses on incident handling, response, and recovery.
  • OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional): Highly regarded certification for penetration testers.

Choose certifications based on your experience level, area of focus, cost, and employer requirements. Some certifications have prerequisites and require passing exams. But some of them may require professional experience in the field which you can get along your career journey.

Acquiring Essential Skills

Cybersecurity jobs require a person to have both technical and soft skills. Having a degree is not necessary but these skills are.

Technical skills required for Cyber Security

Technical skills required for cyber security
How to get into cyber security: technical skills required

Let’s break down the technical skills required to get into Cyber Security:

  • Scripting: Proficiency in scripting languages like Python, PowerShell, or Bash can be valuable for automating tasks, analyzing data, and developing security tools.
  • Controls and Frameworks: Understanding security controls and frameworks such as NIST, ISO 27001, or CIS Controls provides a foundation for implementing effective security measures.
  • Intrusion Detection: Knowledge of intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) helps identify and respond to potential security breaches.
  • Network Security: Understanding network protocols, firewalls, VPNs, and secure network architecture is essential for protecting data in transit.
  • Operating Systems: Familiarity with operating systems like Windows, Linux, or macOS allows for securing and hardening these systems.
  • Incident Response: Knowing how to handle security incidents, conduct investigations, and develop incident response plans helps mitigate risks effectively.
  • Cloud Security: Understanding cloud computing platforms, their security models, and best practices for securing cloud environments (e.g., AWS, Azure) is important as cloud adoption increases.
  • DevOps: Awareness of DevOps methodologies, tools (e.g., Git, Jenkins), and secure coding practices enables collaboration between development and security teams to build secure software.
  • Threat Knowledge: Staying informed about the latest cyber threats, attack techniques, and vulnerability management is crucial for proactive defense.
  • Regulatory Guidelines: Familiarity with industry-specific regulations and standards (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA) ensures compliance and data protection.

Soft Skills required to get into Cyber Security

Soft skills that are required to get into cyber security include:

  • Problem-Solving: Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills to analyze complex security issues and develop effective solutions.
  • Effective Communication: Enhance both written and verbal communication skills to convey technical concepts clearly to diverse audiences.
  • Collaboration: Work effectively in teams, collaborate with colleagues from different backgrounds, and foster a culture of cooperation.
  • Adaptability: Embrace change, stay flexible, and quickly adapt to new technologies, threats, and organizational needs.
  • Teamwork: Collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams, understand different perspectives, and contribute to shared goals.

Polishing Your Resume and Job Application Tips

Cyber security job application tips

When applying for cybersecurity positions, a well-crafted resume is essential to make a positive impression. Highlight your relevant experience, education, certifications, and practical projects. Emphasize your technical and soft skills, showcasing how they align with the job requirements.

Tailor your resume and cover letter for each application to demonstrate your genuine interest in the specific role and company. Research the organization beforehand and incorporate your findings into your application. Finally, practice for interviews and be prepared to showcase your knowledge and problem-solving abilities.

Please Note:

Our article is an overall guide to answer a frequently asked question: How to Get into Cyber Security. But, these steps serve as a general guide, and the specifics may vary based on individual circumstances and career goals. It’s important to adapt and customize your learning journey accordingly.

Key Takeaways: How to Get into Cyber Security

Getting into cyber security in 2024 requires dedication, continuous learning, and practical experience. By choosing the right educational path, developing technical and soft skills, gaining hands-on experience, pursuing certifications, and building a professional network, you can position yourself for a successful career in this exciting field.

Follow our guide on how to get into cyber security, embrace a proactive mindset and be passionate about your work to be successful in your dream job!

And remember, this field landscape is constantly evolving, so staying up to date with the latest trends and technologies is crucial.


Do I need a bachelor’s degree to get into cybersecurity field?

While a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or related fields can provide more opportunities, it’s not the only path to enter the field. Alternative paths include certifications, job experience, and self-teaching.

Which certifications are most recognized in the cybersecurity industry?

Some widely recognized certifications in the cybersecurity industry include Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and CompTIA Security+. Each certification has its own requirements and focuses on different aspects of cybersecurity.

Are there online courses available for learning cybersecurity?

Yes, there are numerous online courses and platforms that offer cybersecurity training. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and Cybrary provide a wide range of courses suitable for beginners and experienced professionals.

Is learning cyber security hard?

No. While learning cybersecurity can be a long process and you can come across some difficult concepts, with dedication, practice, and the right resources, it is achievable for anyone interested in the field.

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