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To become a cybersecurity engineer takes a lot of practice that is usually backed up by a degree at the end of the day. Employers demand a degree when they are trying to set a benchmark for recruitment. But unlike other fields like Medicine and Law, a cybersecurity degree is not a prerequisite for employment because the job experience doesn't necessarily have to come from the four walls of a university. To put it plainly, the university isn't the only way or place to learn cybersecurity. Most senior analysts themselves had no degree because at the time they got into the field, there were few universities offering cybersecurity as a course of study.
The way the market regulates lawyers and doctors to have a degree in their field is not the same in the IT industry. If you don't have a technical skill, you can still work in the cybersecurity industry without a degree.
For someone with technical skills but not necessarily in the cybersecurity industry, it is far easier to delve into it. Such a person is familiar with specific terms in the industry and will even have an added advantage with his other certifications.
As the cybersecurity industry continues to grow astronomically, a lot of companies have to create specifics for each role. The cybersecurity department always has new fields to fill. The department of labor in the US has already predicted that the cyber industry is going to grow at 28% until 2026. That will mean thousands of jobs in the cybersecurity department every year.
Cybersecurity jobs like security analysis and investigations, application security, cloud computing security, penetration testing, security engineering, CISO security, mobile computing security, and more require hard skills. How do you work in such a position?
It is important to note that there is a shortage of personnel in almost all the departments we mentioned. An ISSA report surveying professionals in the field placed security analysis and investigations, cloud computing, and application security as few of the areas short of personnel. Where does that leave the guy without a degree or any form of technical expertise? Aside from the passion and desire to learn in the field, he hopes to get a job in, here are a few ways a person without a degree can get a job as a cybersecurity professional;
Network with Recruiters
Though it is difficult to get a job in the industry without any form of training, there are still jobs in the cybersecurity industry or department that doesn't require any hard skills. These jobs are there, and they are usually filled with people with little or no technical knowledge of what cybersecurity is all about.
To get them, however, means you have to spread your search net a little bit wider, and it is mostly with recruiters. Recruiters understand specific industries, and they know the best way to go about getting the job for their clients.
You can start from a job to launch your career in cybersecurity irrespective of your previous experience. But you must be willing to learn new stuff about cybersecurity going forward. Utilize the use of the library offline and online. Learn more about the jobs you are hoping to attain one day.
The number of Cybersecurity engineers holding one certification or the other is not new. While a degree is a rubber stamp that you went to the university, in the field, certification shows your specialty. Having the necessary certification for your dream job in the industry might land on your laps when you apply.
If you cannot phantom taking the required course to get your desired position, you can settle for the basic like, Network+, Security+ certifications, which offer online and offline courses for intending professionals. Add that to the few years of experience under your belt; you could write courses and apply for a higher certification.
We all know how expensive a college degree can be if you are of limited means. Getting certificates is a perfect way of mitigating the cost.
Join a Bootcamp
A cybersecurity Bootcamp that focuses on particular sets of skills is always a perfect place to get hands-on information. You can learn stuff quicker and assimilate them faster as you go on with the program. The environment has made learning and asking questions easier because that is all you guys talk about all day.
You can get to meet peers of similar interests, take on projects that enhance our skills, ask pertinent questions regarding the courses that are taught. All these will allow you to have a grasp of what the jobs in the industry entail and what you need to do to get there.
The programs are designed to meet beginners, intermediate, and professional requirements of registered training. Their short incubation period makes them an ideal program to get if you hope to gain hands-on skills.
Bootcampt also charge low tuition fees to give you hands-on training. Even though a degree is essential, boot camps help to reduce the shortage of personnel in the industry.
Join the military
Passing the necessary tech exams can put you in better stead of joining the military as a cybersecurity expert. With your little knowledge, you can go on to have a career as a civilian, handling basic stuff, and getting hands-on experience. Such experience in the military can land you a job in the civilian world as soon as you leave.
There are a host of professional certifications that exist for ex-military personnel who have a history with cybersecurity.
Study E-learning courses
There are thousands of materials online that can shed light on each cybersecurity course or program offered in the university. Only an interested student is willing to take the time and learn all of them. Getting that knowledge can get you closer to your dream job in the industry.
Intern at a cybersecurity outfit and get the necessary knowledge needed to work in the industry.
In conclusion, one doesn’t need to have a degree before they can start earning in the industry.