The world of cybersecurity may seem daunting at first. You have an interest in technology and security, and want to grow your career. This cyber security roadmap will help you grow your career. It is a collection of articles and resources to help you, organized by the stage you are at in your career.
How To Navigate The Cyber Security Roadmap
- In the Planting Seeds section, we cover how to get started.
- The Rising Sapling is where you will find information about specializations and how to choose what is best for you.
- The Bearing Fruit section covers how to become an expert and reach the top.
Where are you right now in your cybersecurity roadmap?
Congratulations! You’ve chosen a great career field to get started in. The world of cyber security never gets dull. As technology develops and is adopted by the masses, new threats emerge. We are stuck in the middle, defending users from the ‘bad guys’ whoever they might be.
The cold, hard truth
Getting started in cyber security requires building a solid foundation of technical understanding. Many roles in the cyber security roadmap require a basic knowledge of computers, how they work, who uses them and why. In order to know how to secure the cyber world, you need to know how it works. It will be difficult getting a job without first building your foundation.
The good news about all this: you only need to build a foundation in what you are interested in. The following links were designed to help you start on the right foot.
- What is information assurance vs information security vs cyber security?
- It is important to SMART short and long term goals.
- Analyze the cyber security skills you already have.
- Some crucial advice getting started in tech.
- You need to know what to expect in cyber security interviews.
Cyber Security Roles
One of the hardest things for me when I got started was finding resources to learn what the different roles were in cyber security. Taking the traditional route of going to college, I learned about the NIST cybersecurity workforce framework. It is a great resource but is very complex. There had to be a simpler way to understand it all. The world of cybersecurity can be reduced into 5 main roles. You can become a(n):
By now, you should have your foot in the door to a career in tech. You should begin figuring out where your interests lie. There are plenty of resources to teach you specialization.
One Important Detail
Many jobs out there can be a combination of several of those different roles. You can choose to be a jack-of-all-trades, or specialize. Smaller organizations might only have one or two personnel. Larger companies might have highly specialized teams that only work within one role group. You should try out whatever interests you to see if it’s a fit.
Deciding Your Specialization
It can be difficult to find reliable information. Here are selective lists of the best resources to check, all are free:
- Like podcasts? Check out this huge list of top cyber security podcasts.
- There are a LOT of certification options. This is a growing list that covers them all.
- Interested in pen-testing? Check out this list of CTF sites.
You’ve got something really good going, but you want more. Yeah, you are the go-to person at your place of work, but you want to continue learning. Taking that final step to become an expert can be intimidating. You can do it though if you work and study hard.
How To Become An Expert
No matter what main cyber security role you choose, there are expert levels. The NIST Cyber Seek page shows the advanced job titles are:
- Architects – The ones who design complex cyber security environments.
- Engineers – The ones who execute the architectural vision and make it a reality.
- Managers – The ones who make the decisions, priorities, and take responsibility for it all.
These are just some examples. There are several other options to choose from:
- Trainer – The ones who pass on their knowledge, or train regular users to be safer.
- Sales Engineers – A blend of sales and customer service skills with the traditional engineer skillset.
- Consultants – Swiss-army knives of cyber security. They do whatever their current customer needs them to do and are a true jack-of-all-trades.
About 70% of all people experience Imposter Syndrome at some point in their careers. It is when you feel like you don’t belong, aren’t good enough or somehow faked your way to the top. It can be dangerous, but you can learn more about how to overcome it here.
No matter where you are on the cyber security roadmap, there are resources here to help. The world of cyber security is large and can be intimidating. Let us help you grow your career.