Cyber Security is the fastest growing career in the information Technology industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has made outstanding career projections for cyber security through the year 2024. However, this career is still a bit of a mystery to anyone outside the technology industry. It’s time, then, to shine a light on the hidden world of cyber security professionals.
Cyber security professionals plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Because cyber attacks are increasing in both number and sophistication, this is a career with expanding responsibilities and a constant need for continuing education. One source of cyber-attacks are government-trained hackers from countries or governmental agencies who encourage cyber-attacks as a matter of their national policy. Another is organized crime, which specializes in stealing identities or valuable intellectual property.
How to become a cyber security professional
As a cyber security professional, you need several certifications in a computer-related field. You should also gain experience in a related occupation, such as network administrator or network engineer.
The training for this profession takes place in two phases:
Phase 1 – Learning Computer Networks
A cybercriminal will usually break or, in many cases destroy a network while hacking into it. Therefore, a cyber security professional must understand how to maintain and repair a damaged network. To fully understand computer networks, this training includes three valuable certifications.
The first certification, the five-week CompTIA A+, teaches the beginner how to:
- repair and maintain desktop computers
- install devices onto a network
- troubleshoot computers for problems including viruses
Students take two exams for this certification, one for hardware and another for operating systems. Recently, the CompTIA has added repairing smart phones and other small mobile devices. Many students obtain part-time or full-time jobs after receiving the A+ certification.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
The next certification in the networking phase of this training is the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). In this 25-week program, students concentrate on five areas of study, each with its own exam:
- repairing and maintaining a corporate server, delivering programs to all of the small computers in a company
- maintaining an E-mail server
- working with active directory, which assigns rights and privileges
- performing backup and recovery of networking systems
- working with hypervisor, which gives you skills in virtual networks
Cisco Certified Network Associate
The final certification in the networking phase of cyber security training is the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), a five-week course. The Cisco certification deals with commercial routers, which act as gateways to the Internet for thousands of computers. A router controls the type of information a network receives by actually controlling the kind of packets allowed into the network. Proper router configuration will create a strong firewall, which will enhance a network’s security.
These three certifications by themselves are an excellent gateway to a career in information technology.
Phase Two: Cyber Security Certifications
The second phase of this training contains the actual cyber security certifications, which are CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker and the Certified Information Security Systems Professional or CISSP. Each of them take five weeks to complete, and they follow one after the other.
The popular CompTIA Security+ certification teaches valuable security skills to protect a network against cyber-attacks. You will learn how to analyze a network for vulnerabilities, create strong passwords and defend against social engineering.
The next certification, the Certified Ethical Hacker, has gained a high degree of publicity. The Certified Ethical Hacker teaches you what cyber attackers are doing and how you can defend against their attacks. The certified Ethical Hacker gives you access to the latest information about the state of cybercrime, and how cyber security professionals are defending against it. For example, you will be able to detect when a computer’s IP address has been spoofed. As a Certified Ethical Hacker, you create counter-measures to guard against social engineering or an angry employee that has just left an organization.
The final cyber security certification is the CISSP or Certified Internet Security Systems Professional. Students acquire computer forensic skills and are able to recover lost data, which is extremely valuable in today’s environment.
What do Cyber Security Professionals Earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median annual wage for cyber security professionals as of May of 2015 was $90,100 per year. This amount will vary, depending upon the area of the country you live in and your overall level of network experience.
Cyber security professionals work in a number of different environments:
- cyber security employees in a large firm
- network engineers with cyber security skills
- member of a cyber security penetration team
- cyber security consultant
- cyber security business owner
In addition the United States Department of Defense has a special Security Clearance, known as DOD 8140. If you do not have a criminal record this certification will open the door to you for career positions with organizations that require a high-level security clearance. Organizations that employ DOD 8140 cleared cyber security professionals pay fantastic benefits along with a generous salary. One year of constant training can place you at this level with no college degree required.
We advise a two-year training program, to allow you to gain work experience along the way. The work experience will enhance your opportunities for that first great job in cyber security.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the job outlook from 2014 through 2024 will grow at a rate of 18% per year. Unfortunately, many companies are reporting that they can’t fill positions because the individuals applying do not have the right cyber security certifications.
Your cyber security certifications usually have a life cycle of three years. While you are in this occupation, there are numerous online seminars you can attend to increase your knowledge. For example, the Certified Ethical Hacker and the CompTIA Security+ certifications offer continuing education to ensure your knowledge is up-to-date. Microsoft also offers a comprehensive continuing education program. If information is your passion, a great deal of education is available.
Where to go for this training
If you are someone who wants to join this exciting field of cyber security, you need a good computer training school. You want to enroll at a computer training school that is accredited by a national accrediting board working under the US Department of Education. These schools have an .EDU at the end of their domain, indicating that several governmental agencies have audited the school for its curriculum, job placement and quality of courses.
ABCO Technology is computer training school in Los Angeles, offering courses in cyber security. We are accredited by ACCSC and offer full hands-on training for all of the certifications listed in this article.
Call our campus today to receive more information.
You can reach us by phone at: (310) 216-3067 between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday.
If you are comfortable with email, email our campus at: firstname.lastname@example.org