IT Career Guide

Alternatives for Starting a Robust Cybersecurity Career

Alternatives for Starting a Robust Cybersecurity Career

People often misunderstand cybersecurity, thinking it encompasses all aspects of information technology (IT). However, it’s a specialized field within the broader IT and tech industries. These misconceptions have given rise to some common myths.

Contrary to popular belief, taking cybersecurity courses isn’t the sole pathway into the field. Similarly, it’s important to note that not every IT job falls under the umbrella of cybersecurity. The cybersecurity industry is projected to be worth USD 424.97 billion by 2030, highlighting its distinct and growing significance.

This article will explore how cybersecurity works in the larger context of IT and tech. More importantly, we will introduce other training and educational options you can consider if you’re after this increasingly in-demand sector.

An Overview of the Cybersecurity Space

Like everything else in tech, cybersecurity is a rapidly changing sector. At its core, however, is the straightforward objective of protecting information from internal and external threats. As cyber threats evolve, the need for specialized skills in various cybersecurity disciplines becomes increasingly critical. 

This dynamic landscape makes it essential for professionals to stay updated on the latest trends and technologies. With that said, below are a couple of particular disciplines within computer and IT security worth looking into:

  1. Network Security

Your company is a self-contained network that, depending on the setup, regularly communicates with the outside world. Network security ensures that no external attacks penetrate your network or that no threat from an internal part of the network spreads to others.

Solutions in network security include Identity Access Management, Intrusion Prevention, and Data Loss Prevention.

  1. Cloud Security

This form of cybersecurity is similar to network security, except that a significant part of the network is hosted on the cloud. Despite these apparent similarities, securing cloud assets requires different tools and expertise.

For enterprise-level requirements, security solutions bundled with cloud hosting services may be inadequate to meet your needs. This inadequacy is why companies often enlist third-party cybersecurity solutions instead of risking user information, trade secrets, and online abilities.

  1. Endpoint Security

In a network, an endpoint is a remote device that receives and sends data to a central network. It includes end-user devices such as smartphones, laptops, and workstations. As a proactive approach to cybersecurity, endpoint security is concerned with device access and monitoring them for unusual behavior.

Remote and hybrid work setups became common during the pandemic and the following period. With a segment of the workforce working remotely, there is now a steady requirement to keep all those endpoints under control.

  1. IoT Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become popular for homes and businesses. This online approach to automating spaces offers new levels of productivity and comfort. 

However, this device-centered network arrangement creates a unique set of security requirements, including measures such as device and user authentication and regular software patches. These IoT-related security measures are essential to prevent attackers from exploiting device and software vulnerabilities.

  1. App Security

Web and mobile apps also connect to a predetermined network and the rest of the internet. While the market is flooded with apps, an independent survey revealed that 83% of apps suffer from at least one security flaw—and it can make all the difference.

Application security usually stops bot attacks and interactions with harmful programs and interfaces.

Cybersecurity has grown large enough to spawn various specializations requiring specific skills and knowledge. Conversely, cybersecurity is a subset of the much more diverse information technology industry. This situation means that general IT skills and competencies can still serve as a foundation for everyone looking to enter these more specific career paths.

Other IT Paths for a Robust Cybersecurity Career

Understandably, many people looking to enter IT prefer getting into cybersecurity from the get-go. The US Bureau of Labor and Services notes that there will be over 700,000 open positions in the US in 2022, and jobs are projected to grow by 35% by 2031.

One advantage of being in the IT industry is the immense potential for both lateral and vertical career advancement. No skillset is so specialized that it limits a talented professional from exploring many opportunities. If you aim to kickstart your cybersecurity career while keeping doors open to other areas, here are some courses worth considering.

Linux (System Administration)

Regarding general OS usage globally, Windows still takes the lead by a large margin. However, for IT professionals, developers, system administrators, and network engineers, Linux remains the top choice. It is an open-source operating system that is highly customizable and designed for security.

Although Linux courses are primarily geared toward preparing learners for a career in System Administration (SysAd), the basic skills in scripting and network configuration are crucial for a lot of cybersecurity applications. User account management, for example, is a vital prerequisite for network security and endpoint detection and response measures.

Cloud Computing

Understanding how cloud computing works should be a given if you are to protect assets in the cloud. Most professional cloud training programs teach you how to work with an enterprise-level cloud computing platform such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure.

In addition to a head start in cloud security, the top cloud computing courses for job prospects include modules on Linux administration and Python. Python is particularly favored as a programming language for web and app development.

Start Your IT Career with a Boost

At a time of changing priorities in the tech and IT industries, more professionals are being pulled to shift careers. Even if you’re remotely in tech, you can transition smoothly into your dream job with Yellow Tail Tech. With our industry-approved programs and a roster of subject matter experts, even non-IT people can get upskilled and certified in their chosen profession.

Start your dream career in cybersecurity today. Book a 10-minute intro call with an Enrollment Advisor now!

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Silvana Zapanta

Sil brings a wealth of experience to her writing and editing projects. After nearly a decade guiding college students in research and communication, she shifted her focus to freelance writing and editing. Her passion for education continues through volunteer work, where she empowers others by teaching research and writing skills.

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