I was once looking for an article just like this and asking questions like:
Where do I begin?
I am more than ready for a change.
Is this what I want to do?
Cyber Security may look like a daunting major to get involved in, but it truly is like many other types of STEM Degrees. No matter what you decide to jump into whether you are brand new to college, moving from Associates Degree onto your Bachelors, or going for a more advanced Masters or PhD degree.
If you are going into STEM be prepared to learn a new Language. No, I am not talking about learning a romance language like Spanish or Italian, I am talking about learning the jargon of the computer trade. The stuff that right now if you were to talk to ‘That IT guy’ you would not be able to follow along, and I mean-At ALL!
I was sitting in this spot a number of years ago. Business Major, been taking college courses for Waaayy too long, and working in the finance industry. I knew I could complete my Business Degree, but then what?
I asked myself this as I watched many new business majors intern and get entry level positions at the organization I already worked at without having my Bachelors. (Mind you I was tired of dealing with the aftermath of cyber criminals and filing multiple fraud claims a day on customers behalf) I was ready to make a change and do something about it instead.
So I started searching for articles like the one you are reading now. What I discovered was that the Cyber security field was growing, and not just growing but Blowing Up. Forbes said that this field is going to grow from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion by 2020 and that there are over 200,000+ jobs open in the US just waiting for a qualified candidate. This means big opportunities, and extremely competitive salaries for those entering the field.
A bunch of ‘Sorry, you aren’t who we are looking for Mr. Bank Manager’ interviews later, I found one ‘Yes, let’s go hack some things together’ interview.
And Here I am.
14 Certifications later working in the Cyber Security Field (work from home at the moment mind you), and loving every second of it. My boss is the man (not the stick it to the man type, the one you WANT to work for type), and I learn something new Every. Single. Day. I may take a break here in an hour or two to go play racquetball with my son, and squeeze and hug the nonsense out of my 10 month old baby daughter because I can, and because I normally spent that time in traffic each and everyday.
So where are you? What are you doing? Most importantly, WHY are you doing it?
If you think that this journey will be like that hacker movie you watched last night (Follow that link for a good laugh or three!), you are going to be most definitely disappointed. There is another excellent post on the topic of what it is like in the infosec field written by Parisa Tabriz which while is a tad lengthy I challenge you to check out.
I realized (and I want you to realize this or at least ponder this by the end of today) that I needed to do this for me because I wanted something different. I am not sure if you are in the same place or maybe just furthering your career but I urge you to take a leap of faith, try something new, then try harder at it, and take it one step at a time.
I hope and pray you make the right decision for your life, don’t hesitate, just decide. Be a changer, a shaker, a mover. Be ethical, have integrity, and never ever stop learning. Sit down and think about next year, 5 years, and 10 years from now.
I look forward to walking with you through all of it, step by step.
Lets begin with your Incision into the Cyber Realm.