With more than 14,000 new Certified in Cybersecurity members joining ISC2 last year and an additional 180,000+ Candidates gearing up to earn their first certification, ISC2 will be supporting these cyber newcomers every step of the way.

Recently, the Center for Cyber Safety and Education held its first Birds of a Feather: Newbies in Cyber webinar to promote an open dialogue and space for those leaning toward a career in cybersecurity, career changers and anyone interested in joining the field with questions. Within this conversation, we heard many of the questions and concerns that have been echoed across our social channels and in the ISC2 Community as well. Please see below for some helpful guidance and resources for those looking to step into a cybersecurity career.

What can I do to find a job in cybersecurity without experience?

Build Your Cyber Network

There are a few ways to build up your cybersecurity community. Start on social, see who in your existing circle works in the field that you could reach out to or make a post showing your interest along with your training goals. Check out the ISC2 Community - not only does this site offer many engagement opportunities, but there this a job board, career discussions section, opportunity to connect with a mentor and more. When you are ready to step out from behind the keyboard, find and join your local ISC2 Chapter. While some groups do hold virtual meetings as well, this is a great way to get to know your local cyber community.

Working Your Way in the Door

Research companies that you are interested in working for and find a position that fits your current skillset. Use your position to progress into cyber while you continue your cyber education while working for your dream company. Be sure to find out more about their cybersecurity team and be vocal about your interest and active training to transition. According to the ISC2 Hiring Managers Report, internal recruitment was found to be utilized for filling entry- and junior-level cybersecurity roles by 18% of hiring managers surveyed. It’s worth noting that this number varies widely by organization size. Those with fewer than 100 people cited 46% of these hires were internal and in workplaces with 5,000+ employees, internal recruitment was 34% of position fills. Dig deeper into this report to find the departments with the most transferable skills, the top skills cyber recruiters are looking for and more.

The More Traditional Route

Most Human Resources departments do still seek to fill their entry-level cybersecurity roles via staffing and recruitment agencies and from applications submitted to them directly. Be sure you are highlighting your transferable skills in your resume and don’t be shy to include in-progress trainings. This shows your initiative. Keep in mind the top five personality attributes cybersecurity recruiters seek are problem solving, creativity, analytical thinking, desire to learn and critical thinking.

What are cyber entry-level job titles to look out for and what tasks are they generally expected to perform?

Entry-level cybersecurity job roles include:

  • Security analyst
  • Security specialist
  • Security architect
  • Security auditor
  • Forensic specialist/analyst
  • Junior penetration tester
  • Security engineer
  • IT auditor
  • IT security manager
  • Systems administrator

The top five tasks for entry-level staff are alert and threat monitoring, documenting processes and procedures, using scripting languages, incident response and reporting.

Are there any free training opportunities or scholarships to help grow the cyber workforce?

Yes, ISC2 offers free training and a free exam for those interested in earning the entry-level Certified in Cybersecurity certification via the One Million in Cyber initiative. Visit this page for more information on how to participate and to see all of the steps.

The Center for Cyber Safety and Education, the charitable arm of ISC2, encourages and supports students pursuing a degree with a focus on cybersecurity, information assurance, or a similar field. These scholarships support students globally on their path to long-term career success. See the open applications available now at https://www.iamcybersafe.org/s/scholarships.

What events or opportunities are coming up for cyber newcomers?

Monday, March 13 - Birds of a Feather: Newbies in Cyber (Webinar)

This virtual conversation allows newcomers to the cybersecurity field to come together and share ideas or ask questions. We welcome any newcomers to the cybersecurity field, whether still trying to get your foot in the door or have just started your career. This will be an open forum conversation to encourage honest, open dialog to discuss your experience in starting your career in cyber. Let's chat!

Wednesday, April 19 - ISC2 Guide to Membership (Webinar)

Join the ISC2 membership team LIVE to learn about YOUR membership. Get an overview of how to navigate your member account, details on how to maintain your certification and advice on how to make the most of your membership. Whether you're a newly certified member or have held the CISSP for years, join ISC2 to hear all about what is new for members.

Join us for this live Q&A where our panel of experts will answer your questions about CC before you sit for the exam. We’ll go over certification requirements, the domains, self-study resources, training options and more to help you build confidence so you’re ready on exam day. You’ll also learn about career opportunities in cybersecurity, available training tools, what to expect on exam day and much more!

For more on how to find your way into a cyber career, visit the guide to the evolving cybersecurity recruitment landscape.