Choosing the right cyber security career path

While cyber security jobs offer huge potential for professionals to develop their skills, get involved in interesting activities and progress their careers to the highest levels, there's often a lot of confusion about what these roles can offer and where the opportunities lie.

From the outside, it may seem as if IT security roles are generally very similar, but this is not the case. In fact, there are many unique and specialised cyber security careers that may suit different people, so choosing the right career path will be one of the most important decisions you make.

The misconceptions surrounding cyber security careers

Some of the myths surrounding cyber security careers were highlighted in a recent report commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The 'Cyber security skills in the UK labour market 2021' research, conducted by Ipsos Mori, found that among non-professionals such as company board members, the role of cyber professionals is often poorly understood, which can lead to confusion when hiring for roles.

The report noted "there was little appreciation of the multitude of cyber security career pathways and job roles". As a result, employers often have unrealistic expectations for those in cyber careers, asking them to be experts across multiple disciplines, such as information security, business continuity, data protection and business risk.

This tends to mean professionals are frequently tasked with activities that are outside their areas of expertise, and there's an assumption that individuals in non-cyber security IT roles can easily be shifted to these positions, which is often not the case without specialist retraining.

The right courses to set you on your way

Among the most in-demand roles within the cyber security sector are:

  • Ethical hackers
  • Security analysts
  • Digital forensics
  • Cloud security architects

These all require their own set of specialist skills, and while you can learn a lot on the job, it pays to have specific qualifications that reflect what employers need - even if businesses themselves don't yet realise what this is. This not only proves that you're up to speed on the unique intricacies of a position, but can also be very useful indicators to recruiters, many of which are not themselves specialists in the sector.

For example, Certified Ethical Hacking courses that focus on skills such as understanding attack vectors, spotting vulnerabilities and learning from real-world incidents can set you up well for a wide variety of job roles and start a career path that leads to being a penetration tester or security consultant. Similarly, courses with a specific focus on cloud security will be in high demand as this technology becomes more widespread across firms of all sizes.

These courses can ensure you're equipped for the unique challenges of whatever cyber security career path appeals to you and make you more attractive to employers, and are often a critical first step on any successful career journey.

Check out our range of cyber security training courses today to see which ones match your interests and skills.