Interested in a career in Cyber Security? The best course I can recommend for you is to decide which area of cyber security you are interested in pursuing. The era of generalists in security is fading behind us quickly. Increasingly, we have network security, forensics, incident handling, and service or application specific security technicians. Once you have that area in mind, here are some suggestions:
- Learn Linux. There are lots of great courses that will teach you Linux in one flavor or another. Which flavor you pick isn’t important, but getting familiar with how the operating systems work is.
- Learn how to script. My favorite is Python, but there are still lots of people you use Perl. Finding and fixing security vulnerabilities is too complex to do manually and you’ll need to script. The same goes for log or configuration file analysis. Don’t be the person who runs the script, be the person who understands it.
- Get some certificates. Certificates are a good way to communicate that you have more than a college class behind you in a certain area. CompTIA certs like Security+ and Network+ are stepping stones to getting an interview. More advanced certificates in whichever area you’ve chosen to pursue build from these basics.
- Get some experience. Find an internship and use the skills you’ve been exposed to in class. Not only will this show you what the industry is like but it will also give you the chance to network with more experienced professionals.
- Read on your area. While I’m sure you’re busy reading for classes, don’t miss out on the amount of current information floating around in blogs and online forums. Get on LinkedIn and join some of the groups, follow their discussions, and start getting a sense for trends in the security industry.
First published on March 18, 2014