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If you are looking for a career with almost unlimited growth potential, cybersecurity might well be the ideal path for you. The ideal candidate will have a good blend of both tech and soft skills.

Technical skills can be broken down into two categories: hands-on skills and conceptual technical knowledge, which can vary depending on the job. In terms of soft skills, companies look for cybersecurity experts who have the following skills:  understand the big picture, can simplify concepts to others who may not be as tech-savvy, love to solve puzzles, enjoy being up to speed with new and emerging threats, are not afraid to ask questions, and can work in a team and genuinely want to help others. – Cybersecurity is, at the end of the day, all about making technology safer for everyone. And your satisfaction will be far greater if you feel a natural desire to help others.

Assuming you can already or are willing to start checking off the skills and attributes above, there is plenty you can do to boost your chances of getting a job in cybersecurity. Beyond education, it will be vital you try to gain practical experience practicing your skills,and there are lots of ways to develop them. To start, I recommend trying the following:

  • Volunteer at IT and cybersecurity conferences
  • Offer to help at a nonprofit or charity
  • Join LinkedIn interest groups, professional networks, or security organizations
  • Collaborate on a cybersecurity project at your education institution or organization
  • Connect with peers on GitHub
Test your cyber smarts. Take our cybersecurity quiz. Which passwords are best? How can you protect yourself while traveling? Try your luck in answering 8 questions.

 

Ready to learn more? At the Cisco Networking Academy, we offer cybersecurity courses to equip you with the essentials to defend yourself, your employers, and your communities from cybercrime. We offer a complete, industry-standard learning pathway for next-generation problem solvers who want to protect and defend the digital world.

Want to explore cybersecurity careers? Learn more in our e-book about the wonderful cybersecurity career paths that professionals take in the industry.