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How To Shift Your Career From IT To Cybersecurity

How To Shift Your Career From IT To Cybersecurity

Ambika Choudhury

As organisations are adopting emerging technologies and working on the systems which are data-hungry, cybercrime has become one of the most common threats around the globe. According to reports, it has been predicted that cybercrimes, including damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, fraud, among others will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. This makes it the perfect time to dip one’s feet into the vast pool of cybersecurity sector.

Having an IT career is definitely a plus which will help an enthusiast to move swiftly into the path of cybersecurity. There are two main benefits for a person with an IT background:

  1. A candidate with an IT background will get a cybersecurity job preference more than a candidate with a non-IT background (excluding the experience in the prior field)
  2. An enthusiast with an IT background will understand better computer-related aspects than a person with a non-IT background

In this article, we list down 5 important points which will help an enthusiast to switch his/her career from IT to cybersecurity.



1| Brushing Up the Fundamentals

A candidate with an IT background will already have the basic fundamental knowledge of distributed computing, operating systems, basics of cybersecurity and other related topics. Also, technical skills like programming languages will help a lot to get into the field of cybersecurity. For instance, being a programmer you will understand the bugs, buffer overflows and other such vulnerabilities and how to mitigate these issues as well as protect the system. In one of our articles, we mentioned the list of interesting books on cybersecurity one must read in 2020.  

2| Focusing On a Specific Interest

In the present scenario with lots of competition going on in the organisations, it is crucial that one must focus to be the specialist rather than a generalist. Also, while focusing to be the specialist, one must understand his/her area of interest in the respective field. There are a number of highly paid jobs in this domain such as system administrator, application security engineer, cybersecurity analyst, cybersecurity consultant, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), ethical hacker, security architect pen tester among others. In this article, we listed down the above-mentioned jobs in cybersecurity to look forward to in the coming year. Hence, one must get a clear vision as to which profile to choose while specialising. 


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3| Hands-on Experience

No matter how many times you get the certifications of how many books you read, if you haven’t started to experience it practically, then it will ultimately go in vain. The more you practice with real-world examples, the better you will understand the techniques. You can take up a beginner-level real-world project and start working on it. The more you go deep into the practice, the more you will get to learn about the tips and tricks of cybersecurity. 

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4| Get Certifications

Both technical and soft skills constitute a perfect cybersecurity expert. To kick-start the journey in this domain, one should add certifications on cybersecurity in his/her profile which are being provided by many organisations. These certifications are available from beginner to advanced level and can be done for various job profiles on cybersecurity. In one of our articles, we listed down the top cybersecurity certifications one should have in 2020 such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), among others.

5| Revamp the Resume

While switching a job, it is foremost important to update the resume according to the job you are applying for. Since you are going to switch in a cybersecurity domain from an IT career, there is not much to change but you need to add the certifications on cybersecurity and most importantly the hands-on exercises and the real-world based projects which you have been practising all these time. Also, add the achievements from your IT career which you think will help you in your cybersecurity journey.

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