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Building a Career in Cyber Security

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Building a Career in Cyber Security


Cybersecurity is one of the most significant problems facing the digital world. Not a day goes by without reports of a government agency, retailer, healthcare facility, small business, or financial institution being attacked by malicious hackers. While their motives may vary, they have a single thing in common, the ability to gain entry into digital spaces and create chaos.

To tackle these hackers, organisations have started to develop and train IT staff. The IT professionals install and monitor defensive systems that protect digital assets. Unfortunately, skilled cybersecurity professionals are scarce.

Those who are interested in cybersecurity have noticed that this shortage of skilled professionals is a fundamental problem. So, how has this been addressed? How will this be dealt with?

The Educational Solution

As it stands, IT specialists tend toward one of several paths. Some of them rise through the IT ranks and get on the job experience, expanding their knowledge as they progress through the process. While some invest time in educating themselves through online certifications and courses. While some attend university and college to home their skills, and acquire a degree in IT.

Currently, higher learning institutions throughout the world are increasing their IT programs and creating specialised cybersecurity curriculums to help expand the industry.

Educate the youth about cyber “hygiene.”

An article in MediaSmarts recently stated, “teens use the internet as much, and in similar ways, as adults. But they also often engage in risky behaviour such as downloading illegal copies of movies and music. Popular social networking sites, like Facebook, can also expose teens to a variety of computer risks.”

The youth need to understand cybersecurity and the risks associated with hacking from early on. Most learners in primary school and high school are not aware of the basics when it comes to cybersecurity and the precautions they need to take to avoid computer viruses.

We need to show our youth the value of cybersecurity, and educate them about their role in the larger spectrum of cybersecurity. They need to have a sense of responsibility for their actions and realise the impact of their actions – not just on themselves, but on others.

Some institutions are offering assistance for learners to obtain IT certifications, and this is a great move forward for the cybersecurity industry. This is great, but these programs should be instituted at primary schools as well as high schools.

To ensure that this education is successful, schools need to invest in instructors that are skilled in the world of cybersecurity, and provide the right kind of lab facilities for them to pursue the training effectively.

Make the Right Choices

Young learners need to have a sense of ethics. Chris Wagner, writing for The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, states, “Interestingly, teens do not notice – or are unwilling to concede – that though they may lie, cheat and steal, these actions are harmful to their personal character and what others may think of them.”

This leverages off learning about the consequences of their actions so that they will separate right from wrong. Teenagers specifically, need to know how to make appropriate decisions before they take actions that can affect them or others negatively.

Teenagers can benefit by being mentored about ethical decision making and the impact these decisions can have on their futures. This is especially important if they decide to work in the IT or Cybersecurity industry. It comes down to understanding how to draw prudent and clear ethical lines.

Encouraging Female Learners

Jim Finkel wrote an article for Reuters in which he states, “Women account for just one out of ten cyber security professionals, as the gender gap widened over two years in a male dominated field with a drastic workforce shortage.”

It is imperative that we encourage more females to join STEM programs at their schools. Only one in in ten females are choosing a career in the cybersecurity industry, and a massive pool of talent has become untapped because of this. We need to reverse this trend, encouraging young women to look into the cybersecurity field.

So, how do we go about doing this effectively?

Mentorship: Guidance counsellors, and teachers should invest time in encouraging young women to pursue technical careers.

Introduce Role Models: Teenage learners are easily influenced by what they perceive to be acceptable. To motivate young women to enter the cybersecurity sector, efforts need to be made to expose them to women who have succeeded in the industry.

Classroom Equality: Counsellors and teachers must give equal opportunity to the females in their classrooms. Far too often we see that certain opportunities afforded to male students are not offered to females There needs to be a shift toward increased inclusion in the cybersecurity and IT classroom in schools.

Act Now

We must defend our digital systems. To meet the challenges that lie ahead in cybersecurity, we are going to need many more cybersecurity professionals.

We must defend our digital systems. To meet the challenges that lie ahead in cybersecurity, we are going to need many more cybersecurity professionals.

To begin filling this gap, we need to encourage young learners, both male and female, to pursue careers in the technological fields.

Masterskill Courses linked to CyberSecurity

ELK91-028SG CyberSAFE (Securing Assets For Endusers)
ELK91-074SG CyberSAFE 2017: Exam CBS-210
ELK93-006SG CyberSec First Responder: Threat Detection and Response [Exam CFR 101]
ELK93-009SG CyberSec First Responder (Exam CFR-210) with CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ (Exam CS0-001)
ELK93-027SG CompTIA Security+ (Exam SY0-501)
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