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How To Earn Your First Paycheck From A Career In Cybersecurity

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By: Vijay Maripi

February 22, 2021

Cybersecurity is a fast-growing field where one can earn their paycheck as early as possible once they are profoundly skilled. Most organizations will have a team to protect their data and resources (servers, computer systems, internal networks) from cyber attacks. Within cybersecurity, there are plenty of areas one can specialize in, such as cloud security, network security, forensics, web application security, reverse engineering, threat intelligence, and risk analysis. This blog post will help you with the following steps:

  1. How to kick start the journey in the field of cybersecurity
  2. Choosing the perfect role you love
  3. Certifications for career growth
  4. How to network with current cybersecurity professionals
  5. Earning your first paycheck

How to kick start the journey in the field of cybersecurity

The first step is to learn and understand the basics of the cybersecurity field. One can make themselves comfortable with basic concepts like networking and penetration testing. Learn about networking protocols (e.g., TCP, UDP, FTP), system administration, forensics. The Introduction to IT & Cybersecurity course teaches basic cybersecurity concepts. These are some concepts that can build your confidence and knowledge of security. Practice the topics you have learned in the course; never think that watching videos will give the experience that anyone wants. Always make sure to do everything practically.

Choose the perfect role you love

If someone is a fresher or a student starting their careers, they will have ample time to plan and prepare for a job that matches their salary goals. It's never too late to plan one's journey in cybersecurity. In this field, a paycheck depends upon the role and knowledge. So the professionals who have more experience will get paid more. Plan the career with Cybrary resources, where each career path provides the skills to start the journey. Money shouldn't be the only factor to determine the best job for you. Following are some of the top-paid jobs.

Information Security Analyst (Pay Range: 50k$ to 100k$): An Information Security Analyst monitors computer networks for security problems and analyses any security violations that they discover. They will develop and enforce protection systems using that knowledge, set security standards, and operate software to protect against cyber attacks.

Network Engineer (Pay Range:50k$ to 100k$): The Network Engineer is responsible for the day-to-day design, maintenance, and management of the computer networks of a corporation. They also carry out disaster recovery activities and set up data, software, and hardware security against physical and cyber-attacks.

Soc Analyst (Pay Range: 75k$ to 110k$): A SOC analyst is a cybersecurity specialist who works as part of a team to track and tackle threats to an enterprise's IT infrastructure and to review security systems and interventions for vulnerabilities and potential improvements.

Junior Penetration Tester (Pay Range: 75k$ to 100k$): A Junior Penetration Tester helps senior penetration testers penetrate the security frameworks of clients to detect vulnerabilities and introduce solutions. They help evaluate systems regularly, generate reports, build specific testing tools and make required hardware and software improvements.

Bug Bounty Hunting (Pay Range: 0$ to 100k$): This is a freelance job where one can work at their own pace. Bug hunters mainly test the web or mobile applications for bugs on a public/private program. Bug Bounty platforms (Hackerone, Bugcrowd, Intigriti) will organize these types of programs.

Note: The pay range may vary from company to company.

Certifications for career growth

  • CompTIA Security+: Security+ certification establishes the core knowledge required of any cybersecurity role and provides a springboard to intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs.

  • CCNA: CCNA is a certification given by Cisco, the most popular manufacturing and selling networking equipment corporation globally. This credential allows you to become acquainted with a broad range of subjects, such as LAN/WAN, Network protocols, NAT, ACLs, Etc.

  • CEH: This is a 4-hour test with 125 multiple-choice questions. This knowledge-based exam will test your threat and attack vector information security skills, attack identification, attack prevention, procedures, methodologies, and more.

  • CompTIA Cysa+: CompTIA Cysa+ is the intermediate cybersecurity analyst credential with hands-on, performance-based questions and multiple-choice questions covering the most up-to-date core cybersecurity analyst skills and future work skills used by threat intelligence analysts, application security analysts, compliance analysts, incident responders/handlers, and threat hunters (SOC).

  • CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is the standard for professionals who have a career in information systems, auditing, and security. CISA candidates must pass a comprehensive examination and meet the criteria for industry work experience.

How to network with current cybersecurity professionals

Networking with professionals may provide referrals, career leads, mentoring and practical training for anyone. If you devote time and effort to getting to know your peers, they have the opportunity to help you step forward in your current profession or help you transition to a new one. Try to participate in Industry-level training, conferences, competitions, and hackathons. You can make connections on Linkedin to get support and references.

Earning your first paycheck

Anyone in the field of cybersecurity can earn their first paycheck through their job with industry-level certification and knowledge or by participating in CTF competitions, checking out for new CTFs over CTF Time, and making sure to participate in bug bounty programs. Take Industry-level certifications to beat the competition while applying for a Job.

Cybrary is one of the world's leading cybersecurity and IT training networks, providing multiple IT training courses for beginners and qualified professionals in the sector. With Cybrary, everyone can take advantage of our resources and be competitive in the industry. Get enrolled in online courses and gain the potential to earn your first paycheck.

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