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Which Courses Should I Take for a Job in Cybersecurity?

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By: Cybrary Staff

March 3, 2023

So, you want to learn about cybersecurity. Maybe we’re biased, but we think this is a great idea! Not just because cybersecurity education is our chosen field, either–the cybersecurity job market is very healthy right now, and it’s still growing. With some 700,000+ job listings available right now, getting into cybersecurity could be a very good career move. And the market isn’t slowing down, either: with so many aspects of society and the economy now dependent on information networks, the need for cybersecurity professionals is only growing.

In addition, cybersecurity is an engaging career that allows professionals to solve real-world problems with real-world impact. You’re preventing the leakage of people’s personal information–a soldier on the information frontlines.

The only problem, of course, is that cybersecurity has a relatively high barrier of entry compared to most professions. You need to acquire a lot of knowledge in order to function effectively as a professional in this field–from basic encyclopedic knowledge of various types of network systems, to highly specialized knowledge of different attack methods and how to effectively defend against them.

You also need to constantly refresh this knowledge, even after becoming fully educated, to stay on top of the latest trends in new types of cyber attacks and corresponding ways to defend against them.

Well, welcome to Cybrary! No matter what level of knowledge you’re bringing to us, we certainly have some content that can help you. Our entry-level courses will guide you through the basic principles of IT and cybersecurity. More advanced courses can help you decide on a career, or help you earn crucial certifications. And we also offer courses that’ll help you keep up to date with new concepts and technology in the field.

For more details on courses for each level of knowledge, see below!

IT Foundations

If you’re completely new to cybersecurity and network systems in general, then you’ll want to start out by getting a handle on basic IT concepts. After all, cybersecurity is basically a specialized area of IT.

IT is the study and professional management of systems that store and transmit information. Understanding these systems is a crucial part of understanding cybersecurity. That’s why we absolutely recommend that you start with our IT Foundations course. It’s not a terribly long course, only taking approximately 10 hours to complete, but it’s essential for getting oriented in the IT field.

On the other hand, if you’re already an IT professional, or the below topics look very familiar to you, and you’re looking for more specialized cybersecurity knowledge, you can most likely skip this course and continue to more specialized areas.

Here are the most important topics covered in this course:

  • Hardware: An understanding of network systems necessarily includes knowledge of the hardware those networks use to operate. You’ll learn about what types of electronic machinery are commonly used in IT-related systems.
  • Systems architecture: Once you understand the hardware, then you can begin to learn how these components interact hierarchically to create a system.
  • Operating systems: In order to learn about software, you need to have a firm grasp on the operating systems on which the software runs. Here we cover Windows and Linux, the most common operating systems used within network systems.
  • Networking: We’ll cover how different machines and software use network connections to interact, as well as the specific mechanisms by which the interaction occurs–LAN, Wireless, the Internet, and network mapping.
  • Business enablement: While the previous sections cover the “how” of it all, this section covers the “why”–in what way do these systems positively contribute to the business operations of potential employers?

Cybersecurity Foundations

Once you’ve covered the basics of IT, then you can move on to knowledge that’s necessary specifically for cybersecurity. This is a longer course, and more in-depth, but it still only takes about 30 hours to complete.

The goal of this course is to give students a picture of the kind of work cybersecurity professionals engage in. You will emerge from this course with strong ideas of how to further your studies in cybersecurity with an eye toward building a career. You can think of this course as a map of the cybersecurity field; you won’t explore any areas in too much depth, but you will understand how to proceed to get to your intended destination.

New users should not skip this course. If you are already an experienced cybersecurity professional, you will likely already know what courses you want to take from us; if not, you’ll want to start with either this or the IT Foundations course.

  • The primary goal of cybersecurity: In this introductory phase, we introduce a framework to understand what employers will be asking of you as a cybersecurity professional.
  • Cybersecurity careers and fields: It is essential to know what the different roles in cybersecurity are; after this section, you’ll be prepared to see how the knowledge introduced in the course might affect different positions in different ways.
  • Threats and adversaries: As a cybersecurity professional, what are you working to prevent? We begin to build a picture of how you actually perform your job by introducing the general categories of problems you’ll need to solve.
  • Vulnerabilities and risks: It’s also essential to know what weaknesses these adversaries will be targeting. Only once you gain this knowledge can you start diving into specific tasks you might be asked to complete.
  • Cryptography: One of the most important ways to protect information is to encode it in ways that render it indecipherable to adversaries. Cryptography is, of course, an enormously complex and large field in and of itself, but it’s necessary for any cybersecurity professional to have a working knowledge of what it is and how it works.
  • Hacking systems: Any cybersecurity professional needs to have procedural knowledge of how hackers carry out their attacks. This section will begin to give you that procedural knowledge.
  • Defending systems: Once you know how attacks work, you can begin to understand how to construct effective defensive measures that will protect your information systems from attack.
  • Security architecture: We cover how the various methods of defense can be combined into an impenetrable system.

Career Paths and Certifications

Once you understand the basics of cybersecurity, it’s time to look into obtaining certifications, which are a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to finding employment.

Cybrary has over 40 free (!) certification prep courses, designed to prepare you to fully tackle the exam for every reputable cybersecurity certification out there. Check out our article on cybersecurity certifications for more information.

In addition, Cybrary has a number of courses dedicated to specific career paths. After completing the Cybersecurity Foundations course, you can examine these career paths, which contain a huge amount of specialized information on how to pursue different careers. Take the whole course if you want to pursue a career in earnest, or simply survey various courses if you want to explore.

Staying Up to Date in Cybersecurity

Once you’re a certified cybersecurity professional, you’ll need to continue to refresh and update your knowledge. Technology changes all the time, and the various threats to information systems do too. It’s necessary to stay on top of these changes as they evolve.

Cybrary’s got you there too. Our Threat Actor Campaigns series allows you to run through realistic attack scenarios in a safe environment. Meanwhile, our Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Series is just what the title says–it gives you hands-on practice securing virtual environments and protecting them against the most common critical vulnerabilities.

Both of these courses are designed to give you experience with the latest developments in cybersecurity. We update them regularly, so you can update yourself regularly, too!

Plus, you can use your practice with this to fulfill some CEU requirements.

Conclusion No matter what your level is, Cybrary is here to help you build your knowledge base to reach higher peaks in your career.

If you’re a beginner, check out our IT Foundations and Cybersecurity Foundations courses. These will help you stand on rock-solid ground so you can make your leap into any number of specialized areas of cybersecurity.

Once you’ve got the fundamentals down, then you can check out any number of certification prep courses to get your first certifications and establish yourself as a cybersecurity professional. This is an essential part of building your resume so you can get your first job in the field.

After that, stay up to date with our Threat Actor Campaigns and Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures Series. These will help you stay on top of your cybersecurity game so you can establish yourself as a valuable and knowledgeable professional.

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