The extent of damage caused by the Wannacry Ransomware attack ran into millions of dollars just a few years back, but this was just the only instance of a cyber-attack wreaking widespread havoc on organizations. Cyber criminals are hyper active these days, trying to exploit all kinds of system and environmental vulnerabilities in order to initiate attacks from multiple different avenues. By 2021, these cyber-attacks have been forecasted to cost firms around $6 trillion and to either mitigate the impact of these attacks or prevent them from happening, firms are looking to source the best talent from the cyber-security industry.

So as an existing cyber-security professional or a person aspiring to become one soon, what exactly can you do to benefit off of this surge in the need for cyber-security experts? If you are a bit confused over this, but still want career advancement, don’t worry, we’ve got it covered for you.

Here are 9 top job related tips that will surely give a much needed boost to your cyber-security career:

Expand Your Professional Networking Circle:

Cyber-security is one of those rare fields in today’s time where there is no dearth of jobs. And if you believe that this hogwash then consider this fact; the unemployment rate in this industry is practically 0%. This is an incredibly mind blowing figure but one that you will need some effort to capitalize upon fully.

The best approach you can take for this is to expand your professional networking circle along with finding out as to what best job opportunities exist in this sphere. And once you have a comprehensive list, you need to start applying and pitching yourself as the best candidate for the job that is available.

Don’t Short-Sell Yourself:

The pay grades in the cyber security industry are much higher than in other conventional niches. Salaries for cyber-security experts are far beyond the national average, but if you don’t know much about them, there is a big chance that you will agree on a much lower pay scale for a job that should pay more.

To ensure that you don’t fall victim to this issue, always go to sites like Glassdoor or tap into your professional network to gauge what the expected salary should be for the job. And don’t worry as to whether if your demand is too high, the firm will reject you. HR professionals and senior management of firms know the worth of cyber-security professionals and they will pay you accordingly to ensure that you land up in their firm amidst a shortage of such skills in the market.

Work on Building Solid Skill Verification & Credentials:

The cyber-security space will have a whopping 3.5 million jobs for pros by just 2021. This is just a year away but the amount of skill and knowledge gaps that currently exist among cyber-security professionals is the biggest obstacle firms face when recruiting talent.

When hiring, a firm either looks for solid experience in industry, ranging from 3-6 years, and if that’s not available, the firm then looks for industry certifications that validate a candidate’s skill sets. So if you are short on practical experience, its best to start applying for cyber-security jobs at lower level firms and build some ground level experience.

Choose a Specific Career Path Within This Space:

The term “cyber-security professional” is wide ranging and doesn’t really tell much about what jobs in the industry entail. From titles to roles to even job responsibilities, everything will differ from firm to firm and from role to role. So whether you become a system engineer, a cyber-security analyst, system administrator, security consultant or penetration tester, you are effectively a cyber-security professional.

Choosing a certain career path within this space like the one that falls under the purview of these roles is important because it then makes it easier for you to position yourself in better way in the industry and look for more relevant jobs.

Commit To Industry Relevant Certifications:

Probably the fastest way to improve the amount you get on your current pay check is by doing certifications. Well, there is a lot of buzz among industry veterans on how certifications don’t serve any other real life purpose other than just focusing on bookish knowledge that’s of little use, but do you know what you need to do with such opinions? Don’t listen to them at all.

Certifications are high in demand by most firms recruiting top ended IT talents. These certifications enable the firms to adjudge the level of skills and knowledge a person possesses for the job tasked to him/her. And in cybersecurity, where relevant learning is hard to come by otherwise, certifications are available at all skill levels that you can do to seriously improve your chances of landing a high paying job.

For e.g. the Cisco certification path has three different cybersecurity related certifications i.e. the CCIE security center certification, CCNA security certification and CCNP security certification. If you complete all three of these, you will go through a serious upgrade in your knowledge with regards to relevant tools and techniques being used in the cyber-domain in today’s industry.

Learn About Diverse Ends Related To IT & Don’t Solely Focus On Cybersecurity:

In modern day jobs, things are often highly interconnected in places where two diverse work streams meet and overlap. Cybersecurity is no different. To become a top expert in this field, you will have to develop an extensive knowledge bank related to other IT domains like networking, infrastructure, cloud computing, Business intelligence and even Linux related topics.

Once you have such knowledge, you will be better adept at handling a firm’s security environment since you know in detail about all areas from where threats could emerge. This knowledge also helps you in coming up with innovative solutions related to securing your organization’s network.

Don’t Just Sit There, Be More Than Your Job:

Modern workforces are filled with employees who just do their jobs and commit time to little else. Don’t be that individual because in the world of cybersecurity, a person is required to be highly active in the industry by running engagements in order to keep him/herself updated with the latest trends in the field.

Not doing that will make you redundant fast so always make it a point to go to industry related events, attend webinars and have contacts with experts so that you know more on the recent developments in the domain to gain knowledge that will inevitably help you bring more value to your current role.

Take Steps To Become an Industry Influencer:

Everyone knows there are a lot of advantages that accrue by becoming an industry influencer, but most individuals, who even aspire to become one, don’t do it because they believe that influencers are only those people who either have years of experience or a sizeable audience willing to listen to them.

However, these notions don’t hold true in the Cybersecurity domain since it’s a field where each organization has its own, customized solutions to unique security problems it has faced. You can share these experiences and your opinion on top of it via blogs or social media and people will definitely come and take an interest in it.

Cybersecurity professionals are always on the lookout for unique solutions to solve problems, so you can capitalize on it by being a voice in the industry that shares them.

Learn More About The Careers You Can Follow In This Domain:

Cybersecurity is a vast field and if you find yourself interested with the actual field but not your job, then don’t worry as there are a lot of options where you can take the plunge and doing a different career path within the domain.

But for this, you will have to know exactly which options are available to you. There are multiple jobs available here like you can become a Cybersecurity engineer, a security consultant, a systems administrator or if you are looking for something more exciting and challenging, then you can even become an ethical hacker who does penetration testing to test an organization’s network and system vulnerabilities.

Wrapping Things Up:

Armed with these 9 tips, you can seriously give your cybersecurity career a boost and don’t be afraid to implement these tips if you think you are not a beginner anymore. These tips can be tweaked and implemented by professionals with all sorts of experience and knowledge.

But the most important thing here is that you commit towards actually developing a continuous strategy that allows you to work on these tips in the long term. The relevance of cybersecurity in modern organizations is likely to grow and this is sure to propel the chances people have in their careers in this domain. So what are you waiting for, start working on the sure-fire tips right away!