5 Misconceptions About Entering Cybersecurity
Updated: Feb 23
You must have heard that the cybersecurity industry is booming by now. With the increase in cyber threats worldwide and Singapore, the demand for cybersecurity professionals has skyrocketed in the past few years. Many people, from complete beginners to IT professionals, are beginning to pursue a career in cybersecurity. Perhaps you have even thought of entering the industry yourself but are facing some hesitation. However, information overload is real, and there are several misconceptions when people think of entering cybersecurity.
We hear common misconceptions from our students all the time and decided to break down some of them in an article for you.
Misconception 1: I Must Already Be Extremely Good At Programming
The most common misconception is that you must already be highly skilled in programming before entering cybersecurity. Although programming is a significant part of cybersecurity, the competency required to set foot in the industry is attainable within 3 to 6 months of training. The technical skills required include Python programming, understanding Unix commands, Linux and Windows networking architecture fundamentals. Though these skills sound complicated, a well-structured training programme will cover all these areas and help you understand how they play a role in cybersecurity. Additionally, soft skills are essential to a cybersecurity professional's career. The ability to think critically and work well with others is just as important as technical knowledge.
At Centre for Cybersecurity, our trainers work with students from all careers, ages and starting points. Whether you're a complete beginner or have experience in the IT industry, our programmes will help you achieve your career aspirations. In this video, our lead trainer, David Schiffman, shares about the students he has worked with in the past and how far they have come.
Misconception 2: It Is Difficult To Secure A Job In Cybersecurity
The demand for cybersecurity professionals has grown exponentially over the past few years. Every organisation, from small businesses to government institutions, is susceptible to cyber-attacks in our highly digitised world. This demand has resulted in the growth of cybersecurity skills, services and personnel. According to MySkillsFuture (SSG), job postings for cybersecurity professionals have increased 6.6 times from 2018 to 2021, with over 4162 job openings in Q1 of 2021 alone. However, only individuals with the right skillsets, competencies and attitude can quickly secure a job in Singapore and globally. Due to the nature of cybersecurity, professionals must perform well on the job. Failure to do so could result in severe consequences for the organisation. This is why the training & preparation for a cybersecurity career is crucial.
If you have done some research, you might find that the road to attaining the right skill set in cybersecurity can be confusing due to the number of training organisations, certificates and roles available. At Centre for Cybersecurity, we work with our students right from the beginning of their cybersecurity journey. We plan their curriculum around specific interests and competencies to help them secure a job with our placement partners. For instance, our Career Kickstart teaches cybersecurity fundamentals across six months, provide detailed proficiency reports, and connects our students with placement partners. Unlike other training organisations, our students are not bonded and can choose which employer they wish to work for. Students who undergo the programme and perform well can secure a cybersecurity job in 6 to 12 months.
Centre for Cybersecurity works with placement partners to help our students secure a job at the end of their training.
Misconception 3: I Am Not Cut Out For Cybersecurity
When we think of cybersecurity, most of us picture a person alone huddled over a computer, typing complex codes and seeing algorithms fly across the screen. In the real world, cybersecurity analysts do not just type code in isolation; they work in a team to solve problems, communicate solutions and apply creativity in their approach. Cybersecurity roles are varied across scope and industry. Therefore, there is no ideal persona or candidate in cybersecurity. The role of a computer forensics analyst working in a bank would vastly differ from a security operation centre analyst in a telecommunications company. If you're interested in discovering more about the types of cybersecurity roles, read this article that explains them in further detail.
If you're wondering whether this industry is for you, Centre for Cybersecurity offers a 1-day crash course known as our Cybersecurity Experiential Workshop. In this 7-hour workshop, participants learn more about the cybersecurity industry, get hands-on experience with our top-in-class cybersecurity training simulator and go through a skills assessment segment to help determine if cybersecurity is suitable for them.
By attending the 1-day programme, you would know if you're cut out for cybersecurity. At the end of the course, if you find that cybersecurity is not for you, we will offer a full 100% refund. This policy ensures that students who continue with our training programme are fully committed due to the employment opportunities awaiting them.
Misconception 4: It Is Not Worth Spending The Money
We believe that spending money on upgrading yourself is a good investment. Considering the average salary for a cybersecurity analyst in Singapore is SGD49,451/year, getting the proper education and training does pay off. However, with all investments, there are good and bad options. There are three main options to attain your cybersecurity training, along with their price points and our recommendation.
Firstly, you can attempt to self-study through online courses and books. However, this approach might result in gaps in your knowledge and requires a substantial amount of time & self-discipline. We have calculated the estimated cost of self-studying to be about SGD 10,000 and up. This comes from the cost of online courses, books and assessments. Nonetheless, if you're very tight on budget, you may read this article detailing free or affordable cybersecurity courses online.
Secondly, you can enrol in full-time courses from SIM GE, James Cook University or PSB Academy. The average cost of a 3-year degree is approximately SGD 30,000 - 35,000. These programmes offer cybersecurity degrees for students who meet prerequisites such as a diploma and a minimum GPA. This is a secure option if you have just finished your Polytechnic or Junior College education and are looking for a full-time or part-time university programme to enrol in. However, these degree programmes are stretched over 2-3 years and may delay your entry into the industry. Furthermore, cybersecurity is a highly skills-based industry where employers value the ability to perform tasks much more than any certificate or qualification.
Lastly, you can consider private training institutes that offer cybersecurity training courses. These courses may be held online via pre-recorded videos or are trainer-led. The more well-known institutions cost upwards of SGD 20,000 (before grants) for a full-time programme lasting 18 months. Although some organisations offer subsidies, we have spoken to students who spent months and paid thousands of dollars only to be repeatedly rejected from cybersecurity positions. This is because employers cannot verify their real-world abilities as the training is delivered mainly in theory. As we tell our students, there are no multiple choices for you to pick in the real world.
If you're looking for a training provider that will ensure your investment pays off, get in touch with us today. Centre for Cybersecurity offers a 6-month part-time cybersecurity course with payment plans available for students.
Misconception 5: Cybersecurity Training Requires A Lot Of Time
It takes about 6 to 12 months of continuous training to gain enough competency to secure a career in cybersecurity. However, not many people have the luxury of attending a full-time cybersecurity course for several years.
There are part-time courses available, but often, these courses are simply full-time courses broken up into chunks and stretched out even longer. These courses are not designed for those who may have full-time careers. A well-planned curriculum ensures:
Topics taught are fundamental to cybersecurity and are neither too advanced nor basic.
Enough hours of hands-on practical training via top-class cybersecurity training simulators
Sufficient support throughout the course to ensure students can keep up
Centre for Cybersecurity's courses operates solely on a part-time basis and are designed to ensure our students can attain a career in cybersecurity within 6 to 12 months. Our training provides:
Fundamental cybersecurity skills such as Python programming, Networking, Windows & Linux Fundamentals.
Hours of hands-on training on our best-in-class ThinkCyber simulator.
Lab exercises and video recordings for self-study
Group study sessions for community support
Here is a timeline of what our students go through over two years with us:
At Centre for Cybersecurity, we train everyone from complete beginners to mid-career IT executives in cybersecurity to help them secure a role in the industry.
We hope that we were able to clarify any misconceptions you have about entering cybersecurity. Although it is not easy, anyone with determination can secure a career in cybersecurity, especially with the right training partner. If you want to take your first step into the industry, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp us at +65 6950 9112.