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The Ultimate Guide To Entering Cybersecurity In 2023

Updated: 11 hours ago



Hello there 👋 and welcome to 'The Ultimate Guide To Entering Cybersecurity In 2023'.


We've written this guide for individuals discovering more about how to enter the cybersecurity industry.


At Centre For Cybersecurity, we have trained over 100 mid-career switchers in Singapore through our cybersecurity courses and successfully placed them in cybersecurity roles.


This guide is a compilation of the knowledge and insights we have gathered over the past few years.


 

Table of Contents:

  1. The Growth of Cybersecurity in 2023

  2. The Vast & Blooming Cybersecurity Industry

  3. The Cybersecurity Job Shortage In Singapore

  4. 3 Reasons to Pursue A Cybersecurity Job In Singapore

  5. Types of Cybersecurity Roles & Job Scopes

  6. How Important Are Degrees In Cybersecurity?

  7. Technical Skills Needed For Cybersecurity

  8. Non-technical Skills Needed In Cybersecurity

  9. Prerequisites For Entering Cybersecurity

  10. Cybersecurity Foundation Resources

  11. What To Look Out For In A Cybersecurity Training Provider

  12. Timeline To Becoming A Cybersecurity Professional

  13. Securing A Cybersecurity Career With CFC

 

Introduction

Cybersecurity has been one of the fastest-growing industries in the past few years. This growth comes with a tremendous opportunity to enter the industry as demand for cybersecurity professionals soar in Singapore and abroad.

It is estimated that by 2023, there will be 10 million new cybersecurity job openings compared to 3 million in 2019.

One critical reason for the surge in demand for cybersecurity professionals is the immense increase in cybercrime.


Cybersecurity Ventures expects cybercrime to cost the world US$10.5 trillion in 3 years by 2025. In perspective, that's about 30x the GDP of Singapore.


Singapore is not exempt from the overwhelming cybersecurity threats. Private companies, government organisations and even the military will need competent cybersecurity professionals to fill their ranks to face these threats effectively.

Cybersecurity threats in Singapore in 2021
Image Credit: https://www.csa.gov.sg/News/Press-Releases/ransomware-and-phishing-attacks-continued-to-threaten-singapore-organisations-and-individuals-in-2021

The Growth of Cybersecurity in 2023

Cybersecurity has been and will continue to be an essential yet often invisible part of our everyday lives.


The growth of the internet, digital services, online connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to the exponential growth of the cybersecurity industry. Companies, government organisations and even individuals all rely on cybersecurity.


As hackers and threats online increase in sophistication and strength, the cybersecurity industry needs to keep evolving and growing to keep up with these changes. Communities of cybersecurity professionals have sprung up worldwide to discuss cybersecurity and the latest industry trends to keep up.


Naturally, interest in cybersecurity as a career has grown; everyone, from fresh graduates to mid-career professionals, is now looking to ride the wave.

Cybersecurity in Singapore

The Vast & Blooming Cybersecurity Industry

Trying to begin your career in cybersecurity can often take some work. Questions such as 'Where can I go to learn cybersecurity?' or 'What do I need to learn first?' are common for individuals looking to begin their cybersecurity education.

Researching cybersecurity is frustrating

Similar to software engineering, one can pick up cybersecurity skills in various ways – there are universities offering cybersecurity courses, online cybersecurity programmes, local training organisations and self-learning.

Not only is deciding where to begin a daunting task but figuring out which area of cybersecurity to pursue first is also a feat. There are many programmes in the market, all offering multiple configurations of cybersecurity education depending on job scope, industry roles, certifications, team colours and more.


While this gives you more choices regarding what you can do in the industry, it also makes it hard to choose where to begin.


Cybersecurity is a highly dynamic and vast industry, with multiple specialisation options across different sectors and because of that, there are many options to pursue.


Due to the nature of cybersecurity, there is no 'best path'. It depends on what area of cybersecurity you find yourself most interested in.

chart showing cybersecurity career
Cybersecurity Career Progression Chart

For instance, being in the Red Team as a penetration tester or vulnerability assessor would be perfect for you if you're drawn towards hacking and malware.

On the other hand, if you find defending against threats and different agents more enticing, sitting in the Security Operations Centre (SOC) as a Blue Team member is where you should be.

You may also find yourself playing management roles in the cybersecurity industry as a Purple, Yellow, Green or Orange Team member whose jobs are to manage stakeholders within the company regarding digital security in various ways.

The Cybersecurity Job Shortage In Singapore


The cybersecurity job market in Singapore is currently facing a shortage of skilled professionals.


One of the main reasons for the shortage is the rapid growth of the cybersecurity industry. In recent years, the demand for cybersecurity professionals has increased significantly as businesses and organisations increasingly rely on technology and the internet.


However, the supply of skilled workers has yet to keep pace with this growth, leading to a shortage of qualified professionals.

In Singapore alone, there is an estimated shortage of 3,400 cybersecurity professionals, according to the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA).

The shortage of cybersecurity professionals seriously affects businesses and organisations operating in Singapore. For one thing, it makes it more difficult for these organisations to protect themselves against cyber threats. Every government, company and organisation in the world will be or has already been impacted by cybercrime.


The sobering reality is that cybercrime will continue to grow with the further digitalisation of our economies and societies. With this comes a greater need for cybersecurity skills and talent in every sector and country. Without enough skilled workers to defend against cyber attacks, businesses and organisations are at a greater risk of being hacked, which can lead to the loss of sensitive data and financial losses.


The shortage of cybersecurity professionals in Singapore is a significant concern. The industry's rapid growth has outpaced the supply of skilled workers, putting businesses and organisations at risk and putting pressure on the economy. This has put a premium on the salaries of competent cybersecurity professionals.


To address this issue, the CSA and other private training organisations, such as CFC, are working to develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals through hands-on training and industry-leading knowledge.


3 Reasons to Pursue A Cybersecurity Job In Singapore

1. Iron Rice Bowl

Cybersecurity is an iron rice bowl career

Yes, we know. The bowl in the image is not made of iron, but we're all acutely familiar with this uniquely Singaporean term.


The more important question is: why do we use the term 'iron rice bowl'?


The demand and need for technically skilled cybersecurity professionals are high and will remain that way for a long time. This confluence of factors makes a cybersecurity career both lucrative and stable. As stated above, the floodgate of cybercrime has been breached, resulting in a scramble to hire individuals who can defend against these cyber attacks. In Singapore, we're familiar with the notion of stable careers such as doctors and lawyers, the new form of that is cybersecurity. A cybersecurity career is a safe choice with huge upsides as long as you have the necessary skills and continue upskilling.

2. Competitive Salary For All Levels

Competitive salary in cybersecurity

A career in cybersecurity has the potential for a high salary. Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand, and as a result, they are often well-compensated for their skills and expertise.


The average starting salary for an entry-level cybersecurity professional in Singapore is SGD$56,400, while a senior position that requires 3-5 years of experience pays between SGD$90,000 to SGD$160,000.

Individuals who excel in the industry and reach positions such as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) can expect an average salary of over SGD$200,000. Of course, the pay varies depending on factors such as skill level, industry, working hours, etc.


At Centre For Cybersecurity (CFC), our students enter their careers with a higher than average starting salary of SGD$57,600 due to the highly technical & relevant skills that are acquired during the course.

Graduates complete our courses with well-documented portfolios that display the wide-ranging technical abilities that hiring managers and companies demand in cybersecurity professionals. Additionally, CFC sends students' resumes to partner companies for their consideration towards the end of their course.