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:
- The Growth of Cybersecurity in 2023
- The Vast & Blooming Cybersecurity Industry
- The Cybersecurity Job Shortage In Singapore
- 3 Reasons to Pursue A Cybersecurity Job In Singapore
- Types of Cybersecurity Roles & Job Scopes
- How Important Are Degrees In Cybersecurity?
- Technical Skills Needed For Cybersecurity
- Non-technical Skills Needed In Cybersecurity
- Prerequisites For Entering Cybersecurity
- Cybersecurity Foundation Resources
- What To Look Out For In A Cybersecurity Training Provider
- Timeline To Becoming A Cybersecurity Professional
- Securing A Cybersecurity Career With CFC
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.
1. 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 must 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.
2. 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.
Similar to software engineering, one can pick up cybersecurity skills in various ways – university 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. Many programmes in the market offer 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.
For instance, being in the Red Team as a penetration tester or vulnerability assessor would be perfect 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.
3. 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. The demand for cybersecurity professionals has increased significantly in recent years 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 worldwide 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.
4. 3 Reasons to Pursue A Cybersecurity Job In Singapore
1. Iron Rice Bowl
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 to defend against these cyber attacks.
In Singapore, we're familiar with the notion of stable careers such as doctors and lawyers; cybersecurity is the new version of those careers.
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
A career in cybersecurity has the potential for a high salary. Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand, so 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.
Watch this short clip to find out more about starting salaries in cybersecurity.
3. Quick Career Progression
As highlighted above, the cybersecurity industry will explode in the coming years, resulting in skyrocketing demand for cybersecurity professionals at all levels.
Information technology systems will also become increasingly complicated, requiring cybersecurity personnel to continue upskilling to defend against sophisticated attacks from cyber criminals.
This results in individuals needing to progress quickly throughout their career as their job becomes more complex.
There will be no stagnation for an individual who operates in the cybersecurity industry. As long as they grow their skill sets, they will have plenty of opportunities to progress quickly.
Watch 'The 3 Reasons Why You Should (And Shouldn't) Consider A Cybersecurity Career' Below
5. Types of Cybersecurity Roles & Job Scopes
Anyone who has tried researching the various cybersecurity job scopes and certificates will know how challenging and cumbersome it can be. This is why we host our free 1-hour 'Entering Cybersecurity' information session four times a week, where we share more about the industry and how we help individuals secure a cybersecurity career in 6 months.
To help you understand the types of roles available, we have listed the six most commonly identified teams with the corresponding job scope and commonly associated certifications.
Note that the listed certifications below are not prerequisites for the job scope. They only highlight common certifications attained by individuals performing that role. This includes certifications that are attained only after they have been operating in that particular role for several years.
1. Red Team
Red teams in cybersecurity are groups of individuals who specialise in simulating cyber attacks against an organisation to test the effectiveness of its security measures. A red team aims to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in an organisation's defences and provide recommendations for how those weaknesses can be addressed.
The job scope of a red team member in cybersecurity can vary depending on the organisation and its specific needs. A red team member will typically develop and execute complex cyber-attack simulations. This may include creating custom malware, phishing campaigns, and other tactics to test the organisation's defences.
In addition to conducting attack simulations, a red team member may also be responsible for tracking and analysing the results of the tests. This can involve analysing logs, conducting forensic investigations, and providing detailed reports on the findings.
The typical job titles for individuals on a red team in cybersecurity can vary, but some standard titles include "red team analyst," "red team specialist," and "red team lead." These titles typically reflect the individual's level of experience and responsibility within the team.
Red teams in cybersecurity play a crucial role in helping organisations stay ahead of potential cyber threats. Red teams can identify and fix vulnerabilities by simulating real-world attacks before malicious actors can exploit them. This allows organisations to improve their security posture and protect themselves and their customers from cyber-attacks.
In addition to identifying vulnerabilities, red teams can help organisations develop and improve their security incident response plans. This can include testing the plan's effectiveness through simulated attacks and providing recommendations for improving the approach.
Red teams can also provide valuable training and development opportunities for other members of an organisation's security team. By exposing team members to realistic attack scenarios, red teams can help them develop their skills and better prepare for real-world threats.
Overall, the role of red teams in cybersecurity is essential for any organisation that wants to stay one step ahead of potential cyber threats.
By simulating attacks and providing valuable insights and recommendations, red teams can help organisations improve their security posture and protect themselves and their customers from cyber-attacks.
Summarised Red Team Job Scope:
- Offensive Security
- Ethical Hacking
- Exploiting Vulnerabilities
- Penetration Tests
- Black Box Testing
- Social Engineering
- Web App Scanning
Associated Certificates For Red Team:
- CEH (Master only)
- Crest CPSA
- Crest CWAT
- CREST CWS
- CREST CMRE
2. Blue Team
Blue team professionals typically focus on preventative measures, such as implementing security protocols and policies. These roles often involve monitoring and analysing network traffic to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities and developing and implementing security controls to prevent cyber attacks.
Examples of blue team roles include security analyst, security consultant, and security engineer.
Security analysts monitor and analyse network traffic to identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities. This may involve using specialised software and tools to monitor network activity and reviewing logs and other data to identify potential security issues.
Security analysts may also develop and implement security controls to prevent cyber attacks, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
Security consultants are responsible for providing expert advice and guidance on security-related matters.
This may involve working with clients to assess their security needs and vulnerabilities and recommending appropriate security controls and protocols.
Security consultants may also implement and manage security systems and provide training and support to clients on security-related issues. Security engineers are responsible for designing and implementing security systems and controls.
This may involve working with other teams and departments to identify security requirements and develop appropriate solutions. Another aspect of a security engineer's role is maintaining and updating existing security systems and conducting regular security audits and assessments to ensure adequate security defences.
Summarised Blue Team Job Scope:
- Defensive Security
- Infrastructure protection
- Damage Control
- Incident Response (IR)
- Operational Security
- Threat Hunters
- Digital Forensics
Associated Certificates For Blue Team:
- Crest CPIA
- Crest CPTIA
- Crest CRIA
3. Green Team
Green roles, also known as "green teams," are focused on developing and implementing security policies and procedures. These roles often involve working with other teams and departments to ensure all employees know and follow the appropriate security protocols.
Examples of green team roles include security awareness trainer and security manager.
Security awareness trainers are responsible for educating and training employees on the importance of cybersecurity and the appropriate security protocols to follow.
This may involve delivering training sessions and workshops and developing and distributing educational materials and resources. Security managers are responsible for overseeing an organisation's security policies and procedures. Security awareness trainers may also conduct regular assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of the organisation's security awareness efforts.
This would involve working with other teams and departments to develop and implement appropriate security controls and protocols and monitoring and evaluating their effectiveness. They are also tasked with conducting regular risk assessments to identify potential security vulnerabilities and develop mitigation strategies.
Summarised Green Team Job Scope:
- Improved logging capability, working to standardise and prioritise important events
- Better data for digital forensics and incident response cases
- Safer Change Management, including integrity monitoring
- Complete coverage monitoring, including improved Anti-Virus and End Point Protection on systems
- Anti-Virus and End Point Protection on systems
Summarised Green Team Job Scope:
- Blue Team Certifications
- CREST CNIA
4. Purple Team
Purple roles, also known as "purple teams," are a relatively new type of cybersecurity role that combines the responsibilities of red and blue roles.
Purple roles focus on actively testing and evaluating an organisation's security defences and developing and implementing preventative measures to protect against cyber attacks.
Examples of purple team roles include purple team penetration tester, purple team security architect and purple team analyst.
Purple team leaders oversee the purple team's activities, which may involve coordinating with other teams and departments within an organisation. Purple team leaders are involved in developing and implementing strategies and protocols for conducting red team operations and monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the purple team's efforts.
Purple team analysts conduct red team operations and evaluate an organisation's security defences. This involves simulating cyber attacks and attempting to breach the organisation's security systems to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Purple team analysts are also tasked with developing and implementing security controls and protocols to prevent cyber attacks within the organisation.
In conclusion, purple roles, or "purple teams," are a relatively new type of cybersecurity role that combines the responsibilities of red and blue roles. These professionals are responsible for conducting red team operations, evaluating an organisation's security defences, and developing and implementing preventative measures to protect against cyber attacks.
Summarised Purple Team Job Scope:
- Facilitate improvements in detection and defence
- Sharpened the skills of blue and red team members
- Effective for spot-checking systems in a larger organisation
Associated Certificates For Purple Team:
- Combination of Red and Blue team
5. Orange Team
An orange team cybersecurity professional, also known as a red teamer or ethical hacker, is responsible for simulating the actions of a malicious attacker to test and improve an organisation's cybersecurity defences.
In other words, they are tasked with finding vulnerabilities and weaknesses in a company's network and systems before an actual attacker can exploit them.
One of the primary roles of an orange teamer is to perform penetration testing, also known as "pen testing," regularly. This involves using various tools and techniques to try and breach the organisation's security measures, such as attempting to gain unauthorised access to sensitive data or systems.
The goal of pen testing is to identify and fix any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an actual hacker and to help the organisation improve its overall security posture.
In addition to performing regular pen tests, orange teamers are responsible for staying up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity threats and trends. This involves staying current on the latest tools and techniques used by malicious hackers and understanding the motivations and tactics of different attackers. By staying informed about the latest threats, orange teamers can better anticipate and prepare for potential attacks.
Another essential responsibility of an orange teamer is to provide training and guidance to other organisation members on improving their cybersecurity practices. This might involve teaching employees the importance of strong passwords and secure online habits or giving advice on identifying and avoiding phishing attacks.
By educating the rest of the organisation, orange teamers can help ensure everyone is doing their part to secure the company's network and systems.
Overall, the role of an orange team cybersecurity professional is crucial to any organisation's security. By simulating the actions of an actual attacker, they can help identify and fix vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. They also play a crucial role in educating and training the rest of the organisation on staying safe online.
Summarised Orange Team Job Scope:
- Inspire coders and architects to be more security conscious
- Benefit from current exposure to evolving security threats
- Offensive critical thinking is included in the builder's intrinsic thought pattern
- Decrease in overall security bug count over time
Associated Certificates For Orange Team:
- Either Red or Blue team
- Azure SEA
- AWS CSS
- AWS SAP
- GIAC ICS:612
- Crest CRTSA
6. Yellow Team
A yellow team cybersecurity professional, also known as a security administrator or system administrator, is responsible for managing and maintaining an organisation's security systems and controls. They are crucial in keeping an organisation's network and systems secure and are often the first point of contact for other security team members.
One of the primary roles of a yellow teamer is to configure and manage the organisation's security systems, such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention strategies, and access controls. This might involve setting up and maintaining rules and policies to control access to the organisation's network and systems and configuring and managing security tools and software.
By ensuring that the organisation's security systems are correctly configured and maintained, yellow teamers can help prevent security breaches and attacks.
In addition to managing security systems, yellow teamers monitor the organisation's network for potential security threats. This might involve reviewing logs and alerts from security systems and conducting regular security audits to identify and address any vulnerabilities or weaknesses. By constantly monitoring the organisation's network, yellow teamers can help ensure it remains secure.
Another critical responsibility of a yellow teamer is providing technical support and guidance to other security team members. This might involve troubleshooting security systems issues or advice on using security tools and software. Yellow teamers may also train other organisation members to stay safe online and avoid security threats.
Overall, a yellow team cybersecurity professional's role is essential to any organisation's security. By configuring and maintaining security systems, monitoring the network for threats, and providing technical support to the rest of the security team, they play a crucial role in keeping the organisation's network and systems secure.
Summarised Yellow Team Job Scope:
- Develop the security system of an organisation
- Provide technical support in a cybersecurity context
- Maintenance of internal cybersecurity systems
Associated Certificates For Yellow Team:
- AWS CP
- EXIN PCD
- Splunk ECSA
- VCP DCV
- GIAC ICS612
6. How Important Are Degrees In Cybersecurity?
One common concern with prospective students is the worry that they will not be hired without a relevant bachelor's degree or equivalent accolade. Usually, this is because of the criteria they read from job postings by companies. While a degree may benefit those looking to enter cybersecurity, it is not always necessary.
Senior Security Researcher and cybersecurity thought leader Daniel Kelley shared on LinkedIn his experience that he witnessed people breaking into the industry without formal degrees, previous experience or certifications.
Similarly, many of our students started without formal degrees, previous cybersecurity experience or certifications, yet they secured cybersecurity roles in Singapore upon completing their training.
A degree is not required for an individual entering cybersecurity at entry-level roles. Cybersecurity job postings tend to state that a degree in a relevant field is necessary. However, these are usually boilerplate hiring templates companies use when filling job postings
In reality, cybersecurity hiring managers are desperate to hire individuals who can display technical competency in their role due to the lack of talent
Based on our conversations with hiring partners and industry leaders, employers are willing to hire individuals with relevant experience and certifications, even if they do not have a degree. This means plenty of opportunities are still available for those without a degree to enter cybersecurity.
In these same conversations, we learn that their primary focus is on the technical skills and competency of the candidate. They hone in on whether the candidate can perform the role competently through technical interviews.
To prepare our students for these interviews, they undergo technical interview preparation towards the end of their course to prepare them for actual interview scenarios. Furthermore, our students' resumes are sent directly to hiring managers from partner companies.
CFC's students can tap on our alumni network when job hunting, gaining precious access to cybersecurity professionals that others do not.
According to a survey conducted by (ISC)², a nonprofit organisation for information security professionals, only about 44% of respondents said that a bachelor's degree was the minimum education requirement for cybersecurity positions at their organisation. Most organisations consider candidates without a degree for cybersecurity roles.
In addition, the (ISC)² survey found that experience and certifications were essential factors in hiring decisions for cybersecurity positions. About 84% of respondents said relevant work experience and technical competency were top factors in their hiring decisions.
Many graduates who have completed CFC's Career Kickstart course managed to secure a well-paid cybersecurity career without having a degree or having degrees in non-IT sectors.
Furthermore, the (ISC)² survey found that cybersecurity professionals without a degree were just as likely to hold management positions as those with a degree. This suggests that a lack of a degree does not necessarily hinder one's ability to advance in cybersecurity.
Pursuing a degree in cybersecurity or a related field can be time-consuming and expensive. A traditional four-year degree program can take several years to complete, costing tens of thousands of dollars in tuition and other expenses.
In contrast, gaining relevant experience through hands-on training, such as on CFC's Cyberium Arena cybersecurity simulator that trains students with practical cybersecurity skills based on real-world scenarios, can often be done more quickly and cost-effectively.
7. Technical Skills Needed For Cybersecurity
The core of being a cybersecurity professional is your technical ability.
It is crucial for cybersecurity professionals to have strong technical skills because they are responsible for protecting networks, systems, and data from various threats and vulnerabilities.
To do this effectively, they must deeply understand different technologies, protocols, and security measures. They must also be familiar with a wide range of tools and technologies used to protect networks and systems and be able to write and understand code.
With these technical skills, a cybersecurity professional may be able to effectively identify and mitigate potential risks to an organisation's networks and systems.
Here are the top 5 technical skills that every cybersecurity professional should have:
1. Networking and Information Security
A strong understanding of networking and information security is essential for cybersecurity professionals. This includes knowledge of networking technologies, protocols, and security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption. Specific areas of knowledge include:
- HTTP & HTTPS
- Intrusion detection systems
- Encryption algorithms
2. Operating Systems
Cybersecurity professionals need knowledge of different operating systems like Windows, Linux, and macOS. This includes understanding how these systems work, their vulnerabilities, and how to secure them. Specific areas of knowledge include:
- Mobile operating systems
- System Administration
- System Security
- Patch management
3. Programming and Scripting
The ability to write and understand code is essential for cybersecurity professionals. This includes proficiency in programming languages such as Python, Java, and C++ and the ability to write and use scripts to automate tasks and analyse data. Specific areas of knowledge include:
- Shell scripting
- Regular expressions
- API development
4. Cybersecurity Tools and Technologies
Cybersecurity professionals must know various tools and technologies to protect networks and systems. This includes knowledge of security software, such as antivirus and anti-malware programs, and experience with security appliances, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Specific areas of knowledge include:
- Antivirus and anti-malware software
- Vulnerability scanners
- Penetration testing tools
- Security information and event management (SIEM) systems
5. Risk Management and Compliance
Cybersecurity professionals must understand risk management and compliance to identify and mitigate potential risks to an organisation's networks and systems.
This includes knowledge of industry-specific regulations and standards, such as the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), Public Sector (Governance) Act ("PSGA") and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and the ability to develop and implement effective security policies and procedures. Specific areas of knowledge include:
- Risk assessment and analysis,
- Security policies and procedures,
- Industry-specific regulations and standards
- Data privacy and protection laws
- Business continuity and disaster recovery planning
Cybersecurity professionals need these technical skills to protect networks, systems, and data from potential threats and vulnerabilities.
By staying up-to-date on the latest technologies and best practices, cybersecurity professionals can help ensure the safety and security of their organisations.
However, soft skills are equally necessary to excel and operate effectively as a cybersecurity professional.
8. Non-technical Skills Needed In Cybersecurity
In addition to possessing a solid set of technical skills, several non-technical skills are essential for cybersecurity professionals. These skills are vital because they help cybersecurity professionals communicate and collaborate effectively with others and manage and prioritise their workload.
More often than cloud security or digital assets, human mistakes due to miscommunication, a lack of proper knowledge or oversight of data lead to the most significant cybersecurity incidents.
At CFC, we ensure students understand the link between IT and business and equip them with business acumen and communication skills. This helps them effectively interact with all departments and levels of any organisation they become part of.
Here are the top 5 non-technical skills that every cybersecurity professional should have:
1. Effective Communication
The ability to communicate effectively is crucial for cybersecurity professionals. This includes explaining complex technical concepts to non-technical audiences and collaborating with others to develop and implement adequate security measures.
Another great post from Daniel Kelley emphasised the importance of communication in cybersecurity.
2. Problem-Solving Abilities
Cybersecurity professionals must be able to think critically and creatively to solve complex problems. This includes analysing information, identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities, and developing solutions to mitigate risks.
3. Organisational Skills
Organisational Skills: Cybersecurity professionals must manage and prioritise their workload effectively to ensure that all security tasks and responsibilities are completed promptly. This includes the ability to plan and organise work, as well as the ability to manage multiple tasks and projects simultaneously.
4. Leadership Skills
Leadership: Cybersecurity professionals may be required to lead teams or projects and must have strong leadership skills. This includes the ability to motivate and inspire others, as well as the ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities effectively.
Adaptability: The field of cybersecurity is constantly changing, and therefore cybersecurity professionals must be able to adapt to new technologies, threats, and challenges. This includes learning quickly, staying up-to-date on the latest developments in the field, and adapting to changing environments and situations.
These non-technical skills are essential for cybersecurity professionals to succeed in their careers. Cybersecurity professionals can effectively communicate, collaborate, manage their workload, and adapt to changing environments and situations by developing and refining these skills.
9. Prerequisites For Entering Cybersecurity
Another common concern prospective students have is their lack of IT background. Although having past IT experience helps, it is not compulsory to possess any technical knowledge to begin training at CFC.
At Centre For Cybersecurity, we begin our Career Kickstart course with the XE Basics Module (also known as Beginners' Course) to equip all students with the necessary fundamental skillsets that will allow them to advance to more complex cybersecurity training.
This allows people with no background in programming or cybersecurity to have a leg up in entering the cybersecurity market.
This post from LinkedIn by Alexandra Mercz highlighted a growing trend of non-IT professionals entering the industry.
Depending on your career destination and the programme you are applying for, some curriculums may offer introductory courses in Python, Linux and Windows fundamentals as part of their training.
Learning the fundamentals of networking, Linux, and Windows will help build a solid foundation for your cybersecurity education if you are looking for more information to get a better footing in cybersecurity.
10. Cybersecurity Foundation Resources
It is possible to attain foundational cybersecurity knowledge as the first step into your cybersecurity journey. We have included the links to educational resources that are good places to begin your cybersecurity education.
We've written an article on free or affordable cybersecurity courses you can check out here.
1. Networking Fundamentals
- For general knowledge of networking fundamentals
- Watch this YouTube channel for a comprehensive overview of Networking Fundamentals
2. Linux Fundamentals
Learning with a Linux system by your side is always best to be familiar with and explore commands and their piping.
- Free Linux Training (Note: some content is out of date, but the overall course is relevant):
- Linux fundamentals on YouTube by tryhackme to be used with their free hands-on courses.
3. Windows Fundamentals
11. What To Look Out For In A Cybersecurity Training Provider
When choosing a cybersecurity course, there are several essential things to look out for to ensure you get the best education and training possible.
Here are the top 5 things to consider when selecting a cybersecurity training provider:
1. Course Curriculum
Choosing a cybersecurity course with a comprehensive and up-to-date curriculum is crucial. This should include topics such as networking and information security, operating systems, programming and scripting, cybersecurity tools and technologies, and risk management and compliance.
Cybersecurity evolves constantly, and training providers must keep up to date with changes and build these new findings into their curricula for students. At CFC, both our theoretical and practical components are subjected to review every month. Students are guaranteed to be learning the latest skills and knowledge in cybersecurity.
CFC's Career Kickstart offers over 200 hours of training across 6 key areas of Cybersecurity.
2. Instructor Experience
The instructor of a cybersecurity course should have a strong background in the field, with experience in both theoretical and practical aspects of cybersecurity. This will ensure that the system is taught by someone knowledgeable and experienced and can provide valuable insights and real-world examples.
Find out more about our trainer, James, in this video below:
3. Course Format
The format of a cybersecurity course should be suitable for your learning style and schedule. Online courses may be a good option for individuals considering a mid-career switch, as they offer flexibility and convenience. It is essential to consider the duration and intensity of the course, as well as any additional resources, such as study materials and support, that may be provided.
The majority of our students are adult learners with full-time careers or caretakers. We considered these and built a training system that best supports them while studying with us.
Our students have 24/7 access to course notes, class recordings, practice labs, group study sessions and 1-to-1 consultations.
4. Practical Skills
A cybersecurity course should focus on providing practical skills and hands-on experience. This may include hands-on labs, case studies, and projects that allow you to apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios.
Students at CFC get hands-on experience with the world-renowned Cyberium Arena Cybersecurity Simulator. Additionally, there are capstone projects that help build their portfolios, which are used to showcase their technical abilities during cybersecurity job interviews.
The Cyberium Arena Cybersecurity Simulator is used by Governmental, Military and top Organisations worldwide to train their people.
Most entry-level certifications, such as CEH & CISSP are, unfortunately, entirely useless in employment. This is because these certifications are earned through multiple-choice questions that do not reflect a candidate's technical skills. It is essential not to select a cybersecurity course solely to attain these entry-level certifications that will not help secure a cybersecurity career.
Read more about why entry-level certifications do not help with employment here.
Choosing a cybersecurity course with a comprehensive and up-to-date curriculum is vital, is taught by experienced instructors, and has a format suitable for your learning style and schedule. You can get the best education and training possible by considering these factors and looking for a course that provides the practical skills employers look for.
Watch this video where we discuss 'Getting A Cybersecurity Job By Studying Part-Time.
12. Timeline To Becoming A Cybersecurity Professional
As a mid-career individual with a full-time job, knowing how many hours you must commit to becoming competent enough to get a cybersecurity job is essential. For an individual with no IT or cybersecurity background, we recommend spending 18 to 20 hours a week for 4 to 6 months. Of course, this timeline varies depending on their lifestyle and available hours.
However, spending anywhere between 280 - 320 hours should enable you to reach the basic competency for employment.
At Centre For Cybersecurity, our Career Kickstart course runs for six months part-time. There are three classes per week at 4 hours each. Students also get hands-on practice outside of class on practice labs, an additional 4-6 hours. This equates to approximately 200 hours of in-class training and 96 hours of individual learning outside class.
13. Securing A Cybersecurity Career With CFC
At the Centre for Cybersecurity, bridging the transition from classroom best practices to real-life career demands is a crucial mission. CFC's curriculum enables students to fill unique niches that align with business digital transformation priorities and make themselves as applicable across organisations as possible.
The CSA has recently launched toolkits to enhance cybersecurity investment for enterprise owners and business tech leaders. CFC strongly emphasises the cultivation of cybersecurity leadership and guidance for employee cybersecurity education to align with national cybersecurity priorities.
Hands-on training that reflects employer and industry demands is a central area of focus. Covering cyber fundamentals (Windows and Linux), Security Operations Centre (SOC) and Python, and exposure to learning simulators such as the Cyberium Arena, students develop insight into cybersecurity trends and vulnerabilities to quickly adapt and apply skills gained in new contexts.
CFC's Career Kickstart programme enables new professionals to stand out from the talent pool and be effective from day one. In its push for digital transformation, CFC develops individuals who desire to innovate and problem-solve by looking at cybersecurity issues with new lenses and a complete technical skillset.
Contact a member of our Student Success Team who will guide you on your journey to becoming a cybersecurity professional today.
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