One of the biggest obstacles for aspiring cybersecurity professionals is the priority that employers place on technical skills. While technical knowhow is meaningful, it isn’t the only qualification to work in the field. A combination of transferrable skills and passion for the job is also relevant. How to Get a Job in Cybersecurity Without Technical Experience
So-called soft skills are in fact just as essential, if not more so, for certain cybersecurity roles. When building defenses against cybercriminals and responding to and investigating attacks, those working in the field draw on skills such as critical and analytical thinking, problem solving and creativity to perform their tasks. Cybersecurity professionals polled for The (ISC)² Cybersecurity Career Pursuers Study cited these types of skills as important to the job. If you’re pursuing a career in cybersecurity, chances are you already have some of them.
This is one of the themes addressed in (ISC)²’s recently published guide for jobseekers, How to Get a Cybersecurity Job. The guide features an in-depth analysis of the types of transferrable skills that can help applicants succeed in the field. Those skills may have been acquired or honed in other professions, such as law enforcement, HR and accounting.
For instance, law enforcement experience acquired in forensics or criminal investigations are applicable to investigating cyber attacks. Likewise, someone with an HR background may be able to transfer their crisis management skills to the cybersecurity field.
It’s important that cybersecurity career pursuers understand the value of transferrable skills. Being able to articulate and emphasize those skills to prospective employers could make the difference in landing a job.
Passion for the Job
When searching for a job, experience and skills – whether technical or not – are going to get a lot of attention from hiring managers and recruiters. But savvy employers also are looking for something a little less tangible – passion.
A good hiring manager will have a gut feeling about an applicant who demonstrates passion and commitment to the profession. This will be communicated in your level of enthusiasm as you talk to a prospective employer. You should also talk about how drive and dedication have helped you learn and succeed in past occupations.
Show employers that while you may be short on technical experience, you have a desire to learn as much as possible. In the (ISC)² Pursuers study, which also polled cybersecurity career pursuers, comments like this were common: “I understand and will learn and excel in the field because I always do when it's something challenging and I enjoy what I'm doing.”
Employers welcome passion and commitment. In cybersecurity, you have to deal with uncertainty as attackers and attack methods change constantly. It isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes skill and determination to succeed. Learn more about how to get a cybersecurity job here.