How Can Cybersecurity Certifications Boost Your IT Career
Cybersecurity professionals earn certifications from trusted training providers like NextTech Learning who offer recognised courses from organisations such as CompTIA for a variety of reasons. Some certifications are theory-based, where learners focus on developing deep understanding of knowledge areas like risk management, system design, legal compliance, security architecture or auditing.
Other certifications are practice-based, where learners focus on acquiring hands-on skills for operational processes like network security monitoring or performing tasks with specific technologies such as operating systems, computer networking devices, cloud computing platforms/services or specialised software applications.
Finally, some certifications blend theory with practice to ensure balanced preparation for common job roles like security analysts, managers, engineers or architects.
Cybersecurity certifications are important (and valuable) contributors to a career in cybersecurity because they provide independently verifiable proof of your skills and knowledge to hiring managers. Reputable training providers encourages learners to invest the time and effort needed to pass rigorous exams that prove specialised job knowledge, ability to perform operational tasks or experience working with job-related technologies.
Why Are Cybersecurity Certifications Important?
Certifications are viewed by many to be a great investment. They help learners build confidence in their specialised knowledge, skills, and abilities and can be used to get a leg up on competitors seeking desirable, high-paying security jobs. There are often many ways to learn, such as flexible self-paced eLearning courses, instructor led in-class or virtual instructor led classes. This helps learners pick what works best for them, helping to get around some of the traditional blockers associated with higher education.
Hiring managers value certifications because they provide an easy, repeatable and reliable means of verifying candidate capabilities. In some industries (like government or defence contracting), certifications are required by regulation to ensure that all security practitioners are prepared to meet the difficult challenges they are sure to encounter on the job. Simply put, there are almost no downsides to building a resume that includes one or more professional certifications.
Earning a Degree in Cybersecurity:
Another key component of a solid cybersecurity career plan is earning a degree in an industry-relevant program. A degree in cybersecurity provides ample opportunities to learn fundamental security principles, correspond with faculty who are industry experts, network with other students, practice with technologies in authentic scenarios and develop the mindset needed to succeed in a challenging field.
The combination of a degree and specialised certifications is a good strategy for future-proofing a career and becoming an adaptable life-long learner.
Get a Career Boost at Every Level:
Career starters often enter the cybersecurity field after earning a cybersecurity degree and one or more trusted foundational certifications like CompTIA Security+ or CompTIA Network+ that many organisations require to qualify for entry-level jobs.
Career advancers tend to use certifications to specialise in an aspect of cybersecurity trade that most aligns with their professional ambitions. For example, an entry-level security analyst may acquire a more difficult or specialised certification from NextTech Learning like CompTIA CySA+ or CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) to help build the case for moving up into a higher-level position on their team or in a different part of their organisation.
Finally, career changers may pursue certifications to help chart a course into an entirely different cybersecurity domain. An example of this is earning a niche certification offered by NextTech Learning like CompTIA Linux+ or CompTIA Cloud+ to move from a generalist job role, like a security analyst, into a specialised job role like cloud security engineer or Linux security administrator.
Cybersecurity Careers Are In-demand:
There are more than 1 million cybersecurity professionals in the United States alone and another 714,000 annual job postings for openings in the field, according to CyberSeek.org, an organisation that maintains detailed information about supply and demand in the cybersecurity job market.
The site lists several broad areas of the industry, such as software development, systems engineering and security intelligence, as well as possible cybersecurity career pathways and how certifications relate to each. For instance, a CompTIA Security+ certification can boost your resume as a cybersecurity engineer, analyst, consultant, incident and instruction analyst, and more.
In Australia, Research commissioned by cybersecurity firm CyberCX recently found there were about 68,400 security professionals in Australia, which is not sufficient to meet the increasing market demand for cybersecurity services. Job ads for cybersecurity professionals are up 20 per cent year-on-year and are 65 per cent higher than five years ago, according to new data from Seek, driven by the huge demand for workers who can protect firms against cybercrime. Demand for cybersecurity professionals predates the Optus hack, but the breach is expected to refocus company and government efforts to recruit and train more workers. Research also found that salaries for cyber professionals had increased 30 to 50 per cent this year alone, depending on the seniority and experience of candidates.
Common Cybersecurity Roles:
There are dozens of different job roles and career tracks that cyber professionals can choose from. Some of the most common include:
Cybersecurity specialist: With 11,000+ annual job postings, cybersecurity specialists are in high demand. Cybersecurity specialists are trained to find, evaluate, and combat cyber threats and ensure an organisation isn’t hacked or compromised by outside threats. Cybersecurity specialists make an average annual salary ranging from $120,000 to $140,000 according to seek.com.au.
Cybersecurity analyst: A cybersecurity analyst is charged with detecting cyber threats and implementing solutions to combat them. They manage tools to monitor network activity, and they also plan and recommend security improvements. Cybersecurity analysts can make a median wage between $105,000 to $125,000, according to the seek.com.au.
Penetration and vulnerability tester: Penetration and vulnerability testers try to think like the bad guys by analysing and testing operating systems and mobile devices to identify vulnerable points. They must stay up to date on cutting edge hacking techniques and use them to identify and recommend security improvements. Penetration testers make an average salary between $100,000- 140,000 according to seek.com.au.
Cybersecurity engineer: Cybersecurity engineers build and maintain networks and systems that are safe from cyberattacks. They work hand in hand with an organisations IT team to create emergency protocols to restore networks following an attack. They also define and implement security policies, respond to emergency threats and supervise changes to security software, training and procedures. Cybersecurity engineers can earn an average annual salary ranging from $125,000 to $145,000 according to seek.com.au.
NextTech Learning provides the flexibility to choose from a wide range of courses and certifications. With such high demand for cybersecurity professionals, you can be rest assured that a career in cybersecurity is within reach.
To learn more about our wide range of cyber security and information technology courses visit NextTech Learning. To view our CompTIA course range, click here: NextTech Learning CompTIA courses.