Cybersecurity: Expectations vs. Reality
Written by: CJ McGillivray
Do you ever find that your expectations for the future conflict with the reality of your current circumstances? Whether you are a burgeoning cybersecurity professional or your own boss, you are probably familiar with this internal conflict. Expectations are not inherently problematic, but they can often limit our creative thinking and ingenuity. Tapping into creative thought processes is particularly important when you are trying to fend off cyber threats and outsmart cybercriminals. Understanding the reality of your circumstances can help clarify responsibilities, roadblocks and unexpected opportunities in the world of cybersecurity. From corporate budgets to daily responsibilities, here is a quick breakdown of some commonly conflicting expectations and realities within the cybersecurity industry.
- Expectation: Interviewers only care about your technical skills and are not interested in your individuality or transferable soft skills.
- Reality: Having diverse soft skills and a background in creative thinking will make you a valuable team member even if you are new to working in cybersecurity or information technology. Consider how your previous experience required you to think critically and come up with unexpected solutions to problems as they arose. Whether you have a background in administration, health care or any number of diverse jobs, you are sure to have some surprising transferable skills that will intrigue potential future employers. Check out our blog about the most common cybersecurity interview questions for some additional guidance before you meet with recruiters.
- Expectation: Wherever you end up working, there will surely be a robust cybersecurity budget to support the needs of your team.
- Reality: Your organization may not invest as much in cybersecurity as you would hope. There may be a knowledge gap with upper management or a perception that cyber threats are less of a concern. How can you combat this challenge? Advocate for training opportunities within the workplace so that everyone can get on the same page about the importance of cybersecurity. With increased education and awareness, you will start to see increased budgets and support for your department.
- Expectation: Working with computers can be repetitive and you may find yourself bored on the job.
- Reality: Cybersecurity is a dynamic field with constant learning opportunities and daily challenges. Hackers are clever and your cybersecurity team will be required to get creative and envision radical solutions to complex security problems.
- Expectation: You need to spend four years in university in order to get your foot in the door as a cybersecurity professional.
- Reality: You do not need to have a degree in computer science, but having the right cybersecurity certifications will certainly impress recruiters and get you noticed. Reputable companies such as Intel, Dell, Nissan, Blue Cross and HP have all stated that their recruiters look for CompTIA a+ certification training. The foundational training course fully equips you to begin your career in information technology and work as a data support technician or service desk analyst, among numerous other roles. If you are interested in more advanced or competitive job opportunities, then security+ certification, network+ certification or even cysa+ certification training are also ideal options. You can also check out our previous blog about the differences between CompTIA security+ and network+ certifications to help you decide which of these courses is right for you.
Though your expectations may tell you otherwise, the cybersecurity industry is becoming increasingly more accessible and attainable through inclusive hiring practices. The recognition of quality cybersecurity courses and certification training in place of traditional degree or diploma programs means that your dream career is that much closer.
Read our other blog: Why Your CISO Needs Support to Protect Your Business