How to Get Into Cyber Security Without a Degree: Best Guide

Shamima

Career Consultant & Blog Writer

Published: March 18, 2023

Do you want to get into the cyber security field but don’t know how to get into cyber security without a degree? Breaking into cybersecurity without a degree can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Here are several tips to help you land a job in cybersecurity:

  • Build a Strong Portfolio
  • Participate in CTFs Volunteer
  • Stay Up-to-Date

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, the demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to rise. However, many individuals are discouraged from pursuing a career in cybersecurity due to the belief that a degree is necessary. Fortunately, a degree is not always a requirement for entry-level positions in cybersecurity. In this article, we will discuss various paths to break into the cybersecurity industry without a degree.

Understanding the Basics of Cybersecurity

Before diving into how to get into cybersecurity without a degree, it is essential to have a foundational understanding of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and sensitive data from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.

Importance of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is vital because cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly frequent and sophisticated. Cybercriminals can use malware, phishing, social engineering, and other techniques to gain access to networks and sensitive data. A cybersecurity professional’s job is to ensure that these attacks do not occur or that they are detected and mitigated quickly.

Skills Needed for Cybersecurity

To succeed in cybersecurity, one needs to have several essential skills. Some of these skills include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Technical skills such as programming, networking, and cryptography

Paths to Break into Cybersecurity Without a Degree

While a degree can help, it is not the only path to a career in cybersecurity. Here are several ways to get into cybersecurity without a degree:

Self-study

Another way to get into cyber security without a degree is by teaching yourself the necessary skills. There are numerous online resources available for free or at a low cost that can help you learn the basics of cyber security. Some popular resources include:

  • Cybrary
  • Udemy
  • Coursera
  • YouTube

One of the best ways to break into cybersecurity is through self-study. This involves learning about cybersecurity on your own, without formal education or training. There are numerous free resources available online, such as blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, and online courses.

Certifications

One of the most popular ways to get into cyber security without a degree is by obtaining industry-recognized certifications. Certifications demonstrate to employers that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the field. Some of the most commonly sought-after certifications in cyber security include:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)

Bootcamps

Cyber security boot camps are another option for those without a degree who want to break into the industry. Bootcamps are intensive, short-term training programs that are designed to give you the skills and knowledge you need to be successful in a specific field. Some popular cyber security boot camps include:

  • Fullstack Academy Cyber Bootcamp
  • Hack Reactor Cybersecurity Bootcamp
  • Flatiron School Cybersecurity Analytics Bootcamp

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are another way to break into the cyber security field without a degree. Apprenticeships typically involve a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. They can be a great way to gain practical experience and make connections in the industry. Some organizations that offer cyber security apprenticeships include:

  • IBM
  • CyberVista
  • Apprenti

Apprenticeships are a combination of on-the-job training and classroom learning. An apprenticeship program can help you gain real-world experience while learning from experienced cybersecurity professionals.

Networking

Networking is essential in any industry, including cybersecurity. Attending conferences, meetups, and other industry events can help you connect with cybersecurity professionals and potential employers.

The Job Opportunities in Cyber Security

Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field with a wide range of job opportunities. Some common roles in the field include:

Security Analyst

Responsible for monitoring networks for security breaches and responding to incidents as they occur.

Penetration Tester

Conducts ethical hacking to identify vulnerabilities in networks and systems.

Security Consultant

Advises organizations on how to improve their overall security posture.

Network Security Engineer

Designs and implements security measures to protect networks from cyber threats.

Cyber Security Manager

Cyber Security Manager oversees a team of security professionals and is responsible for managing the organization’s security strategy.

Tips for Landing a Job in Cybersecurity

Breaking into cybersecurity without a degree can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Here are several tips to help you land a job in cybersecurity:

Build a Strong Portfolio

A strong portfolio can help you demonstrate your skills and knowledge to potential employers. This can include projects, research papers, and other work that demonstrates your cybersecurity expertise.

Participate in CTFs

Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions are challenges designed to test an individual’s cybersecurity skills. Participating in CTFs can help you develop and demonstrate your technical skills.

Volunteer

Volunteering for cybersecurity organizations or non-profits can help you gain valuable experience while giving back to your community.

Stay Up-to-Date

Cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving field, and it is essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, techniques, and threats. This can include attending conferences, reading industry publications, and participating in online forums.

Also, read other job-related tips click here

Conclusion

While a degree can be helpful, it is not always necessary to break into the cybersecurity industry. Self-study, certifications, boot camps, apprenticeships, and networking are all viable paths to a cybersecurity career. Building a strong portfolio, participating in CTFs, volunteering, and staying up-to-date with industry trends are all essential steps in landing a job in cybersecurity. With dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn, anyone can break into cybersecurity without a degree.

FAQs about How to Get Into Cyber Security Without a Degree

Q: Do I need a degree to work in cyber security?

A: While a degree can be helpful, it is not always necessary. There are several paths you can take to break into the field without a degree, such as obtaining certifications, teaching yourself the necessary skills, attending a boot camp, or participating in an apprenticeship.

Q: Can I do cybersecurity without a degree?

A: Yes, it is possible to pursue a career in cyber security without a degree. There are many paths you can take, including obtaining industry-recognized certifications, teaching yourself the necessary skills, attending a boot camp, or participating in an apprenticeship.

Q: Where can I start cybersecurity without a degree?

A: There are many resources available to help you get started in cyber security. Some options include online courses, community college courses, boot camps, and apprenticeships. You can also start by building your own home lab to practice your skills and gain practical experience.

Q: How to start in cyber security with no experience?

A: There are several paths you can take to start in cyber security with no experience. Consider obtaining industry-recognized certifications, teaching yourself the necessary skills through online courses and resources, attending a boot camp or apprenticeship, or building your own home lab to gain practical experience.

Q: Can I go straight into cyber security?

A: It is possible to go straight into cyber security without a degree, but it may require obtaining industry-recognized certifications and gaining practical experience through a home lab or apprenticeship. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field and make connections in the industry through networking and participation in cyber competitions.