Selecting, Building, Landing and Growing Your Cybersecurity Career

I’ve been fortunate to work in a wide diversity of cybersecurity roles over my two decades in the field – from operations, services, consulting, vendors, managed service providers (MSPs) and more. I’ve hired hundreds of professionals from senior, experienced leaders to green new recruits. Here are some tips I have for those looking to select, build, land and grow their cybersecurity careers.

Among the clients I have talked to, many of them felt intimidated and overwhelmed by cybersecurity. A good security professional is able to serve with empathy, have the ability to clearly address security issues, as well as develop an approach to help businesses stay secure. If you are able to do this, stakeholders will feel fully supported and trust you more.

I often get asked about specific, detailed technical requirements – certifications like CISM and CISSP, SANS training, specific vendor technologies, degree programs, programming skills. When I ask people what type of role they are interested in, I often get confused answers – people who don’t really know what type of role they want. There’s such a huge diversity of jobs – technical, operational, governance, leadership, support, dev, red team, blue team – that there is no one set of skills or experience that leads to success.

Start by identifying the type of job you want or are suited for based on previous experience or skillset. If you come from IT or appdev, it may be a technical role. If you come from project management or business, it may be governance. Talk to professionals at events to get a sense of what they do in their jobs day to day, and then select a career track that appeals to you. Once you know the track, you can dive into the specific qualifications that will help you be successful.

Recently ISACA sat with Michael Argast, our CEO and Co-founder. Read on to find out the three characteristics Michael has seen again and again in successful professionals.

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