Netizen: Breaking Into Cybersecurity

The cyber workforce is all around us, from the business that provides you the internet connection allowing you to view this article to the security professionals that safeguard our private information. It can be intimidating to start with such a vast array of opportunities present. Pair a career challenge with an overall bearish job market, and a true sense of despair may arise.

However, your dream-cyber job is out there, and it’s worth pursuing. While an initial challenge, and learning curve, may be met, nothing worthwhile comes easy. Often the most challenging aspect of overcoming anything is learning the unknown. What credentials do you need? What field is right for you?

Decide Which Field Is Best For You:

The beauty of the cyber field is that everybody fits in somewhere. Each presents its unique challenges and rewards. Are you a logic-driven individual that enjoys watching projects come together? Software engineering may be for you. Do you take pride in problem-solving and maintaining an environment? You may consider becoming a network administrator. Taking the time to figure out where you uniquely fit in will only lead to higher success and fulfillment. Now is a great time to remember that your career is never a short sprint but a steady jog. Rushing short-term gains can have negative consequences on long-term goals.

With your desired field in mind, it is crucial to work out the optimal process to get there. Field-to-field requirements for education, work experience, and capabilities can vary greatly. Becoming the CIO (Chief Information Officer) of a Fortune 500 company can prove impossible without adequate experience and formal education. These requirements, or those that apply to your chosen field, should be seen as obstacles that will only push you further, not discourage you.

Consider Displayed Learning:

Relevant certifications are a great way to prove your capabilities to employers and, equally important, yourself. While certifications will vary by your chosen field, there is an overlap between them. Those determined to virtually work hands-on with IT systems, such as network engineers or security professionals, should consider CompTIA Network+ or Security+ certifications. These certifications will force you to display, at the very least, a basic understanding of desired concepts.

As for those that work amongst more software than hardware, certifications are not so readily available. Software position requirements will typically be formal education and varying amounts of work experience. For these positions, it’s still important to display your learning and efforts. Side projects are invaluable to upcoming software engineers, no matter the size of the project. Getting your side projects onto sites like Github will allow employers to see your skill level and passion for the craft.

Engage In The Community:

Social media apps such as LinkedIn are a highly underrated resource for upcoming cyber professionals. With the ability to engage with hiring managers, industry leaders, and peers, there is no reason not to stay active in the community. While a single conversation is unlikely to net a position opportunity immediately, building relationships and getting your name on the radar is invaluable. LinkedIn is also a fantastic place to display your achievements, whether certifications or projects.

Prepare For The Interviewing Phase:

Interviewing is hands-down the tallest hurdle of pursuing a career in cyber. The interviewing process should not discourage you since there is an abundance of hidden value in meeting with various companies. Rarely does your first interview turn into a long-term career. Regardless of the answer or offer, remember that this is another opportunity for a relationship. Keep an open mind to constructive criticism and inquire how to improve next time. 


An often-misunderstood notion of the cyber workforce is that an offer from an employer does not mark the end of your journey. Technology has and will continue to evolve, regardless of your current position. Remain informed and consider subscribing to popular blogs or news sources in your field. Take online courses to learn new concepts and better understand topics you already know. Being a life-long learner and committing to staying updated will ensure you always have a position now and in the future.

How Can Netizen Help?

Netizen ensures that security gets built-in and not bolted-on. Providing advanced solutions to protect critical IT infrastructure such as the popular “CISO-as-a-Service” wherein companies can leverage the expertise of executive-level cybersecurity professionals without having to bear the cost of employing them full time. 

We also offer compliance support, vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and more security-related services for businesses of any size and type. 

Additionally, Netizen offers an automated and affordable assessment tool that continuously scans systems, websites, applications, and networks to uncover issues. Vulnerability data is then securely analyzed and presented through an easy-to-interpret dashboard to yield actionable risk and compliance information for audiences ranging from IT professionals to executive managers.

Netizen is an ISO 27001:2013 (Information Security Management), ISO 9001:2015, and CMMI V 2.0 Level 3 certified company. We are a proud Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor for hiring and retention of military veterans. 

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