Would you like to start a career in cyber security even if you have no prior experience in the UK?
If your answer is yes, we are here to help you. The lack of Cyber security professionals poses a challenge for nations, organizations and businesses globally.
In the United Kingdom, the Cyber security workforce needs an increase of 12,000 individuals every year to meet the expected demand. Yet, only 7,500 new recruits, coming from colleges and other industries, start a career in cyber security every year.
According to ISC Cybersecurity Workforce Study 2021, the UK’s cyber security workforce reduced by 65,000 in 2020 and has continued to shrink by the year leaving about 33,000 cyber security jobs vacant.
This shortage of cyber security professionals is a wake up call for anyone seeking to get into the sector.
But the top question is whether it’s possible to kick off a career in cyber security without any experience. Cybersecurity may seem complicated to those outside the sphere, mostly because of the industry’s big jargon. But anyone with a little technical know-how and the desire to learn can launch themselves into this interesting career path.
In this article, we will show you how to start a career in cyber security in the UK without any experience.
But before we break down the procedures, let’s see what the cybersecurity industry entails.
What is Cyber Security?
The word cyber security is a term used interchangeably with computer security and information technology security (IT Security). Cyber security is the practice of protecting and defending computers, servers, and network systems from malicious attacks. This also includes the security of mobile devices, data and electronic systems.
These malicious attacks include identity theft, data breaches, phishing schemes, ransomware attacks, financial losses, and unauthorized information disclosure, to name but a few.
Cyber Security in Practice
Cyber security is a common practice in today’s digital age. With the use of internet-connected devices for government parastatals, corporations, NGOs, companies, businesses and individuals, it becomes necessary to strictly adhere to cyber security safety procedures and discipline against spammers, hackers and cybercriminals.
This IT security is not only essential for smaller operating communities but also helpful to key established systems that govern far-reaching physical effects. Such physical effects include but are not limited to financing elections, education and power distribution.
The industry is of great significance especially with the growth of technology and devices that constitute the Internet of Things.
What Are the Cyber Security Career Jobs You Can Start as a Newbie in the UK?
There are a number of cyber security careers both at entry and advanced levels in the UK. They include IT auditor, cyber security engineer, SOC analyst, information security analyst, information security specialist, digital forensic examiner, software security officer, security administrator, ethical hacker, web developer and cloud security consultant.
Guidelines on How to Start a Cyber Security Career without Any Experience in the UK
The following are step-by-step guides on how to become an influential cyber security professional in the UK without any experience (including without a computer science or related degree).
Study to understand the fundamentals of the cybersecurity industry
Let’s assume you are completely new, you will need to start from the beginning of things. Know and understand every detail of the basic foundation of cyber security. We have listed the core areas that are of optimum value for you:
- The Confidentiality Integrity Availability (CID) Triad
- Risk Management
- Security Control
- Data and Network Security
- Threat and Vulnerability Assessment
Explore Online Resources
The internet is the most treasured place for you to become equipped as you work towards beginning a career in cyber security in the UK without any experience.
Become an online cyber security student. Self-study the industry while you maximize the use of reliable blog content, podcasts and YouTube videos.
Also take online courses like Introduction to IT & Cybersecurity by Cybray and Computer Systems Security by MIT. You can as well search for “The Best Cyber Security Online Courses” on the internet to find more.
What about joining online social communities and groups? If you are not doing it already, your social media should be revamped. You need to start connecting and networking with IT experts, cyber security industry leaders and professionals that you can learn from and grow with as you start your cyber security career in the UK.
Be Intentional with LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter where you engage and share your growing knowledge and expertise. Many potential employers appreciate an active professional presence on social media.
Select Your Ideal Cyber Security Career Path
Cyber security is a broad and an exciting career path with high rewards that accompany its high stakes. Yes! A close look into the cyber world reveals that it has relatively low and high cyber security pathways compared to other more intricate areas.
Therefore, you must carefully select the area of specialization you want to launch into. Your selection should be based on your grit, personal vision, life experience, habits, natural talent or gifts. This will help speed up your growth when you begin a cyber security career with no experience in the UK.
Cybersecurity Education and Skills Development
A form of acceptable education in the tech world is Bootcamp. A good cybersecurity boot camp for beginners taught by the industry’s professional practitioners can transform any zealous, cybersecurity-inexperienced person from a complete beginner to a job-ready graduate in a few months.
Education and skill development are essential in the field. As profitable as self-study is, it’s not enough to be gainfully employed in the cybersecurity sphere even with the high demand for cybersecurity professionals in the UK.
In addition, adequate preparation and skill development are the winning combination to launch a career path in cyber security with no experience in the UK.
Pursue a Certification Before You Start Your Cyber Security Career
Most professionals enter the cybersecurity field after gaining experience in an entry-level IT role. So you must prove your readiness and commitment by pursuing a certification as you seek for a cyber security job without any experience.
Therefore, while you carefully observe the above-outlined steps, do your findings, enroll and pursue a certification in your chosen specialized cybersecurity path.
Is getting a certification necessary to seek a career in cyber security? In the Cybersecurity industry, certifications are very helpful for companies during the hiring process. It provides the knowledge set and skills of an individual.
Henceforth, do this, not to miss a chance of starting your career in the cybersecurity industry even without a previous experience in information technology.
Obtain Practical Cybersecurity Job Experience
While you wait for a real job to kickstart your cybersecurity career, involving in real-world practice will be helpful. You can do the following to get practical experience that will come in handy in your resume as you apply for cyber security jobs in the UK.
- Volunteer your work for cyber security organizations
- Pursue internship programs in a cyber security firm
- Work on an independent cybersecurity project
- Build a cybersecurity portfolio for yourself over time.
Find a Mentor
Find a professional in the field to mentor you. Pick a reliable professional who is willing to answer all your questions. He or she must have built a successful career path in cyber security and is still on the job. There’s a whole lot you can learn by following his footsteps.
Personalize Your Resume and Apply for Entry-Level Jobs
Here is the time to go get your first paying job that will launch your career into the cyber security industry in the UK. On your resume, consider writing about how your past or current work experience intertwines with information security. Journalists, legal practitioners, military officers, for example, often have investigative skills and strategic know-how that readily translate to the cybersecurity field. Finally, if you’ve had a previous experience in any of these fields, that makes the job a lot easier.