How to Get into Cybersecurity in NZ (With Insights from a Cybersecurity Specialist)
Cybersecurity is an industry that calls to the inquisitive – those with a knack for technology and an insatiable appetite for solving problems. If you’re looking for a change of pace and a chance to fully utilise your talents, you’ve likely already thought about getting into cybersecurity.
After all, there’s been heaps of buzz about the industry lately. But how can you cut through the noise and actually figure out what opportunities could be right for you?
We’ve got the complete breakdown on becoming a cybersecurity professional.
What do cybersecurity professionals do?
Cybersecurity is all about protecting network and computer systems from threats. This can be proactively (through developing and implementing high levels of IT security or testing existing security measures for vulnerabilities) or retroactively (in the form of responding to and eliminating threats once they have occurred).
As we found out from speaking to a real-life cybersecurity professional, there’s a lot of variety within the field too. From ethical hacking to digital forensics, there’s dozens of different pathways to consider.
What’s the job outlook for cybersecurity professionals?
This emerging field is set to enjoy great demand well into the future. Our reliance on technology is only increasing, with the COVID-19 pandemic seeing countless companies extend to a remote working model. Without a centralised computer network, there’s even more room for security threats.
In fact, experts warn that cybersecurity attacks will only increase. According to Accenture, hackers are deploying increasingly sophisticated attacks, exploiting corporate emails and wielding online extortion tactics.
2.14 million cybersecurity specialists are needed in the Asia Pacific region alone to combat these threats. On top of this, 45% of business leaders say they find it “difficult” to find cybersecurity talent, while 16% say it’s “very difficult”. This leaves plenty of room for newcomers to make their mark.
What’s the salary like for a cybersecurity professional in New Zealand?
Due to the massive skills shortage and ever-growing demand, cybersecurity professionals are often compensated handsomely. This figure ranges between $92,000-137,000 a year. Even entry-level workers tend to take home a generous paycheck!
What are some of the perks of working in cybersecurity?
According to the Tech Remuneration Report by AbsoluteIT, cybersecurity professionals get to enjoy a great number of benefits. Some of the most-loved perks include:
Bonuses aren’t too hard to come by in the cybersecurity industry either:
What are some different cybersecurity roles?
Cybersecurity is a diverse world. Some roles you might want to consider include:
Even within a role, there’s plenty of variety each and every day, as digital forensics specialist Josh Lemon tells us:
“Even if the type of case you’re looking at is the same, i.e. a ransomware attack, the challenges will be different.”
What does it take to be a cybersecurity professional?
What courses can help you become a cybersecurity professional?
Cybersecurity is a field in which a degree isn’t strictly necessary. Instead, it’s more about what you can actually bring to the table. Here’s a rough guide of the steps you might want to take:
The right education
A certificate, diploma or degree in an IT-related subject can help you get started. This might be in computer science, network engineering, cybersecurity or the like. It’s also worth noting that 16.2% of cybersecurity professionals today have a diploma, 9.5% have obtained a certificate, and 13.8% only have their year 12 certificate. This goes to show that a high-level degree isn’t the only way to get started!
The proper certifications
Due to the sensitive information you’ll be dealing with on a daily basis, having the right certifications and clearances are paramount. A relevant industry-based certification can help to complement your formal education.
The relevant experience
Experience is king in cybersecurity. This could be through work experience, a structured internship, a hackathon, or any other form of practical hands-on learning.
With its flexibility, accessibility, challenging nature and high rewards, cybersecurity is an industry that beckons to high-achievers from all walks of life.
Ready to explore your education options to start in this exciting and lucrative field? Find out which qualifications we recommend based on your experience level.Read about Pathways
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