It’s never too early to learn the skills needed to land a next-gen gig in cyber security
Connected homes, cloud computing and eCommerce are just some of the market trends creating cutting-edge cybersecurity careers for tech grads this year. And with 52 job titles to choose from and one million positions currently advertised globally, it’s an alternative IT pathway seriously worth considering.
Here, we hash out how you can start to skill up in all things cyber before you’ve even finished Year 12.
1. Get basic skills online
Keen to learn cyber security skills from the couch? Fluency in code will help big-time – especially if you end up studying cyber security at tertiary level!
2. Find like-minded mates!
3. Do a hackathon!
Hackathons are a great way to get a taste of what computer science involves – particularly if the topics are cyber security-led! Like a giant tech party, hackathons are full of teamwork, problem-solving and genuine businesses that you can help out – whether it’s decoding an epic bug or upping a company’s security systems.
4. Enrol in a short course
With AustCyber predicting the Australian economy will need around 18,000 new employees by 2026, the legends at Grok Academy are on a mission to empower students to seize the opportunities of the future through short courses and classroom comps!
Head here to find a course to suit literally every level.
5. Do an internship
If you’ve done some further study at Years 12 level, check out graduate internships – a diverse range of companies offer programs where you revolve around their workplace learning new sets of skills and getting paid.
Cyber security in the classroom
According to certified instructor at the SANS Institute and managing director at Ankura, Josh Lemon, there is loads we can do while still at school to help bridge the cyber security skills gap – and eventually land a next-gen job.
Stick with what you love! “In terms of the core subjects offered at high school, stick with what you enjoy! No specific career in cybersecurity requires high performance in core subjects such as English, Maths, Science. However, there are careers in the industry that lean towards those with a strong interest in some of these areas!
“Of course, if you’re strong in English, that could help you in communicating and storytelling, or if you are strong in Maths, that may let you explore more of the analytical or technical roles. But overall, I’d encourage students to take subjects that interest them or that they enjoy.
“Taking at least one computer-based subject would be ideal, but students shouldn’t limit themselves to thinking this is mandatory.”
Get on-the-job experience! “An excellent opportunity for high school students to prepare themselves for the industry is work experience or work placements. Work experience provides students with an insight into how the industry operates and what a cybersecurity expert’s role is.”
Try and get to a conference or event! “High school students can attend cybersecurity industry conferences! During these conferences or events, students have access to industry research and new cybersecurity techniques being performed in the field.”
Your ultimate guide to cyber security careers
If you’re keen to bust cyber crime as your 9-5, we’ve got you! Get across the following reads, and be sure to check out our Discover Cyber Security Careers section.
- 5 signs you should work in cyber security – Are you a fast learner? Have you got comms covered? Yep? You’re on track for a bright career in this area of STEM.
- 4 surprising cyber security career paths – these four experts all work for one of the world’s biggest cyber companies – but took very different paths to get there.
- Hire up! Meet today’s top cyber security employers – a job in cyber doesn’t just mean working for banks or the government, there are plenty of opportunities in transport, communications and even big brands like Tesla and Apple!
Download our free Information Security Analyst Job Kit
Author: Cassie Steel
Cassie is an editor and writer and past digital editor of Careers with STEM, spending her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists.