Importance of Pre-Training in Accelerated Cyber Security Certification Programs

Tali Sachs

A career in Cyber Security offers well-paying job security. Statistics show a projected Cyber Security workforce shortage of 3.5 million people by 2021. With a zero percent unemployment rate, demand is currently so high that entry-level Cyber Security positions come with starting salaries upwards of $80,000 a year. The key to landing one of these positions is getting specific Cyber Security Certification training.

 

The Cyber Security field is very broad, with many specializations, like risk management, analysis, incident response, forensics, cloud security, ethical hacking, PEN testing, and so on. There is initially little opportunity for a general career in CyberSec. Down the road, years of experience may provide the opportunity to serve as an organization’s Chief Information Security Officer.

 

Accelerated Specialization

Cyber Security is not a traditional industry requiring a four-year academic degree. People are taking an accelerated track, choosing professional training courses at vocational institutes.

 

The only issue with this focused vocational training is that it is designed to quickly prepare students for a career, eliminating the benefit of several academic semesters or numerous internships to help decide which specific Cyber Security path to choose.

 

So, without the benefit of time, how does one choose a Cyber Security path?

 

Previous Experience

People have different reasons for choosing to specialize in Cyber Security. Some have always been fascinated by computer networks and systems, they may want to make an impact or be recognized, or they may have simply picked an industry out of a hat.

 

Any IT experience or aptitude that a person has is helpful in deciding on the most appropriate Cyber Security path. For example, those with an IT background in networking have skills that could be put to work with a network security position. Those who have worked in software development could consider a job in application security.

 

Self-Assessment

Most people who are wondering which path to take in Cyber Security are basically starting from zero: they do not have much experience or existing and personally acquired IT skills.

 

Therefore, instead of leaning on their IT know-how to make their decision, they have to take a look at their own personality.

 

Thriving under pressure makes a candidate well suited to incident response, working in a buzzing security operations center when every second counts. Being contained and careful is beneficial for working in prevention, focusing on risk management. An aptitude for detective work and figuring out how and why things happened are good qualities for forensic investigations. Creativity and problem solving attract people to ethical hacking or PEN testing. A lone wolf might consider ethical hacking, while a team player should take a closer look at PEN testing.

 

A good communicator makes a valuable sysadmin, mediating between the world of high-tech InfoSec and the office workers. Having the ability to see the big picture and taking a holistic view of an organization’s security efforts could lead to being an excellent Cyber Security engineer or designer.

 

A prospective student should do some reading on Cyber Security positions, see what draws their interest, and think about how their soft skills mesh with the different requirements.

 

Cyber Security Pre-Training Courses

Respected and reputable professional training institutes do not hurl new students headfirst into an accelerated certification program. Carefully designed pre-training courses equip students with the introductory skills they need for success in CyberSec and help them decide if they have chosen the right path.

 

Vocational institutes can assess a student’s suitability for their chosen specialization. With case-specific challenges, they can test a student’s ability to use problem-solving skills and out-of-the-box thinking to cope with the kind of real-life challenges they will be faced with over the course of their career.

 

Pre-training courses allow students to meet their instructors. Students have access to curriculum and course materials, enabling them to gauge their comfort with the subject. There is also an opportunity to meet classmates and spend time in the classroom setting as an introduction to the training experience in general.

 

Some vocational institutes offer to refund a percentage of the tuition after the pre-training course in cases where a student may decide not to pursue a career in Cyber Security or may not pass the pre-training course.

 

Students will quickly be ready for careers in Cyber Security so long as thoughtfully created pre-training or introductory courses have been put into place. This helps with the goal of ensuring students are set up to succeed in their chosen specialization and to keep them from losing significant amounts of time and money if the fit is not right.

 

 

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