Although many people only think of Mr.Robot-like hackers when they think of cybersecurity, there actually are a broad range of career paths in the industry, and even stereotypes of hackers generally miss the mark. So let's start there. There are a range of technical roles focused on the security component, such as malware researchers, penetration testers, threat intel analysts, vulnerability and exploits experts, and reverse engineers. Additionally, cybersecurity also consists of engineers who build the software behind the platforms, and includes (but is not limited to) frontend engineers, backend engineers, quality assurance, site reliability engineers, and architects.
For companies that create security products, product managers provide the roadmap and vision for the upcoming phases of development. Interface designers are also essential for any user facing product. This is an area where security tends to lag behind other industries, but user experience and user interface design are increasingly integrated into the product or engineering teams. Data scientist rounds out the more technically-focused jobs. With the growth of machine learning and automation in cybersecurity, more and more companies are seeking those with expertise in both security data and analytics as well as computational models.
There also are numerous roles that are considered non-technical, although to be fair most of these roles also require some level of technical acumen. These tend to fall in the realm of sales, marketing, and recruiting. There also is the legal path, where lawyers focus on security and privacy concerns, as well as consultants who advise corporations regarding risk assessments and postures. Slowly, there is also more demand for those in policy who also have a technical understanding of cyber security.
Across the board, some of the skill sets that are most transferable and relevant include curiosity, the ability to collaborate and work independently, a thirst for knowledge, and the ability to work in high stress environments. Those that can communicate well, written and verbally, also have an advantage in translating knowledge between tech and non-tech communities. If you're interested in checking out some free, online resources, we just compiled several of these in a on tips for getting started in information security/cybersecurity.
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