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Securing your first cyber security job: 3 things you need to know

By James Walsh, Business Director for Cyber Security, Hays

Digital transformation is continuing to accelerate, and organisations are increasingly looking for people who can keep their data and systems secure. With cyber security professionals in high demand, there’s never been a better time to make the move into a cyber role.

So, how do you secure your first cyber job? James Walsh, our business director for cyber security, connects tech and cyber professionals with career-defining roles across Ireland and the UK on a daily basis; we’ve asked James the questions on every aspiring cyber security expert’s lips.

What’s the best thing about working in cyber security?

One of the best things about working in cyber security is that no two days are the same – you constantly need to have your finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest technology trends and vulnerabilities. Cyber is one of the most diverse areas of technology, in terms of the skillsets needed and the types of people working in the space. The impressive salaries are an added bonus!

What qualifications are needed for a cyber security job?

While there are some cyber security-specific degrees available in Ireland, generally we find people wanting to work in cyber are those who have developed advanced computer skills from a young age. Often these people will make for the best penetration testers, despite not having formal qualifications in cyber security.

Alternatively, there are some cyber security apprenticeships. Places are limited and highly sought-after, with apprenticeship schemes looking for top-tier students from leading schools and universities across the country.

What should you include on your CV when applying to your first cyber role?

If you’re looking for your first cyber security job, chances are you may not have specific cyber skills or experience in the field. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to shout about – maybe you’ve worked on a cyber-based project at school or university, or perhaps you’ve attended a tech conference recently? Anything that demonstrates your enthusiasm and interest in the cyber space will be looked upon favourably by a hiring manager.

Reflect on previous roles you’ve had, tech-focused or otherwise, and think about any examples of when you’ve learned how to use new tools or systems without prior knowledge. These instances will demonstrate to a hiring manager that you are adaptable and willing to learn, two qualities that are very important when working in the ever-changing cyber space.

Feeling inspired? Search for the latest cyber security jobs on our website and take your first step in joining the professionals at forefront of tackling cyber crime today.

What is European Cyber Security Month?

European Cyber Security Month is marked in October and is an opportunity for government bodies to work together with private organisations across Ireland and the rest of Europe to raise awareness of phishing and ransomware across online and traditional channels. 

About this author

James is a CISMP-certified specialist in senior and executive-level technology recruitment across a wealth of industry sectors, with a keen interest in the information and cyber security sphere. His passion for cyber security began over 10 years ago when he started exploring the intricacies and complexities that come hand-in-hand with the mass adoption of technology.

As the Business Director for Cyber Security UK&I at Hays, James helps tech and cyber professionals progress their careers and ensures organisations have access to the very best cyber security talent and consulting solutions to help secure their businesses.

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