The information security industry has always been a tough sell.
And the field has had to find a way to get around that stigma.
“People often get into the profession for the right reasons,” says Lisa Buss, vice president of information security for Accenture.
“They think that they’re going to be helping solve a problem and they’re actually working on a problem they already know about.”
It takes a bit of experience to get hired.
But with enough knowledge and an understanding of how to apply that knowledge, the job market is ripe for information security professionals.
Here’s how to find your dream job in the field.
Be ready to do a lot of work before you start.
There are many types of information systems that need to be addressed to keep the internet secure.
And, yes, there’s the real threat that you might get hacked if you’re doing this kind of work, especially if you work for a large company.
The real threat comes from companies who want to sell you software that doesn’t need to work for them, Buss says.
You’ll need to know a lot about the systems you’ll be working on.
You might want to learn how to use firewalls, how to configure firewall rules, or even how to install software for remote access.
It’s a good idea to have a professional security background, too, so that you can make a good impression.
Know what you’re looking for in a job interview.
Buss recommends looking for a specific type of information system in the company you’re applying to.
There might be a technical position that needs to handle sensitive data or a security role that will allow you to protect corporate information.
And you might want a particular kind of job that requires information security skills.
If the position has a clear path to get to that position, it’s more likely that it will be a good fit.
Understand the job’s requirements.
If you’re not familiar with the job, you may have to learn a lot more about the job and how it’s structured.
“If you’re a midwife, you probably already know how to handle certain things,” says Buss.
“You know what you have to do and what you can’t do.
You have a certain amount of information you need to have to get the job done.”
If you want to find an open-source position that will require a certain type of knowledge, check out these job search resources.
Know the culture.
If a job requires that you learn certain things, then that might be an indicator that you should be able to handle that job.
If that job requires you to work with a certain set of people, it might be time to apply for that role.
The same goes for a lot, if not all, of the work you’ll do in the information security field.
Buses says you should get a job description, but don’t just check that box.
You can also check the company website or even call the HR department at your local employer to find out more information about the position.
Be comfortable with risk.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing a career path, says Babb.
“It’s hard to get into a position that requires a lot,” she says.
“So you might be okay with taking a pay cut, but you might have to give up a lot in other areas.
You don’t want to lose the job because you’ve got a bad reputation, so it might take some time to find that balance.”
It’s important to get comfortable with the fact that you have a lot at stake in your job.
There will be times when you might not want to leave.
But Buss encourages you to keep yourself flexible and be ready to adapt to changing job demands.
Know your company.
Babb says it’s important for a job to meet the company’s specific needs, including technical requirements, security requirements, and other technical skills.
“I think the company needs to have that flexibility in how it needs to support that information security role,” she explains.
And they can be flexible about it too, because they’ll have to adapt as new technology emerges.
Work in teams.
You’re probably not going to work as a team in an information security job.
You won’t have the same number of people working on the job at the same time.
That can be a little limiting, but it can also be a boon.
“When you have people that can work in teams and communicate across different technologies and different technologies can take some of the pressure off,” says Gabor.
“The team member is often able to work more efficiently, and you can have more people working at a certain time.”
Get paid for your work.
Bursk says you need a salary, but she doesn’t have any specific tips for you.
If your job requires a salary or if