FAQ’s for graduates wanting to enter the Cyber Security industry

 

Over the last 12 months, we have received numerous calls from graduates looking to enter the Cyber Security industry so we thought we would take the most popular and useful information in one, easy to read, place.

1. Is there a demand for graduates in the Cyber Security industry?

In short, yes! Currently the industry is seeing a huge demand for graduates and industry-movers to get into Cyber Security to close the mythical ‘Cyber Security skills shortage’. Companies and senior leaders are now understanding that there is no such shortage, there is just a need to look at graduates and those with relevant transferable skills for these open roles and provide suitable training and development as necessary.

Cyber Security is always one of the fastest growing industries globally so the number of roles available to graduates is constantly increasing.

2. Do I need a specific Cyber Security degree?

Whilst a specific degree in Cyber Security is beneficial, it isn’t a must have to enter the industry. STEM degrees in general provide relevant transferable skills that some employers are looking for but, whilst these are the common degrees many in the industry have, it is not a set rule.

3. What are the salary expectations for an Entry-Level role?

For graduate roles in the Cyber Security industry, you should expect to earn somewhere between £25k-£35k although in some cases this can be slightly higher depending on your level of education and any previous work experience.

4. What is the progression like within the Cyber Security industry?

Graduate Cyber Security roles are aligned very closely to standard IT & Tech graduate positions but the progression within the Cyber Security industry does seem to be slightly faster than those in other sectors. After 1 to 2 years, the average salary rises to between £35k-£45k with the overall average salary in the Cyber Security industry is over £63,000.

Depending on the area of Cyber Security you enter (Information Security included) management opportunities can be available after as little as 4 to5 years although the average is slightly above this.

5. Are there any Cyber Security courses that are useful and are they required?

For those with degrees, many employers are willing to take on individuals without any further courses. There are however many courses that can add be beneficial at the Junior Level including CompTIA Security+, CISMP (Certificate in Information Security Management Principles), CCSK (Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge) etc.

Whilst they can cost a little bit of money, self-funding Cyber Security courses do show a real willingness to invest in yourself and highlights your passion for the industry.

6. What type of companies hires graduates?

Commonly graduates in Cyber Security were hired by large consultancy firms such as the Big 4 but we have seen a real shift, with clients in a wide range of industries are willing to take on graduates and provide the training and development required.

We work with Large Consultancies, Tech Start-Ups and FTSE100 organisations all willing to take on graduates.

7. What do I need to think about before applying for and accepting a role in Cyber Security?

There are several things you should consider,  firstly, we always recommend graduates think about what exactly they wish to do in the industry. Whilst Cyber Security can be seen as quite a niche sector, there is a wide variety of roles and specialisms all with different career paths including GRC (Governance, Risk Management and Compliance), Security Operations, Engineering, Architecture, Penetration Testing and many more. Having an idea of what specific area you wish to work in will help you apply for and accept the right role for you.

Secondly, don’t just accept the first role that you are offered unless it is the right one for you. As mentioned in the beginning, there are several roles available for graduates and you should only accept a position if it is truly right for you. Few questions you can ask yourself:

  1.  Is the company in an industry you want to work in?
  2. Does the role have the right responsibilities and career progression?
  3. Can the company offer the right training and development?
  4. Is the Hiring Manager the right individual for you to work under?

All these things need to be taken into account before accepting any positions.

We know there are probably many more questions that could be answered with regards to entering the industry, but we hope that these few provide some advice and guidance that you find useful. We have set up a group on LinkedIn called ‘Cyber Launchpad’ where we connect graduates and industry-movers with Hiring Managers completely free of charge. You will also see regular advice and guidance on Cyber Launchpad that you may find useful.