Picture of the first book I read as well as one of the Security+ resources I used to pass the exam.
I first started with getting the CompTIA Security+ certification to be able to intern at the US Naval Hospital IT Department as an IT Technician as well as shadowing a Cybersecurity Engineer from time to time. After about 6 months of interning, I moved back to the states. I was determined to work in IT, so I applied to countless jobs, i'd say a couple hundred. It was a stringent process, because it seems the opportunities were out there, but I didn't get much responses for interviews.
With thoughts to myself, I said "What can I change to get better results?". I looked for Small Technology businesses within my area, and found one that had an open position for a "System Support Technician". The requirements seemed in my ballpark of experience, which was none. As listed, requirements were GED or High School Diploma, customer service skills, technical knowledge, baseline requirements. I applied. The next day, I decided to put on my blazer with jeans (business casual attire) and show up to the company with my resume in hand.
I walked into the building and spoke with the assistant at the Front desk. I greeted her with a smile and told her about my interest in working in IT and asked if they had available position (knowing they had one and I already applied ;-D ). I expressed my want to work in the field while being an undergraduate student, she then introduced me to the IT director. I handed over my resume and the rest was history, I got the job.
From there, I started in Technical support for 6 months in Restaurant Information Systems (POS, Digital Menu Boards, Verifone pinpads, Back office computers, routers, switches, printers, software and applications..etc). I did that for 6 months. I then worked as Software Configuration Analyst at another company. My position was contract job, after 9 months of working there, the contract ended unexpectedly. Luckily enough, I sensed the job duties were lightening up and was getting very slow so I had already started to apply for jobs. That's when I decided to apply for an Information Security Analyst position at Equifax. There were three rounds of interviews. One with the recruiter, second with the senior manager, last one with the two managers and lead Engineer.
A week later, I received a call from the recruiter with an offer. That's how I landed my first Cybersecurity job.
If you have no technical experience, it will be a lot harder to get into Cybersecurity. I would say to start in a Technical support position. It's important to understand the fundamentals of Computers, systems, and processes before trying to protect and secure devices and systems. Immerse yourself in Cybersecurity resources and perhaps create your own lab to simulate job duties of a Security Analyst (You can check out this blog about getting started in Cybersecurity),
So, what's your story? What would you advise to those seeking to enter the field?