“True Cyber Security is Preparing for what’s Next, Not what was Last” - Neil Rerup
When you hear the word ‘Cyber Security’, you may come up with several different mental images. You might imagine a warrior (Cyber Security expert) struggling, fighting, determined to save the virtual system from the attack by the enemy (hacker/cyber criminal). While such a hypothetical imagery can seem to be pretty exciting for many; for others it might posit the picture of a daunting field. Naturally, you might be wondering, is Cyber Security hard? And if it is, then how hard is Cyber Security?
Given the dynamic and ever evolving nature of the discipline, many people are gripped with the question of is Cyber Security hard to learn. The path of initiation into the field might seem to be uncertain and confusing to many, but how hard is a Cyber Security degree? Let us answer these questions.
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In this blog, we shall find answer to the significant query of, is Cyber Security hard to learn. Additionally, we shall consider questions of how hard is Cyber Security degree as well as, is it hard to get an job in Cyber Security.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber Security is the discipline which happens to be concerned with protecting devices, systems, servers, networks and programs, connected to the Internet; against malicious digital attacks (Cyber Threats and Cyber Attacks). Some of the primary objectives of Cyber attacks include: data theft, data breach, data leakage, extortion, demanding ransom, or in general to disrupt the normal procedure of business. Thus, Cyber Security is a means for guaranteeing the security of these virtual entities, in order to protect them from the activities of Cyber criminals and hackers.
If you wish to get a glimpse of the field of Cyber Security, read our blog on “What is Cyber Security?: Definition, Types, Importance and Tips to Prevent it”
Is Cyber Security Hard?
The question of ‘is Cyber Security hard to learn’ is not a straightforward one. The answer to it is not simple and whether one will find the discipline difficult or easy, will depend to a large extent on one’s own aptitude and perspective. There are two debating groups on the question of how hard is Cyber Security. One group would argue that Cyber Security is not intrinsically hard or difficult, only if one is ready to invest in the required time and effort. It claims that any individual with an inherent love for technology, one who enjoys solving complex problems, finds happiness in learning new things as well as possess the right mixture of expertise and skills; can smoothly make their way through the Cyber Security domain. Moreover, they would logically state that most of the career positions within the field of Cyber Security do not necessarily require you to have an extraordinarily high level of technical knowledge. This is especially true for people aiming at managerial positions within the field.
The second group would answer in positive to the question of ‘is Cyber Security hard’. This implies that this group argues that there are certain intrinsic features of this field which render it technically harder. This is not to suggest that one should be bogged down by the demanding nature of this discipline. However, it does suggest that it is important to not take the learning process lightly. One of the most challenging aspects of the discipline is the requirement to have the willingness to continuously learn new things as well as question the relevancy of what one has already learnt. The need to have enough expertise as well as a wide knowledge base can be an intimidating proposition for many.
How Hard is Cyber Security: What makes the discipline difficult?
In this section, we shall look at some of the intrinsic characteristics of the discipline which render it technically harder.
- Dynamic nature of the field
Cyber Security is one of those fields which is characterized by constant changes. Since there is this discovery of new kind of attack and threat on a regular basis; it is equally mandatory to develop befitting abatement strategies. This requires continuous learning and upgrading of one’s skills.
- Disciplinary content can be challenging
The technical concepts can appear to be overwhelming for individuals starting off afresh in the field. Some even argue that the course materials happen to be boring and difficult to grasp. At the same time, it can be a real challenge to make technical content interesting.
- The vastness of the discipline
Cyber Security is an extremely diverse field. It encompasses various kinds of Cyber attacks and threats. Each of these attacks demands an entirely different kind of mitigation strategy. Thus, a Cyber Security expert should not only be aware, but also be proficient in handling different Cyber Security tools and software. This could be a real challenge.
- Intimidating Technical Skills
Many individuals have argued that one of the most challenging parts of learning Cyber Security is having to acquire the requisite technical skills. This would entail the need to learn different coding languages as well as techniques of malware analysis. Moreover, as the course progresses, the technical requirement of the course increases too. Hence, if you fail to keep pace at the initial level, it would be extremely difficult to master the subject matter at more advanced levels.
Is Learning Cyber Security Hard: How long does it take?
Considerations about how long it might take to learn Cyber Security, is another important factor which must be discussed which dealing with the issue of how hard is Cyber Security to learn. It is important to remember that given the technical, demanding and exhaustive nature of the discipline, it would be naive to expect that there could be a possible short cut for making it big in the field. It is generally suggested that it usually takes a year or two to acquire appreciable command over the discipline. However, this duration is also influenced by the kind of educational path that you opt for. If you happen to go by the conventional college route, it would take you four to five years to earn a bachelor’s degree, with another two years for a master’s. If you happen to opt for the more recent route of online bootcamps, it might take you somewhere around 6 months to a year to wind up the course. However, if you opt for the self-learning path, it might take you much longer to be in a position to develop commendable expertise in the field.
Is it Hard to get a Cyber Security Job?
As you try to grapple with the question of is it hard to get a job in Cyber Security, you would be glad to know that the field abound in numerous job opportunities. The Cyber Security market landscape is marked by unlimited job prospects with the ever rising spurt in cases of Cyber attacks and threats. Moreover, since apprehensions of data theft and leakage threaten the interests of organizations across sectors; Cyber Security professionals are in high demand in various industries. In such a situation, it would certainly not be difficult to get a job in Cyber Security if you do happen to possess the requisite skills and is willing to put in the required effort.
Some of the skills required to get started in Cyber Security, include:
- Knowledge of Programming Languages
- Understanding of Operating Systems
- Ability to Detect Intrusion
- Competence in Networking and Virtualization
- Expertise in Digital Forensics
- Problem Solving Skills
- Ability to Work Creatively and come up with New Ideas
- Desire to Learn
- Inquisitive Nature
- Ability to show Initiative and take Decisions with Confidence
How to get started with Cyber Security?
It is evident that the question of is Cyber Security hard, is definitely subjective. While the answer to the question might vary; it is no denying the fact that the discipline is definitely demanding and requires you to be on your toes. In this section, we shall discuss some of the beneficial tips and suggestions which you should keep in mind for achieving success in the field.
- Start with building a strong foundation for yourself with a comprehensive introductory course on Cyber Security
If the long duration as well as rigid nature of a traditional college course is stopping you from enrolling into a relevant Cyber Security course; you can opt for a far more attractive and flexible route and that is of online bootcamps. Syntax Technologies is one such bootcamp which provides you top-notched Cyber Security training, which you can avail of right from the comfort of your homes.
- Assess your aptitude and interest in the world of technology
This is important in order to understand the channel that you wish to venture into within the Cyber Security domain.
- Take small strides, practise and learn regularly
Instead of getting bogged down by the detailed nature of the course curriculum, it will be important to manage your tasks effectively by being involved in the learning process with discipline.
- Optimally utilize free resource
There is no dearth of resources and materials online. You can embellish your regular course materials with these valuable resources in order to develop a firmer grasp of the subject.
- Practise Ethical Hacking
Cyber Security is a practical, instead of a theoretical domain. Instead of trying to understand the concepts alone, it will be worthwhile to put your understanding to test by indulging in the usage of tools and techniques of the field. For instance, legal, gamified experiences on free websites can be an interesting choice to sharpen your Cyber Security skills.
- Participate in Cyber Security communities
This will allow you to gain exposure to latest developments within the field as you share a common platform with people who are equally interested in the domain.
- Earn Certifications
This has almost become a necessity with a number of organizations actually positing it as an eligibility requirement. Preparing for a certification exam can help sharpen your skills; while a certification can in itself help enhance your resume.
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- Last, but not the least, in addition to your technical skills, you should equally focus on developing your non-technical or workplace skills. This might involve critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills.
By the end of this blog, I am pretty sure that you must have been convinced that there is no one universal answer to the question of is Cyber Security hard. Much will depend on how you perceive and is willing to invest in the learning process. The field of Cyber Security certainly has its own share of challenges, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that it is hard as compared to other technical domains. As you think of how hard is Cyber Security, you should evaluate your personal background. This is important because the field can be especially challenging for beginners with absolutely no prior experience or basic knowledge of the discipline. Having said that, do remember that the field of Cyber Security is an extremely rewarding professional arena. Hence, it is important that you do not let the obstacles overwhelm you from pursuing it as a career option.