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Terry Bandy

Terry Bandy SharesHow to Land a Cybersecurity Job Even if You’re Not a Data Scientist

Terry Bandy

Terry Bandy, data scientist and well-respected voice in the world of cybersecurity, will be the first to tell you that you do not have to be a data scientist in order to retain gainful employment in the cybersecurity community.

There is a huge skills gap in the cybersecurity industry, and that gap is getting wider by the day. Cybercriminals are becoming more prevalent by the day as well. There will only be more jobs available in this type of environment. As a matter of fact, data scientists are actually trying to expand their skill sets beyond their current data science background into the human element that is backing most of the threats that companies will be facing. What does all of this mean to you?

Even if you do not have hard industry experience, you can still get a job.

Companies expect that their data security will come from a variety of backgrounds. As a matter of fact, they screen for this. You may come from theoretical physics or financial marketing. The variety of opinions in the room make a much higher level of solutions building. Teams with different perspectives can build smarter systems that can watch different angles to stop malicious users from hacking into a network.

No matter how you solved problems in your previous job, the secret is being able to articulate each step of your problem-solving process. If you are looking to make waves in cybersecurity, you must be an individual and original thinker. Just like your math teacher in third grade told you, show your work. Hiring managers will go wild if you can explain to them exactly how your skills will translate into the cyber environment. They are looking to you for the answers because they do not have the majority of them.

Project management and communication skills are just as important as technical skills in the current cybersecurity market. Why? Data science does not occur in a vacuum. The larger the company, the more complicated the problems, and the more integrated the solutions need to be between disciplines. The ability to collaborate between these disciplines is almost as important as the discipline itself.

Many people will actually appreciate that you can communicate the more technical parts of your work in layman’s terms. If you can keep yourself organized as well, you are well on your way to getting a great job in the cyber industry.

However, there is something to be said for people who want to have data science skills as well. All that you really need is an excitement for the field of data science; you do not need to be an expert yet if you have one or more of the skill sets mentioned above. You never know what roles employers will have for you to fill. Mention that you have an interest in data science and what you are doing to study the field.

You also have an ability to advance quickly if you are willing to learn fast. You may not be able to accomplish your dream job from day one. However, you can merge yourself into these positions if you study the right disciplines. For instance, while you are taking classes to learn the technical aspects of data security, you can advance your career more quickly through experience with procedures and policies. As you move into managerial positions that do not require all of your time to accomplish, you will have more time to expand your skill set and impress your employer.

You should also apply to companies that match your core value set. HR managers are looking for people who fit the culture of a company because a lower turnover rate looks better on them. If you understand the core values of security and privacy, you will be able to get your foot in the door at more companies than you may think.

Make sure that you “show your work” about how your personal values align with the organization that you are applying to. If you are competing with another candidate for the same position, this may actually become the tiebreaker that gets you the position.

If Terry Bandy is giving you the ok to follow your passion within cybersecurity, then you should follow it. With all of the opportunity in the vastly expansive market, you have the ability to go with your natural strengths and still pull down a pretty penny.

There will be a shortage of cybersecurity jobs in the neighborhood of 2 million by the year 2019. Cybersecurity will be the only industry with an unemployment rate of 0%. Threats will continue to rise, and companies will be looking to hire the best of the best in many disciplines. Make sure that you fit the mold in one or more of the disciplines above for best results.


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