There has never been a better time to start a career in cyber security. Organisations’ reliance on IT technical solutions has only increased with the switch to remote working, creating a huge demand for qualified personnel.
But what qualifications do you need for cyber security? It can be tricky knowing where to begin. Cyber security is a complex, multidisciplinary field, with varied opportunities depending on your skills and interests.
In this blog, we explain the best cyber security courses to help you get started.
Start with the basics and learn your trade
Those in the early stage of their careers should get as much practical experience as possible and look to achieve industry-standard cyber security qualifications.
A good place to start is the Certified Cyber Security Foundation Training Course. From social engineering to security in the Cloud, you will gain foundation-level knowledge of the threat landscape, cyber attack methodology, legal and regulatory obligations, and incident response.
The next step is the Certified Cyber Security Practitioner Training Course. This will teach you how to deliver infrastructure, application, information and operational security by implementing appropriate technical and organisational controls.
You will also learn how to deal with cyber security incidents and understand the basic principles of evidence collection and digital forensics.
To further develop your cyber security career, we recommend the CISMP (Certificate in Information Security Management Principles) qualification.
CISMP is widely regarded as the ‘qualification of choice’ for IT security professionals and is recognised across the UK as an essential first rung on the ladder to a successful career.
The framework is ideal for those getting started in the industry and for professionals who require a deeper understanding of the subject to develop their overall business skills.
It’s particularly valuable to those working in the public sector, as it is part of the CCP (CESG Certified Professional) scheme, which is the UK government’s approved standard of competence for cyber security.
Do you need the technical stuff?
To advance in any cyber security field, you’ll need some technical expertise – but you don’t necessarily need a comprehensive understanding of programming or hacking.
You can become an IT specialist or manager if you’re familiar with hardware, software, networks and applications – as well as the security threats associated with them.
For those interested in technical training, there are plenty of options. For a career in security IT admin or operations, the CompTIA Security+ Training Course delivers the knowledge required to install and configure systems to secure devices, applications and networks.
Others might be interested in ethical hacking or penetration testing, which involves identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in an organisation’s systems using the same techniques as a criminal hacker – except you don’t perform malicious actions.
Organisations hire penetration testers to find out where their weaknesses are and how they could be exploited.
The demand for ethical hackers has skyrocketed in the past few years, as businesses realise the need for practical assessments of their systems.
If this sounds like the career for you, you can develop the skills you need on our Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Training Course.
Don’t leave management qualifications until later
Most cyber security careers culminate in a management position, which means that you might be leading a group of specialists in an area in which you are not an expert.
Anyone interested in becoming a cyber security manager should consider gaining appropriate qualifications in ISO 27001 and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security. Its best-practice approach enables organisations to address their security needs through an ISMS (information security management system).
The Certified ISO 27001 ISMS Foundation Training Course and Certified ISO 27001 ISMS Lead Implementer Training Course deliver a complete education and globally recognised IBITGQ qualifications.
No matter what area of cyber security you move into, you will almost certainly come across the GDPR and its UK equivalent – whether that’s because you handle personal data or because you design or use systems intended to uphold its requirements.
Data protection and data privacy are at the core of cyber security, so it’s worth getting a solid understanding of these issues. To get started on the GDPR, we recommend the Certified GDPR Foundation Training Course.
Those with several years’ experience in cyber security may also consider becoming a CISM® (Certified Information Security Manager) or CISSP® (Certified Information Security Systems Professional).
Get started with our free guide
You can find out more about getting started in the industry with our Cyber Security Careers Guide.
We look at a wide variety of cyber security professions and explain the skills and experience you need.
Our training courses offer a structured learning path from foundation to advanced level, helping IT, privacy and security practitioners develop the skills needed to deliver best practice and compliance in organisations of all sizes.