Detailed Answers to Common Cybersecurity Career Questions – Direct Links to Answers – NIST NICE Cybersecurity Event


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I've worked in information security for 17 years. I was asked by NIST to give a talk on breaking into the industry/ landing your first job. It was a 30 minute briefing and then 60 minutes of rapid fire QA from the audience.

I've transcribed every question asked during QA portion and put time markers with direct link URL to the answer below. Hope this helps answer some common questions folks have.

The whole talk is here:

Specific Answers are Linked below:

14: 08 10000 foot view of what an information security department looks like

16: 06 What Cybersecurity Certifications Are Important and Which Matter?

17: 45 How do I get practical skills in Cybersecurity?

23: 38 How do I find a Cybersecurity job?

32: 15 What a resume should and should not be.

42: 48 With so many aspects of cybersecurity. What are some of the common questions that are asked during interviews?

45: 51 Can someone with 40 years of IT get a remote Cybersecurity job?

47: 10 Can you advise for people having trouble getting any cyber jobs due to lack of skill experience?

48: 34 How to move from NOC to GRC?

49: 42 What is the expected salary for an entry level SOC analyst?

50: 31 Is the problem with me finding my first job that the market is flooded with people trying get into cyber? Over-saturation of entry level applicants?

52: 43 I'm new to the cybersecurity field. I have been in IT, How do I start my cybersecurity career?

55: 21 What are you thoughts on jobs posted for 5-7 years of experience but pay from $45-50k

56: 47 Does anyone have experience with the Rice University cybersecurity bootcamp?

57: 34 Could you offer your thoughts on cloud architecture from entry-level and how to market our skills with or without certifications?

59: 16 What level of skills and certs do I need to get my first cybersecurity job?

1: 01: 06 Would starting freelancing wiht small projects make sense or would it be harder to start working without a team?

1: 04: 47 Is IT--SOC Analyst -- mid level position -- ideal position a realistic expectation of progress? Is SOC Analyst an entry level role?

1: 07: 00 Is there an organic path into cyber from a network technician/IT support role?

1: 11: 01 I'm studying for BS, doing THM, Cyberstart and thinking of HTB or BTLO. Any other suggestions for someone who wants to get into the field in the next 6 months?

1: 13: 20 Do MSSP in the US recruit remote SOC Analysts outside the US?

1: 13: 56 How do you keep up on cybersecurity information, what companies, feeds do you follow and what platform?

1: 16: 05 I just got Comptia Security+, what should I do next?

1: 17: 06 Are certifications enough to get a job?

1: 17: 45 Can you do BugCrowd (bug bounty) without experience?

1: 19: 45 I'm trying to break into cybersecurity as an information security analyst or SOC analyst. I have 4 years of experience in Networking and already got my security+ certificate. What do you suggest?

1: 21: 30 Would there be any specific technology like Splunk or Burp Suite that you would advise for entry level in the cybersecurity career?

1: 22: 30 When should a person do a Masters in Cybersecurity vs. a Masters in Computer Science?

1: 23: 50 Do you see the industry getting so saturated that workin the industry gets pointless if you want a good career?

1: 25: 05 Where do you get GRC Skills?

1: 27: 45 Should my first job be in IT or as a SOC Analyst?

1: 28: 45 What is it like working as a Forensic Analyst in an incident response team?

1: 30: 25 Are there any cybersecurity positions out there that you can do while in college?

1: 31: 00 Would an MBA in IT Management be a good idea following a BS in cybersecurity?

1: 31: 55 Should we sideeye job listings that have been up for a month or more?

1: 32: 40 What certifications should I pick up first if I'm coming from IT Helpdesk?


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