How to get into cyber security with no experience and cyber security without a degree

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How to get into cyber security with no experience

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How to get into cyber security with no experience


How to get into cyber security with no experience is very important and essential to know. Cyber security is a broad term used to define the protection of digital assets from theft. Damage, or unauthorized access. It has become increasingly important due to the fact. That we now rely so heavily on computer systems and data storage networks.

Introducing Cyber Security


As more businesses and individuals store personal information online. It becomes vital that they feel safe and confident their data is secure. And cannot access without authorization. Digital assets can include anything from financial records. Business documents, and intellectual property to internet banking. Medical records, and even private photographs. There are many different roles within cyber security. Each revolving around the idea of protecting these digital assets in one way or another. Let's take a look at some of these common cyber security jobs.

Key Areas of Cyber Security

There is a wide range of cyber security roles. Which involves protecting digital assets from harm. The following list explains some of the most common areas. It will be a better step for you How to get into cyber security with no experience.

Network Security

Designing and operating network security systems to protect networks from damage, theft, or unauthorized access.       



Providing cryptographic services such as encryption and decryption which keep data secure.        


Systems Administration

Overseeing the performance and integrity of computer servers, including backing up data and testing updates.         


Research & Development

Creating new technologies for securing information systems. Assessing how well existing technology is performing. Recommending changes where necessary, and carrying out research into possible future security solutions. This could involve looking at how hackers gain access to systems. How they exploit vulnerabilities and figure out ways to stop them.


Penetration Testing

Attempting to hack into systems or networks in order to test their security. This can involve simulating real-life hacking techniques. But is normally done under strict supervision by authorized personnel. Who ensures the process does not cause any damage or compromise data security.

Compliance & Audit

Ensuring systems are compliant with industry standards. For example, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This ensures credit card details remain secure throughout all stages of payment processing. It also involves auditing risk levels. By carrying out vulnerability scans and penetration tests on a regular basis.


The list above is just some examples of common cyber security roles available. There are many more and, as I mentioned at the beginning of the article. Cyber security jobs do not necessarily need a degree. With that said, there are some common requirements for these positions, including:


Understanding how computer systems work

Whether you're looking to pursue a career in cyber security. Or work for an external company. Such as a consultancy firm that specializes in protecting digital assets. It's important to understand how networks and software applications operate.

Problem Solving

Attacking or compromising any system requires flaw identification. And exploitation. Understanding how vulnerabilities are exploited is crucial. When trying to prevent them from exploiting.



Networking is vital when you're working within cyber security. Without strong relationships with members of your team. And other teams, you won't be able to collaborate on projects or share knowledge in an efficient way. 


Communication Skills

The ability to explain your thoughts clearly. And concisely is vital if you're working in cyber security. Without strong communication skills. It can be difficult to convey your ideas. Concerns, or recommendations, which could lead to further problems down the line. During penetration testing. Senior members of staff will need to present their findings. So employees from other areas can quickly understand what changes are necessary.

Why is cyber security important?

In this article, I will aim to outline how you can start a career in cyber security with no experience. This is the first in a series of articles based. On some questions people have asked me, so please feel free to suggest topics for further posts.


There are several different ways to enter into a career in cyber security. And all of them not only need different levels of experience. But also offer varying levels of rewards. For example, as an undergraduate student at Bournemouth University. I am currently completing the MSc Cyber Security course. Which leads to starting my Ph.D. after my master's degree is completed. In 2012 I attained both bachelor's degrees from Bournemouth University. One was my honor's degree from that year (BSc Computing) and the other was my first degree from 2009 (BA Hons English). I have since gone on to work as a penetration tester at a company. Which specializes in training for companies operating within a range of security sectors.


One way or another I managed to find my feet straight after completing those two degrees. And starting full-time employment as a penetration tester without any prior experience. Which is how these articles are going to focus.

As far as getting into cyber security with no experience goes. There are some very specific qualifications. That employer's lookout for these days. Such as OSCP / CPT / SANS certifications but we will cover them in more detail later on.



Alternatives to a degree: how to get into cyber security with no experience

For now, I am going to focus on how you can get into cyber security with little or no experience. That’s why you can learn about how to get into cyber security with no experience.


The first thing for understanding how to get into cyber security with no experience. You are going to need. If you want to land a role in cyber security is an undergraduate degree. This doesn't relate to technology but it certainly helps. So if you are thinking about getting into the field of cyber security. Make sure that your university offers some form of the information security module. Within their curriculum. A common choice would be something like Computer Science. Information Systems. Or even Business Intelligence depending on what area you want to specialize in.


Now while I know that. There are other schools offering courses not specific to technology. it will be far harder for someone without any experience in the sector to secure a role. In short, make sure your course is tech orientated and not something with a large focus on business.


I would also recommend making the most of the various opportunities. To gain experience from employers who are involved in security projects. During your time as an undergraduate student. This does vary depending on location. So again, you should contact local companies directly. To find out what types of schemes they offer firsthand first. Before spending too much time doing research. The majority of big brands do have some form of scheme. Or internship where students can apply for placements. Within their company to either develop technical skills. Specifically tailored to cyber security. Or just gain experience which will look great on your CV when applying for roles upon graduation.