At ALC, we field many enquiries from people asking about career advice, often for themselves, and sometimes on behalf of others. When asking about cyber security, the most common questions we receive are:

 – Where do I start?
 – Will a particular course guarantee me a job?
 – What further training should I pursue after I complete one of your courses?

Where do I start?

The answer is, start somewhere! A course with a good foundational introduction across a broad range of topics is ideal. But there aren’t many around, and most are specific to laws and regulations outside the Asia Pacific region That’s why we developed our own course – Cyber Security Foundation+Practitioner. Now in its 4th year, this 5-day course has been widely acclaimed in government and corporate sectors throughout Australia and New Zealand because of how comprehensive it is, its real-world focus with worked exercises all the way through, and because of its very specific orientation to regional laws and regulations.

View our Cyber Security Foundation+Practitioner Course outline, upcoming course dates, fees etc.

In days gone by, security was something you learnt on the job. People started off in IT then after a while some security-related work might come their way. If they showed aptitude then they would get some more security work where they ended up becoming the resident security expert, spending their entire time on security. After a few years of this they had built up enough professional experience to be able to go and sit for one of the professional security certifications, such as CISSP®, CISM® or CISA®.

The point is that you learnt on the job. There weren’t any introductory security courses as such. But with today’s vastly changed cyber security landscape there just isn’t the time for people to learn on the job. Learning to become effective in a cyber security career has to happen faster. That’s where a good training course comes in.

Well-structured training provides relevant knowledge that would otherwise take you quite a while to acquire “on the job”. The other benefit of formal training is that you are more likely to get the whole picture versus learning on the job where you learn what is needed in specific situations but can be left with holes in your overall knowledge.

That’s why we made our Cyber Security Foundation+Practitioner course 5 days. This allows delegates time to absorb a wide range of topics, practice using workshops at the end of each section and reinforce the theory further via a mock exam and final exam. Download our course brochure for full course content.

If you don’t want to do a course, then there are many books you can choose to read to gain an appreciation of how challenging cyber security can be from different perspectives. We recommend several titles on the course, including;

 – Countdown to Zero Day by Kim Zetter
 – Future Crimes by Marc Goodman
 – Spam Nation by Brian Krebs 
 – The Darkening Web, by Alexander Klimburg.

Will a particular course guarantee me a job?

No course can guarantee this, and no training company can guarantee this outcome. If anyone claims otherwise, make sure you ask them a few pertinent questions!

However, gaining a qualification will most definitely assist in getting in the door. These days there are often large numbers of people applying for any given job. Employers need a filtering mechanism and the presence or absence of formal qualifications is an easy filter to apply. So having a qualification – any qualification for that matter – will give you an edge, especially when being compared with another candidate who does not have any qualifications.

Most employers look for a combination of experience and qualifications. In the ideal situation you will have both. Well, you can’t do much about it if you don’t yet have the experience. It is what it is, and it will come. But you certainly can do something about getting a qualification.

Usually, having a qualification means you’ve been able to demonstrate competence via examination in the certification topic, so it is assumed you know “something”. It also shows you value education and professional development and that you have initiative and are pro-active. Many organisations prioritise these attributes when shortlisting candidates.

What further training should I pursue after I complete one of your courses?

This is why we recommend the foundational course. It whets the appetite for further areas of interest. The skillset of tomorrow is only just being thought about today, so here is our take:

 – In the future, we will rely more on artificial intelligence, privacy, cloud, big data, robotics and automation in ways that will imply a higher degree of trust and confidence.
 – Tomorrow’s courses will involve ethics, law, mathematics, statistics, art, phycology, forensics, cryptography, quantum computing, to name just a few.
 – In other words, we will start to see a fusion of mainstream areas integrate and cross over with cyber security at various touch points.

In short, learn the fun cyber security foundational material, then pursue your career in an area that excites you. Don’t just think outside the box – REMOVE THE BOX – and be rewarded in a high-growth cyber career. We are happy and well-placed to assist you in this regard. We offer Australia’s widest range of Cyber Security qualifications and a very comprehensive portfolio in all the major areas of Enterprise IT. 

Professional Networks

One more thing to consider when starting out in cyber is the cyber security network! If you’ve been to any cyber security conference or event, you would know that everyone knows someone else there. People form alliances and friendships and these are part and parcel of developing business, transitioning to new roles or moving to another company. So get to know people! Join cyber networking associations and attend networking events. A really good association to join is AISA (Australian Information Security Association). You should also consider other internationally recognised organisations, including IAPP, ISACA and (ISC)2.

Also, keep in mind that training itself is also a good networking opportunity as you are face-to-face with other participants in similar positions. You also have access to the course trainer – who with ALC is guaranteed to be a Tier 1 Instructor with lots of in-depth knowledge and experience which you will be able to benefit from.

Author: Peter Nikitser, ALC Director of Cyber Security

Quick Links

> ALC’s Cyber Security Foundation+Practitioner Course Page
> ALC’s Cyber Security Portfolio Page
> ALC’s Upcoming Security Training Schedule
> Other Cyber Interest Articles


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