How to Become a Cybersecurity Analyst

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How to Become a Cybersecurity Analyst

Did you know that the growth rate of cybersecurity careers is much faster than the average of other occupations?

Careers in cybersecurity are growing at a much faster rate than the average for other occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 35% growth in the employment of cybersecurity professionals from 2021 to 2031 with around 19,500 openings projected on average each year.

The rapid digitalization that took place in the world made it possible for companies to conduct their transactions and store data online. But this eventually led to hackers attacking these systems and issuing cyber threats. With an increase in data breaches, organizations started investing in cybersecurity measures that resulted in a huge demand for cybersecurity analysts.

As the cybersecurity profession is facing high demand worldwide, let’s take a look at how to become a cybersecurity analyst and the various responsibilities this career requires.

What is a Cybersecurity Analyst?

A cybersecurity analyst monitors the systems, databases, and networks of an organization and protects them from cyber-attacks. They use various tools and techniques to identify potential threats and take action to mitigate the risk.

As a cybersecurity analyst, you must be skilled in scripting, coding, system administration, and ethical hacking. Knowledge of programming languages such as C++, HTML, SQL, JavaScript, and Python is crucial to working as a security analyst.

How to Become a Cybersecurity Analyst

To become a cybersecurity analyst, you’ll need to obtain relevant education and certifications along with some practical experience. An educational background in IT or holding cybersecurity certifications is the most significant part of landing a job in this sector.

Once you complete your studies and acquire essential subject knowledge, you will have to gain some hands-on experience to land well-paying jobs in the industry. Employers prefer candidates who have some practical experience as it demonstrates their skillset.

Co-op programs are the best way to gain practical experience as it is already a part of the curriculum.

To develop the skills you need to become a cybersecurity analyst, check out the various programs in cybersecurity offered at the Canadian College of Technology and Business (CCTB), Vancouver. CCTB offers Cybersecurity Analyst with practicum and Cybersecurity Risk Management with co-op programs as full-time post-secondary diplomas.

These programs will give you in-depth information about computer and network vulnerabilities and are perfect for those keen to start their career as cybersecurity analysts. During the program, you will acquire essential skills while acquiring co-op experience which will allow you to apply all these skills within relevant sectors.

You will be ready to take on the challenges of this competitive industry through various career roles such as cybersecurity analyst, information security analyst, systems administrator, and technical analyst when you graduate.

What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Cybersecurity Analyst?

A cybersecurity analyst is a frontline contributor to protecting a company’s data and privacy. Some of the key roles and responsibilities of a cybersecurity analyst are listed below:

  • Monitoring the networks of an organization to keep track of the activities that take place and analyzing the traffic to identify any real-time threats
  • Installing and updating software to keep the network secure
  • Developing strategies and configuring firewalls to improve the security framework of an organization
  • Regularly conducting penetration tests and risk analysis to detect any vulnerabilities
  •  Compiling reports on major security threats and the measures taken to reduce the effect

What are the key skills required to become a Cybersecurity Analyst?

Technical and analytical skills top the list to build a successful career as a cybersecurity analyst. A strong understanding of computer networks and systems along with other security protocols is the most important skill required to become a cybersecurity analyst.

Knowledge of programming languages and coding is also necessary for a cybersecurity analyst. You must have the ability to understand threats quickly and respond immediately with effective measures. The ability to analyze large amounts of data and detect real-time threats is also an essential quality.

Along with these skills, mastering certain transferable skills such as communication, collaboration, and attention to detail goes a long way when trying to advance your career.

As a cybersecurity analyst, you must stay updated with the latest trends and technologies as it is crucial to working in this industry. Continuous learning also opens up new ways for professional development.

Launch Your Career: Explore Entry-Level Cybersecurity Roles

When you’re just starting out in your career, you should apply for entry-level roles. These are junior-level positions that require minimal work experience, so they can be used as a stepping stool to reach more advanced and specialized positions.

Some examples of cyber security entry level jobs include:

  • Help desk technician
  • Junior information security analyst
  • Junior cyber security analyst
  • Network administrator
  • Software developer
  • IT support specialist
  • Security administrator

The Importance of Cybersecurity in Today's Digital World

Businesses today require stronger cybersecurity policies and procedures than ever before. Across industries and around the world, organizations rely on digital data storage and technology in general for daily operations, internal and external communications and more.

Businesses that invest in and recognize the importance of cyber security can:

  • Protect and manage the organization’s data effectively
  • Secure an accessible remote workspace
  • Protect employees’ and others’ personal data
  • Improve employee productivity
  • Streamline information and project management
  • Enhance internal and external communications
  • Train the workforce on safe cybersecurity procedures
  • Assist the IT team in enforcing strong cybersecurity and data management policies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It is possible to attain a cyber security analyst job without prior experience. However, building work experience and a strong educational background in cybersecurity through a diploma or certificate program increases your chances of landing a cybersecurity analyst job.

The most crucial thing about cybersecurity is knowing how to responsibly manage and protect data for the safety and privacy of individuals, employees and organizations as a whole.

You can learn more about cybersecurity and how to become a cybersecurity analyst by enrolling in CCTB’s Cybersecurity Risk Management with Co-Op program.

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics


21 April, 2023

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