Here we have some of our most frequently asked questions, all answered on one page. These questions have been answered by cyber security professionals in our working groups to give you a better understanding of how to get into cyber security.
Q: Do I need a certification to work in cyber security?
A: Not at all. The Cyber Security industry has many vacancies across all specialisms, and they are seeking talent as opposed to certifications. Individuals learn in different ways, ranging from formal education to apprenticeships, to free or paid for courses. However, talent and enthusiasm are the key to success.
Q: What certification should I do?
A: This is no one answer to this question. Certifications can identify knowledge, but not necessarily skill and the number of certifications out there are vast and confusing. Check out our Certification Framework to learn more about different certifications. If you're unsure which area of cyber security you're interested in, you can use our Career Mapping tool to find out about the specialism.
Q: Do I need to have studied Computer Science?
A: Not necessarily, if you have studied Computer Science at GCSE, A Level or Degree Level then you will have learned about some Cyber Security concepts.
However, studying computer science is not essential to working in Cyber Security, and there are lots of routes into the sector. Have a look at our Entry Routes - Qualifications and Entry Routes - Training to learn about the variety of routes into Cyber Security.
If you would like to apply for a degree in Cyber Security then you can find the NCSC-certified cyber security degrees here.
Q: What levels of education do I need?
A: There are opportunities available within Cyber Security at all levels. It’s important that you can show your knowledge and skills off well. This may be from education or training, but don’t forget other examples such volunteering, self-learning and previous work experience.
Q: Do I need to know how to code?
A: Some evidence of practical skills can be beneficial, and knowledge of coding is just one aspect in cyber security. Knowledge of networking, experience communication skills and attention to detail will always look great on an application.
Q: How do I get work experience?
A: There are many ways you can get work experience; job fairs, LinkedIn and networking are all valid approaches, and it often boils down to who you know and being proactive in selling yourself. Go to Cyber Conferences and talk to employers who are always looking for the right candidate and often willing to invest in an individual.
Q: What kind of interview questions should I expect at interview?
A: You can expect to be asked behavioural, communication, performance-based questions and brainteaser questions.
Find the specialism(s) that interest you the most on our Cyber Careers Framework. Within each specialism are details of the knowledge and skills needed. Prepare examples of how you can demonstrate developing or using the knowledge and skills listed.
Q: Where can I get free training?
A: For free training, you can find more information on our Entry Routes training page. Here you’ll find many courses, some of which are free to enrol on. Another free training resource is the CyBOK Knowledgebase which you can find here.
Q: How can I access events and webinars?
A: There are many ways to access events and webinars. We host many different events and webinars throughout the year, which you can find here and posted on our LinkedIn page. You can also find other events and webinars on the UKC3 website and might find some local events with the UKC3 clusters. Another useful way to identify events and webinars of interest is through LinkedIn, so sign up and network!
Q: What salaries are there in cyber security?
A: There are a wide range of roles within the industry and salaries depend on experience, expertise and location. The UK average salary in cyber security is around £62,500. A great resource to see and compare salaries is IT Job Watch.
If there’s any questions that you feel we’ve not answered, please get in touch with us.