Wednesday, August 16, 2023

How to Get into Cyber Security with No Experience 2023

So, you want to know how to get into cyber security with no experience in the field? You're in the right place. In this article, we will guide you through some of the essential steps, useful recommendations, and tips that help you get started in the cyber security industry with limited to no experience.

Firstly, it is important to understand that getting a job in cyber security without experience is not impossible. With dedication, the right mindset, consistent efforts, and a strategic approach, you can pave your way into this exciting field. By the conclusion of this article, you will understand the most effective and efficient approach you should follow to jumpstart your cyber security career, even with no experience.

So, without further ado, Let's dive in!

Understanding Cyber Security

Before we proceed, it is important for you to know what cyber security is.

Cyber security, also referred to interchangeably as information security or computer security, is a field dedicated to protecting computers, networks, and data from unauthorized access, damage, or theft.

It encompasses implementing various measures and a range of practices, people, processes, and technologies to prevent cyber attacks, safeguard digital information, and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.

Learn the Basics

In today's interconnected world, where technology is deeply integrated into our daily lives, the need for cyber security and skilled cyber security professionals has become increasingly critical. Fortunately, entering the high-demand field of cyber security is not as hard as you think.

The first and foremost step to entering cyber security is to learn the basics of essential IT and networking. Learning and understanding the fundamental concepts is extremely crucial before diving into the cyber security industry, especially when you’re having no prior experience in the field.

StationX Cyber Security Certification Roadmap

Start by familiarizing yourself with fundamental IT and networking principles such as:

After gaining adequate knowledge and understanding of essential IT and networking concepts, it is imperative to gain a basic understanding of general cyber security concepts, methodologies, tools, and techniques.

We strongly recommend you learn such general cyber security skills and concepts from online courses, videos, books, and cheat sheets as they can help you gain this fundamental knowledge in more structured and precise manner that can be easy for you to consume (we will reference some courses in the conclusion).

General cyber security skills include (and not limited to):

  • Ethical hacking,
  • Risk management,
  • ISO27001 compliance,
  • Encryption,
  • Authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA),
  • Vulnerability and threats,
  • OS security,
  • Network security, etc.

In addition to these, it is highly recommended to learn programming skills that help you stand out and increase your chances of jumpstarting your cyber security journey. Though it is not mandatory to learn programming to become cyber security professional, it is always advantageous to have the programming and scripting knowledge.

Some of the key programming/scripting languages in cyber security:

After gaining a basic understanding of cyber security concepts, you should also be aware of some of the tools and technologies that cyber security professionals in global organizations use for defending their environments.

At the very least, you should understand what these tools are designed for and a high level understanding of how they operate. You can learn the ins-and-outs of how to configure and operate them as needed.

Some of the key cyber security tools used in organizations include:

  • Security Information and Event Managment (SIEM)
  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)
  • Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS)
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
  • Firewalls
  • Switches, Routers and Proxies


The more knowledge and skill you gain in cyber security, the more prepared you will be to crack cyber security job interviews.

Set Your Goals

As you progress, setting clear and well-defined cyber security career goals is paramount. The cyber security domain is vast and encompasses various areas, including but not limited to network security, ethical hacking, penetration testing, incident response, digital forensics, cloud security, risk and compliance, threat intelligence, and more.

As a cyber security professional, you are typically responsible for protecting the organization from cyber threats, and this can be achieved in different ways. You may be responsible to perform penetration testing and ethical hacking to identify security vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in the organization’s assets. Or, you may be responsible for monitoring security alerts and incidents, and respond to data breaches and cyber attacks as an incident responder.

Some of the key areas of cyber security are:

  • Penetration Testing: Penetration testing, often referred to as pen testing or ethical hacking, is a cyber security practice in which authorized professionals simulate cyberattacks on computer systems, networks, applications, or other digital assets to identify vulnerabilities that malicious hackers could exploit.
  • Incident Response: Incident response in cyber security refers to the structured and coordinated response actions taken by security analysts and professional in an organization to manage and respond to security incidents when they occur.
  • Forensic Investigation: Forensic investigation in cyber security, also known as digital forensics or cyber forensics, is the process of collecting, analyzing, and preserving digital evidence from computer systems, networks, and digital devices to identify the cause of a cyber incident or to support legal proceedings.
  • Compliance and Risk Management: Risk management in cyber security involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential risks and vulnerabilities that could impact an organization's information systems, sensitive data, or operations. In contrary, compliance management refers to maintenance and organization's adherence to applicable laws, regulations, standards, and industry best practices related to cyber security.
  • Threat Intelligence: Threat intelligence in cyber security refers to collection and analysis of the information from multiple sources and identify any potential and plausible external and internal threats to an organization.
  • Security Operations Center: Often referred to as SOC, this is a central unit within an organization that is dedicated to monitoring, detecting, and responding to cyber security incidents.
StationX Cyber Security Career Pathway

This infographic illustrates a clear picture of what jobs you can aim for in cyber security, especially with no prior experience. Though you may be currently working in any of the feeder roles or possess knowledge and abilities, your focus initially should be on getting into general cyber security jobs (as shown in the Stage 3).

These general cyber security jobs often do not demand years of experience in a candidate but rather appreciate candidates with relevant domain knowledge and skill.

Your goal should be to acquire general cyber security jobs like:

  • Vulnerability Tester,
  • Cyber Security Analyst,
  • Cyber Security Auditor,
  • Cyber Security Sales,
  • Junior Penetration Tester,
  • SOC Analyst
  • Cyber Security Administrator

Upon getting into cyber security, you can then focus on targeting jobs in specialized domains as illustrated in Stage 4 and Stage 5 of the infographic.

Though the primary objective behind all these trades in cyber security is to safeguard the organization's assets from cyber threats, it is crucial for you to understand your domain of interest.

Each cyber security specialization requires a unique skill set and expertise, and therefore, narrowing down your focus to specific domain areas is crucial to master the cyber security skills. You can refer to the StationX cybersecurity career pathway for more details on the roles available in cyber security.


  • Clearly define your career goals in cyber security.
  • Target general cyber security jobs to get an entry into cyber security.
  • Determine the specific domain you want to specialize in.
  • Understand and have a clear direction which will enable you to focus your efforts and choose the most relevant certifications and learning resources throughout your career path.

Get Relavent Certifications

Certifications play a vital role in validating your knowledge and demonstrating your commitment to the field. The StationX roadmap below illustrates a defined path that can help you in your certification journey.

Entry Level IT Certifications

You can begin with entry-level IT certifications like CompTIA A+ or Certified Secure Computer User (CSCU) that covers topics related to IT fundamentals, Operating Systems and Applications.

Networking Certifications

Once you acquire the entry-level IT certifications, you can then focus on entry-level networking related certifications like Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) or Network+ to prove your networking skills and establish a solid foundation.

CCNA is an entry-level certification offered by Cisco and it is one of the famous certifications in the networking domain. The CompTIA Network+ certification is an entry-level networking qualification designed to validate an individual's knowledge and skills in network technologies.

General Cyber Security Certifications

As you have established your expertise and skills by acquiring entry-level IT and networking skills by now, you can start exploring General Cyber Security certifications like CompTIA Security+, Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

Both CEH offered by EC-Council and CompTIA Security+ offered by CompTIA are considered two of the most reputed general cyber security certifications that can help you enter cyber security job with no experience. 

Our article “Top Entry-Level Cyber Security Certifications for You in 2023” will help you understand different entry-level certifications that you should consider in 2023 to jumpstart your cyber security career.

Advanced And Specialized Cyber Security Certifications

Once you acquire the general cyber security certification credentials, you are good to proceed for the cyber security interviews. However, you should also consider achieving specialized certifications like Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Computer Hacking and Forensic Investigator (CHFI), and/or GIAC Security Operations Certified (GSOC).


  • Certifications can play a significant role to get you a job in cyber security, especially if you have limited or no experience in the field.
  • Acquiring different certifications at different stages of your learning curve can help you achieve your cyber security career goals.

Community Participation

Engaging with the cyber security community is crucial for networking, learning, and staying up-to-date with industry trends and improving professional connections. Join online forums, participate in social media groups, and follow influential cyber security professionals.

Consider joining mastermind groups and attending industry events like Capture-the-Flag (CTF), conferences like Blackhat, and webinars like SANS Cyber Security Webinars to continuously improve your skills and knowledge. Building connections with professionals in the field can lead to mentorship opportunities and valuable insights.


The more you engage and interact with industry professionals and leaders, the higher your chances for your entry into cyber security.

Demonstrate Skills

As you are looking to get into cyber security with little or no experience, it is important to understand that practical skills are highly valued. We highly recommended you gain hands-on practical knowledge on some of the important cyber security and ethical hacking tools like Kali Linux, Metasploit, Nmap, Wireshark, etc.

Building a home lab and installing some cyber security and penetration testing tools that allow you to experiment and gain hands-on experience.

Document your projects and write about your experiences on your own online blogging sites like Medium or Blogger to showcase your technical abilities and problem-solving skills. Sharing scripts and tools on platforms like GitHub demonstrates your proficiency to potential employers.

Volunteering for open-source projects contributes to the cyber security community and provides practical experience.


  • While gaining knowledge and certifications is important, hands-on skills are equally vital.
  • Focus of gaining practical skills to align with industry standards.

Look for Opportunities

Cyber security professionals are in short supply, and the industry desperately needs skilled professionals. As you can see from the StationX job heat map, there are many job openings available in the United States and other countries as well.

Keep a lookout for internships, entry-level positions, or apprenticeships in cyber security. These opportunities can provide hands-on experience and serve as stepping-stones for your career. If you're already working in an organization, try to shadow the cyber security department or express your interest in cross-functional projects. This will allow you to gain exposure and showcase your dedication to transitioning into cyber security.

Some of the job roles that you can target in cyber security are:

  • Junior Penetration Tester
  • Security Analyst / SOC Analyst
  • Cyber Security Administrator
  • Security Auditor
  • Vulnerability Tester


  • Identify the relevant job roles that suit your interest and focus your learning path, job search accordingly to land in the desired position.
  • Take our cyber security career matchmaker quiz to see what careers might be right for you.
  • Identify the relevant job roles that suit your interest and focus your learning path, job search accordingly to land in the desired position.
  • Take our cyber security career matchmaker quiz to see what careers might be right for you.


Entering the cyber security industry without prior experience is challenging, but it's not impossible. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can start building the foundation of your cyber security career.

Remember to continuously learn, stay updated with industry trends, and network with professionals. Focus on gaining relevant certifications, demonstrating your skills, and seeking practical opportunities. With perseverance, dedication, and a passion for cyber security, you can pave your way into this dynamic and rewarding field.

We hope this article provided you with a strategy and tips to achieve your ambition. Good luck on your journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a job in cyber security with no experience?

Yes, getting a job in cyber security without experience is not impossible. With dedication, the right mindset, consistent efforts, and a strategic approach, you can pave your way into this exciting field.

Is cyber security hard to learn?

It is a good question, and the answer can depend on your dedication and perspective.
This article Is Cyber Security Hard to Learn? will examine the cyber security industry, the challenges you will face, the available rewards, and the skills that are in demand.

What are top entry-level cyber security certifications in 2023?

CompTIA Security+, CEH ANSI, CompTIA Cyber Security Analyst (CySA+) are some of top entry-level certifications to begin with. Our article “Top Entry-Level Cyber Security Certifications for You in 2023” will help you understand different entry-level certifications that you should consider.

How to find a cyber security Job?

Finding a job in cyber security is fairly easy provided you follow the right approach. This article “How to Find a Cyber Security Job” can help you in your job search.

from StationX

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