As my internet travels bring me to various cybersecurity forums and chat rooms, I have the opportunity to listen to people’s life stories and how they are trying to do what they were told they should do. What’s wrong with this career model? The main problem is that most people will realize later in their life that what they are doing is not what they wanted to do in the first place. Many of those people will lack the passion and/or talent to achieve their goals.
The problem with cybersecurity is the personification it inspires on social media. Many kids envision cybersecurity as a way to become Neo from the movie “The Matrix”, get to pick an alias, and live in a metaverse of cloaks and hackers. These kids are greatly attracted to a lifestyle of playing hacking video games and outsmarting the enemy by using simple keyboard skills and mods. Collecting certifications and high scores is their perception of cyber-success.
The reality of working in real cybersecurity jobs is far from the glamour people are led to perceive. Long and odd work hours, constant crisis management, and a high tolerance for stress are just a few requirements. Are you still interested in cybersecurity?
I have no certificates but managed to have a gratifying career in IT & cybersecurity. The secret of my success is in-depth knowledge of the systems I’m working on, solid hands-on experience with networks & telecommunications, and a fearless motivation to tackle projects nobody else wants to do. Personally, I would hire someone with real-life experience over anyone who only has to show a collection of certifications.
Mike Rowe, the host of the TV show “Dirty Jobs,” was interviewed, and in this video, he paints a realistic picture of what to expect in life and career choices. If you started pursuing a cybersecurity career path and are doubtful of your ability to succeed, I urge you to listen to Mike Rowe’s comments. Based on the comments I pick up on social media, 75%-85% of people pursuing cybersecurity as a career path will be miserable and will find it hard to keep up with the pace. A good cybersecurity analyst can make $100-$120 per hour, but so can a good welder. This is something to think about, and there is nothing wrong with a dirty job!