July 12, 2021

Graduating with a masters in theoretical computer science (graph theory and computational complexity), but have 0 knowledge of cybersecurity. What do I need to do to get a job in cybersecurity?

As the title says. I’m going to graduate in a few months, and my degree was highly focused on theoretical computer science topics: algorithm design, graph theory, computational complexity, etc. I do have experience in programming (C++ and python mostly), but largely only related to theoretical problems, no real-world experience as all my summer jobs / internships were paid research projects at my university. Could I get a job with just that experience? I have three papers published in my field, and many years of TA-ing (C++ and theoretical courses). With respect to programming experience itself, my two biggest projects are: 1. a compiler that we had to program in a compiler design course, for a C-style language specifically tailored to the course. 2. simulations of a number of algorithms for a specific graph theory problem, which was part of a published paper.
Beyond that, I’ve not got much to put on my CV that would be that relevant in cybersecurity. I did take a number theory course and we lightly touched on cryptography, but I’ve absolutely no knowledge in practical cybersecurity. I’m decently familiar with linux/bash because one of my research projects was in bioinformatics, and consisted pretty much of just creating bash scripts for grad students in a genetics lab. I’d like to do a full reconversion to cybersecurity, but will realistically need a job soon, and I’m guessing that other than my programming skills, my general knowledge in computer science is pretty much useless when it comes to actually getting a job. what would be the best thing to do to solve that problem?

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