May 16, 2021

Starting advice for someone just out of University

Hi all, so last Wednesday I submitted my last assignment for my Computer Engineering course in University, and I should be graduating this year. I want to pursue a career in cyber security. I’m 21, living in Northern Ireland, currently unemployed, and with no experience besides what I’ve done within my computer engineering course. It’s now time for me to start planning my future and I was looking for some advice as to what the best way would be to go about that, particularly in what job I want to pursue to get my foot in the door.

Right now I have a lot of free time and determination on my side. I have some money saved so that I can afford to go a few months unemployed in order to dedicate 100% of my energy towards planning and pursuing a full time career.

Of course, I’m not expecting to put a few months of effort into something new and expect to land a good full time job in cyber security just like that. I’ll need to work from the bottom up in a sense. What kind of jobs should I be aiming towards as a good starting place? Assuming that I’m able to use my free time effectively and develop my skills in order to prepare for that first interview.

In order to answer that question of course you would probably ask me which area of cyber security i’m interested in, which leads me to my next question: how do I decide what area is best for me? Should I try and get a basic understanding of everything? Or should I narrow down the options first somehow, and then explore the remaining options with more than a basic understanding. I ask this because I imagine I would need more than a basic understanding of the various areas, in order to decide if it’s right for me or not, but there’s so many areas that grasping a good understanding of them all feels unrealistic. I just don’t want to put a lot of effort into learning about multiple areas that I’m not even going to pursue if that makes sense.

Any advice on these questions, and the industry in general would be greatly appreciated. Especially if you guys have any recommendations on where I should start developing my skills – as in which skills, and which source you would recommend I learn them from.

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