Project Manager, Making Space Initiative
R Street Institute
Making [the Pivot]: Resources to Jumpstart Your Cybersecurity CareerPosted: January 31, 2023
It has been hard to miss, but if you haven’t been following recent tech news, there have been thousands of layoffs at companies across the nation. In 2022, when Twitter was acquired, a massive layoff followed and the announcement sent shock waves throughout the industry. It also aided predictions of a potential recession this year. Last week when Google laid off thousands of employees, the shockwaves began to circulate again. More recently, Microsoft is the latest company to announce downsizing.
The tech industry is taking a major hit, and there aren’t signs of a slowdown. The good news is that despite the layoffs, there are some predictions of “recession-free” companies as shared by a P&G representative in this interview. Additionally, according to CyberSeek, there are reportedly over 700,000 job openings in cybersecurity. If you’ve been thinking about transitioning into the field, now is a good time to make the pivot.
Recently on LinkedIn, IT Director John Amador shared a post titled “The Ultimate Free Training and Certification Document 2023 v2!” The document contains 28 pages filled with resources on how to get trained to enter the field of cybersecurity. I found Amador’s post helpful, as was this one which lists 55 cybersecurity podcasts to check out. Both posts inspired me to compile some resources for those dealing with a layoff or simply seeking to transition into the field while working.
Entering into a new field can be overwhelming. You need to assess your current skillset, determine future interests and figure out how to get started. With various roles and career paths in cybersecurity, you will need tools and a plan of attack. To get started, you have to identify a career path and locate opportunities to help you grow a professional network.
In addition to checking out work of the Making Space coalition partners, I recommend that you check out the resources below to help you get started.
Career Pathway Tools:
National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies
CompTIA’s IT Career Path Planning Tool
Security Certification Roadmap
The Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics
U.S. General Services Administration
The Official Cyber Security Summit
Federal & National:
Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Cyber Innovative Fellows Initiative
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Cyberspace Solarium Commission
Cybersecurity in Application, Research and Education Lab
National Cybersecurity Alliance
CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service
Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program
There are so many more resources that exist to help you along your path. My advice is to do your research and get started.
If you are someone who is looking to break in at an entry level, choose a path and give it a try. If you find that you don’t like it, choose another path to explore. It’s okay to figure things out as you go. If you have experience in the tech industry, but you are looking to transition in cybersecurity, identify tasks you enjoy and your transferable skills and then map out a plan. If you are someone who thinks that the influx talent due to the recent layoffs will make things more competitive, you may be right. However, there are more than enough opportunities out there for everyone, especially in cybersecurity. The key will be for you to find the right role at the right company with the right culture for you.
Ready to make the pivot? Check out all of the resources, decide what you want to do and jump in.
Updated February 2, 2023
About the Author
Jumoke Dada is the project manager for the Making Space Initiative, a part of R Street’s Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats program. She is in charge of developing the Making Space Initiative to increase representation among women, identify workforce development issues and encourage a diversity of experts on cyber policy-related panels. She also creates partnerships while building “Cyber-Base,” a talent list of Black cybersecurity professionals.
Prior to R Street, Jumoke worked in the tech industry in various roles including as an application developer, systems analyst, business analyst and technical project manager. Additionally, Jumoke founded the Tech Women Network and the HUE Tech Summit. She has also contributed diversity in tech articles to ForbesWomen.
In 2021 she began to pivot into cybersecurity and was the 2022 winner of CyberScoop’s #CyberScoop50 “Most Inspiring Up and Comer” award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer and information sciences from Temple University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in cybersecurity at Georgia Institute of Technology.