How to get a cyber security job?

By | November 19, 2015

Hello! I want to work for the NSA in the future, and I was wondering how to land a job there. I am a high school freshman at the moment and wanted to go into the career of information security (cyber security). So what are some good internship places I can go to? I live in South California. What are some IT camps I can go to? What are some programs I can learn? What are some online courses that I could take? What GPA should I get in high school and sat? What college is the best to get a bachelor degree and etc? Best answer gets 10 points thank you.

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One thought on “How to get a cyber security job?

  1. Richard L

    First just a warning that working in Computing Security is not as portrayed in the movies and on TV. Remember that for every person working in these high level govt jobs there are hundreds of Computing Security positions in private industry.

    If you are still in High School and want to get prepared for an IT career there are some things you can start working on to make yourself more successful in that career area. I can’t answer SAT and HS grade requirements. My SAT was poor and HS GPA was average.

    Generally it is a 3.0-3.5 minimum college GPA to work in IT. If you are looking to work in a high level position in govt or a premier company (Microsoft, Cisco, Sun, etc) you should probably figure a 4.0 GPA is going to be expected.

    The first thing is to start taking High School computer courses if any are available at your school. Sometimes High Schools have agreements with local colleges so Jr. and Sr. students can take college classes while you are still in HS. If your HS has a computer club that is a good idea also. If your school has a computer lab find out how you can volunteer to work in the lab and help the instructor. Many High Schools will offer courses in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other office applications. I would encourage you to take these courses. Part of IT is being able to convey your ideas and so being proficient in all those applications will be very useful.

    Go out and start looking at study materials and sample test questions for the CompTIA certification tests. There are many web sites where you will find sample questions. Eventually when you feel ready you will want to take the 2 A+ certification tests and get that cert. If your end game plan is to do Computing Security you will want the Security+, CISSP and CEH certs. When you are old enough the A+ will help you get a better job at a large computer retailer like Best Buy or Staples. This may not sound like a big deal but just remember some of your friends may still be working in fast food.

    There are two main computer areas of study: Programming and General IT studies (Networking, Computer Security, Systems Administration, etc). You will need to decide which one is best for you. Many people think Computer Science/Programming sounds like a good major and career until they realize it involves advanced math courses. If you are poor at math, Programming is probably out for you. However, don’t be discouraged as there are many IT jobs in the Security realm that don’t require programming and advanced math.

    As far as what you need to get an IT job: The Holy Grail for IT employment is a 4 year computer related Bachelor’s degree, some industry certifications and some work experience. Also another optional thing that may help is some skill and training in a specialization area like Scripting, Database Administration, Virtualization, Computing Security or other similar topics. If you have all 4 (degree, certs, experience and special skill) of those you should be good. If you have only one element that will help but you may be competing with other people who have two, three or perhaps all four elements.
    Best wishes!

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