How To Get Into Cybersecurity With No Experience

Whether it be phishing, malware, or ransomware, there seems to be a new cyber attack making headlines every day. According to a 2022 Techjury report, a ransomware attack every 14 seconds on businesses, which can sometimes go undetected for nearly six months. All of this is causing organizations large and small to double their cybersecurity efforts.

The trouble is that organizations in need of cybersecurity professionals are having a hard time finding qualified applicants. In 2021, the annual Life and Times of Cybersecurity Professionals found that 76% of security professionals said it's difficult to recruit cybersecurity professionals.

All of this means that, if you’re interested in a career in cybersecurity, there’s never been a better time to join the field, even if you have no experience. Below, we’ll take a look at what skills hiring managers are looking for in beginners and the best way to get cybersecurity jobs with no experience.

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the process of stopping hackers and other cyber criminals from accessing, attacking, or breaching network systems. As our world becomes more dependent on cyber systems and IoT (internet of things), protecting personal data, computer networks, and even industries and facilities is priority number one. Cybersecurity professionals do this by:

  • Analyzing threat levels

  • Testing network vulnerabilities

  • Creating, storing, and protecting backups of company data

  • Educating staff on internet threats

  • Researching and understanding computer trends

Technical Skills for Cybersecurity Beginners

There are must-have technical skills that can help you become an expert cybersecurity professional. You can learn these on your own time, or with a BootCamp.

  • System Programming. Understanding, writing, and creating code via programming languages like Python and Javascript is essential to a career in cybersecurity.

  • Individual Security. Training each person in the company on best internet safety practices and protecting company files on individual work computers is one of the best ways to prevent data breaches.

  • Network Defense. Developing multi-layered protocols that trigger as soon as a breach is detected can keep hackers from gaining access to a company's entire network.

  • Threat Detection. You want to be proficient with networking tools that help you anticipate threats and monitor vulnerable areas.

  • Data Security. As you’d expect, cybersecurity professionals have to protect a company's confidential data through proper storage, special permissions, and software management.

Soft Skills for Cybersecurity Beginners

While you may not need an extensive background in coding, networks, or incident responses, a few non-technical or "soft" skills can help your resume get noticed.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

As a cybersecurity professional, your job is to anticipate, detect, and prevent data and network breaches. This may involve reverse engineering a threat, identifying vulnerable areas, and developing risk management strategies.


With every job, communicating effectively with your team is crucial for every work environment. This helps promote teamwork, manage collaboration, and maximize everyone's potential. Consider beefing up your resume with communication and leadership classes to learn best practices for future work situations.

Flexibility and Adaptability

As a cybersecurity professional, you may experience multiple problems concurrently. For example, you may face a data breach, a breakdown of communication, and a sudden staffing shortage all at once. Being able to pivot without losing your focus can help you find solutions and get things back on track quickly.

Accuracy and Attention to Detail

Hackers only need a small opening or a single slip-up to access company data and networks. The ability to focus on minor details can help spot vulnerabilities while being accurate with all your work helps prevent costly mistakes.


Cybercriminals are persistent. Having the same patience and determination to fix network issues, researching and staying on top of industry trends, and getting creative when faced with malware or other cyberattacks will make you a top cybersecurity


Certifications for Cybersecurity Beginners

Certifications help you master cybersecurity basics and prove to employers that you have the technical know-how to get the job done. Here are some certifications you should consider getting:

CompTIA Security+

This is the best starting point for those looking for a cybersecurity job if you don't have experience. CompTIA Security+ is an entry-level certification for those seeking foundational knowledge of the information technology (IT) industry. This certification tells future employers that you have a core understanding and hands-on experience of the following:

  • Security functions

  • Risk assessment and management

  • Incident response

  • Hybrid/cloud operations

  • Enterprise networks

  • Security Control

  • Forensics

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Ethical hacking is critical for cybersecurity. As one of the most in-demand entry-level certifications, Certified Ethical Hackers (CEH) search for vulnerabilities in networks, hardware, and software systems. A CEH certification means you think like a hacker while executing hacking tools, attacking vectors, penetration testing, and running interference responses.

GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF)

The GISF is a basic yet essential certification for anyone seeking a cybersecurity job. This certification will demonstrate your knowledge and skills regarding computer networks, security policies, incident response, and cryptographic principles.

Keep in mind obtaining these certifications takes time and effort. But having these three certifications on your resume can boost your chances of getting a cybersecurity job without experience. You can learn the concepts via a bootcamp, one-on-one lessons, or online videos and practice tests.

Four Entry-Level Cybersecurity Roles

These entry-level jobs can help you establish a strong cybersecurity career path:

IT Support Specialist

Annual Salary - $57,910 according to U.S. BLS

This is a great entry-level position if you have soft skills like problem-solving, communication, and a basic understanding of computer systems. Most IT support specialists focus on user support or network support, helping to maintain or repair computer networks and providing technical assistance by testing and evaluating the network, installing new hardware or software, and guiding users through problem-solving steps.

Junior Security Analyst

Annual Salary - $56,496 according to PayScale

Communication, accuracy, attention to detail, and problem-solving are soft skills that can help you land this entry-level cybersecurity job. A junior security analyst assists senior specialists by analyzing and monitoring systems, maintaining data, and performing tests to detect vulnerabilities and risks.


Annual Salary - $76,761 according to Comparably

If you’re just starting out in cybersecurity and have a head for mathematics, algebra, and calculus, then this is the job for you! A cryptanalyst is in high demand because they crack criminal codes and help encrypt sensitive data. Most positions don't require prior experience, but future Cryptanalysts should be well-versed in programming languages and coding.

Junior Penetration Tester

Annual Salary - $116,104 according to ZipRecruiter

As one of the highest-paying entry-level cybersecurity positions, a junior penetration tester helps improve network security by planning and executing tests designed to find and exploit vulnerabilities.

Get Started in Cybersecurity

The best way to get into cybersecurity with no experience is through a specialized bootcamp, such as The University of South Florida's CTPE Cyber Security Bootcamp. In this 100% online, 6-month program, you'll learn cybersecurity fundamentals, identity and access management, and security assessment and training—all while completing a real-world capstone project and preparing for the critical CompTIA Security+ certification. Apply online or reach out to our admissions team for more information.