Landing a job in security isn’t easy, especially if you want to work for the government. This field requires a specific skill set and extensive experience. The fierce competition doesn’t help either.

More than six million data records are lost or stolen on a daily basis. Detecting data breaches takes a few months at the least. Government agencies are seeking pros who can identify and fix the vulnerabilities in their systems.

The demand for software engineers, technical security managers, cyber security analysts, and other roles is on the rise. According to Forbes, this market will reach $170 billion by 2020. It offers excellent prospects and high salaries, making it easy to build a rewarding career.

But what does it take to succeed in this field? Professionals with the following cyber security skills have the best chances of landing a job in the government.

Critical Thinking Skills

As a cyber security expert, you must be able to detect vulnerabilities and understand why they occurred in the first place. It’s not enough to fix the problem — you also need to determine its root cause in order to prevent future attacks.

Strong critical thinking skills are essential in this field. Aspiring professionals must have an eye for detail, challenge assumptions, and test different hypotheses.

Secure Software Development Skills

In the role, you need to have a good grasp of security across various applications and systems. You must understand their design, coding elements, implementation, weak spots, and other key aspects. This requires in-depth knowledge of software development.

Be prepared to study the technology of software, ensure legal and regulatory compliance, and develop security solutions for zero backdoor action.

Technical Skills

Cyber security pros have strong technical skills. They know the ins and out of network systems, operating systems, virtualization software, and programming languages.

One way to hone your skills in these areas is to continue your education. Several public and private institutions offer courses and certifications in information systems security architecture, auditing, software development, and more.

These certificates can increase your chances of landing a good job and give you a competitive advantage.

Data Science Skills

Data science and data analytics skills are paramount for those who want to build a career in this field.

Cyber security experts collect and analyze data to identify threats and assess vulnerabilities. They also rely on data to measure the effectiveness of the solutions they implement.

Soft Skills

As a cyber security specialist, you’ll work alongside a team of trained professionals. Therefore, it’s essential to have excellent communication skills.

Depending on your role, you may be required to make presentations and discuss projects. You will also have to convey complex information to both technical and non-technical audience. This requires the ability to collaborate and make yourself understood.

Hone Your Cyber Security Skills to Gain a Competitive Edge

These cyber security skills are in high demand and can make it easier to succeed in the job market. You’re competing against hundreds or even thousands of potential candidates. The only way to land your dream job is to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your abilities.

If your specialty is software engineering, you could work as a government contractor. Check out our guide to find out what you can expect in this role!

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