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Why NOW Is The Time To Consider A Career Move In The Field Of Cyber Security

Why NOW Is The Time To Consider A Career Move In The Field Of Cyber Security

Cyber adversaries are regularly coming up with sophisticated tools and technologies and innovating at a faster pace than what enterprises today can cope with. Let’s see why it’s high time and how to go about getting a job in cybersecurity. How much money can you make? In this article, you’ll explore what the critical Cyber Security certifications are and Cyber Security courses to get rapid career growth.

The recent surge of cyberattacks has throttled the digital world, by which organizations have not only lost their valuable information assets but also made financial and reputational losses. For this reason, cyber security is paramount in every organization’s management decision-making today. Ever-increasing cyber security breaches, resource crunch, and a shortage of talented information security professionals have left the management in limbo as they continue to struggle to find the right mix of people. It is not surprising to note that organizations lose over $8.19 million to data breaches on average. This is induced by a remarked deficit of network security professionals in comparison to the ever-rising population of cyber adversaries. 

Some Recent Breaches That Will Leave You Thinking

  • Data breach at Yahoo: Considered as one of the biggest data thefts of the decade, the Yahoo data breach of 2013 led to the compromising of 3 billion user accounts.
  • Data breach at Marriott International: Yet another data breach that will leave you astounded is the one that took place at Marriott International in 2018. This hacking attack stole the confidential data of over 500 million customers of the hotel chain.
  • WannaCry attacks: The ransomware WannaCry has been able to collect over $100,000 from organizations and people across the globe. 

If these statistics aren’t enough, an attacker is sitting in some corner of the world, launching the next major cyberattack, and you need to stop these cyber security breaches with your skills and efforts!

How In Demand Is The Field Of Cyber Security?

Considering the present scenario where job opportunities are lying ungrabbed in the field of cyber security, you can well imagine its absorption capacity! Research shows that the unfilled job positions in cyber security are to go up to 3.5 million in the coming decade as compared to 1.4 million in 2014. Here’s how to decide whether this dynamic field is the one for you:

  • A vibrant and appealing job opportunity: Working in the field of network security ensures freedom from monotony as it’s filled with variety. No case you handle is ever going to be a replica of another. The field is dynamic, and you are sure to love the mind games that await you. 
  • Financial Stability: The best part about a career in cyber security is the money that comes with it, and there is practically no limitation on it if you’re the master of your trade. The average pay is 50% higher than any private-sector job.
  • Thrill & uncertainty: Going for work will seem like going on a treasure hunt every day. It’s an adventurous experience for all, no matter which sector you specialize in.
  • Testing your skills every other day: Since a career in cyber security demands knowledge on different skill-sets, your experience of years in various fields comes handy now, and you can adequately utilize all your specialized skills. 

Related: Learn about the fundamental skills that will help you break into Cyber Security.

The Number Of Open Job Vacancies And The Expected Growth Of The Field

It is a known fact that the industry crisis in the field of cyber security is immense. The expected underemployment in the field is likely to reach 3.5 million by 2021. Therefore, it’s safe to say the platform remains open for cyber enthusiasts to perform, excel, and prosper. The industry has zero rates of unemployment and promises to be a field with endless opportunities and measureless growth.

For instance,

  • Two million openings expected in the Asia-Pacific region by 2021, and about 400,000 will be in Europe.
  • Currently, there are 314,000 unfilled cyber security positions in the USA. The U.S. had over 26,000 openings for cyber security analysts at the end of 2018. 

Why Is Security Becoming More Important As Technology Advances?

While all marvel at the quick transition of activities from offline to online that has happened in almost every walk of life. There is a significant threat that comes along with this technological advancement. All information is at the tip of your fingers – from your insurance policy number to your credit card details! Imagine what will happen if a malicious third party accesses these details? It is precisely why cyber and network security has become more critical in recent times.  

How Much Money Can I Make In Cyber Security?

Any role in the field of cyber security promises to pay extremely well as compared to any other private-sector job. Not only does this job pay well, but it also ensures that you like your work and draw some positive learning experience out of it that helps you in the long run. That being said, you can easily expect a 6 figure job as you work your way up through the industry.

The Verdict

Thus, a career in cyber security that is established with established cyber security certifications, hands-on training, and cyber security courses is one of the most secure career options now. It is expected to remain true for at least another decade. Especially the field of Artificial Intelligence-Machine Learning (AI ML) in cyber security, the combination of Data Science & AI-ML in enhancing SIEM tools & solutions, etc., is yet to be fully explored, and most job opportunities lie unabsorbed in the area. Getting a job in cyber security always offers lucrative salaries with new and diverse career responsibilities. 

To learn more about NexGenT’s Cyber Security program and what fundamental skills we teach to help you land your first job in cyber, click here. Thank you for reading and leave us a comment below with your thoughts on diving into this line of work.

Online Cybersecurity Training [Your NEED TO KNOW Fundamentals]

Online Cybersecurity Training [Your NEED TO KNOW Fundamentals]

Understanding fundamentals is a key part of becoming a skilled Cybersecurity engineer. Our program will teach you how to think like a hacker and help defend against attacks with practical real-world skills you’ll need for the job. In this blog, we’ll give you an overview of each module so you can see the key points you’ll be learning to build a strong foundation.

What Are The Key, Job-Ready Cybersecurity Skills We Teach At NexGenT?

  • Identify & Analyze Threats: In the first module of the program, we will do an introduction to a high-level overview of the cybersecurity ecosystem. We will understand the threat actors and the different types of attacks you see in this domain. We will also take a look into the various toolkits and how they fit into various security frameworks.
  • Cryptography: This module will cover the fundamentals of cryptography along with practical use cases in today’s world. It is an important aspect of security and forms the basis to many protocols that keep us safe. This module will help you understand what happens behind the scenes with these algorithms and how they are useful.
  • Network Security: Network security is the basis of Cybersecurity operations. In this module we will look at the common security implementations in place and what the common weaknesses are. We will learn about low hanging fruit, which are typically overlooked, and provide a great way to raise threat awareness.
  • Secure Protocols: This module is meant to help understand basic protocols and best practices needed to create a security-focused organization. The best offense is a defense. We will learn about the different tactics needed to raise the bar.
  • Symptoms of Compromise: By recognizing the symptoms of an attack, analysts can help stop them much sooner. Here we will cover what to expect in different scenarios so that you can diagnose the problem in an efficient manner. This analysis is key to understanding what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again in the future.
  • Cyber toolkits: A successful analyst has a wide arsenal of tools and knows how to effectively use them. In this module, we will teach you which tools are available and how to apply them for all the various security solutions and strategies.
  • Testing the Infrastructure: In this module, we will take a look at all the practical applications of attacking your own infrastructure to help defend it. We will teach you how to identify your organization’s own weaknesses such that you can help mitigate weaknesses and help define what changes need to be made.
  • And finally, Incident Response is a crucial approach on what to do in the event of a security breach. An organization needs the security team to have a playbook ready in times of crisis and know how to react to certain events. We will take a look at planning what is needed to be done.

To find out more about our Cyber Security program, click here.

The Growing Gap between Education & Employment

The Growing Gap between Education & Employment

It’s a tired trope to cite the percentage of English majors that are working as a Starbucks barista, but the point is well taken. With 44% of recent college graduates working a job that doesn’t require a degree, higher education must be missing something. And while the question is simple, the answer is less so.

What is it that needs to be gleaned from the months or years between graduation and someone’s first “big-kid” job?

Coming out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for careers only to be forced into a low-wage position just to make ends meet or start servicing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of student loans just doesn’t make sense. With colleges offering fast-track degrees, externships, internships, co-ops, etc. why is it that there’s still a gap between education and employment? 

Download our free 5 step guide to becoming a Network Engineer

You’ll start to find the picture becoming more clear by looking at the most recent trends. There are some previously basic truths that may not be basic nor true anymore in regards to what employers are looking for. The very word “education” may not fully suffice to describe the assortment of knowledge and skills one needs to arm themselves within a professional setting this day in age.

So what are they looking for? 

Education has long been about being well-rounded. It’s about developing critical thinking skills, researching to prove out a set of assumptions, and learning how to convey that knowledge to others. These are the soft skills that come as a byproduct rather than a direct or overtly pursued result of education. 

“To be able to teach is to be able to be taught-”

In many ways, these soft skills increase in demand in the job market at a faster pace than the particular knowledge base that may be at the heart of someone’s major or degree. These are also a valuable metric for a prospective employee’s flexible skills- to be able to teach is to be able to be taught- a mirror of one’s ability to learn new processes and technologies quickly. These being “intangible” and only able to be proven overtime on the job has necessitated a longer runway in getting a recent grad to where they want to go.

In many ways, it also offloads the cost and risk of a company having to test the waters of new employees onto “sub-degree” employers. In short, education does not mitigate the risk that someone doesn’t have these soft skills. 

Education vs. Training

The other side of the coin is training- specifically in a practical rather than theoretical way. The increase in soft skills is only overshadowed by the increase in demand for technical skills. In a recent study by Upwork, the addition of technical skills can fully double the amount of available job offers. We see this all the time without identifying it as such- the unbundling of degrees- a creation of micro-credentials to put together a more comprehensive picture of what applicants can, and, as importantly- can’t do.

The addition of technical skills can fully double the amount of available job offers.

Noted By Upwork

Take an MBA- high level and theoretical skills that are of course invaluable in any business setting. For multiple generations, you’re hard-pressed to find them out of work or anything less than extremely high demand. While this still holds true, it is not the silver bullet that it used to be.

The question you ask an MBA has now become “How do you manage and optimize in a technology-driven workplace if you don’t have the technical skills?”

“Degrees are static- The job market is not” 

They may possess 6 years worth of soft skills, but without technical skills, it becomes abstract and even academic. The confluence of these new realities bring us to an inescapable truth- degrees, while valuable, are far less valuable and a far cry from a job guarantee than ever before.

The fact of the matter is that degrees are static- the job market is not. Degrees often collect dust in the staid walls of their owners, but true credentials- skills that are used, augmented and scaled- require constant validation.

The pace at which any industry changes has rendered degrees subject to something entirely new- expiration dates. Today’s most in-demand jobs didn’t even exist a mere decade ago. Your job, duties, roles, and responsibilities are dynamic and constantly changing. A degree shows that you have the knowledge base, whereas the true skills and micro-credentials show you know how to handle them. 

Now the key is how will you put together a plan for education, credentialing, and validation?

Check out our real-world job-ready training guaranteed to land you a job in IT at

Exclusive Interview Tips from an Amazon Cybersecurity Solutions Architect

Exclusive Interview Tips from an Amazon Cybersecurity Solutions Architect

Anthony Nguyen, a Security Solutions Architect at Amazon, spoke with Sam Stuber from the NexGenT Career Services team about his career in IT and cybersecurity. At the end of the interview, students had the chance to ask him success questions. 

While the exclusive hour-long interview for NexGenT students was packed with helpful tips where Anthony shares about his own experience, this condensed highlight real offers a plethora of brilliant job searching tips.

In this insightful interview, Anthony shares the following things:

  • Triumphant steps Anthony took to get where he is at Amazon
  • How failures can be opportunities
  • Bots vs. people reviewing resumes and how to optimize for IT and cybersecurity
  • The IT hiring process, both technical and non-technical, and what you should know to prepare yourself
  • Sample interview questions
  • What to do when you don’t know the answer to an interview question
  • What hiring managers are looking for, including the T shape career development model
Interested in starting a cybersecurity career of your own? Click here to get trained in 6 months.

Additionally, here are some of the amazing resources that Anthony mentions and references:

  • How to Interview at Amazon: While this guide is specifically written by Amazon, for Amazon job seekers, it’s extremely applicable for any job you are preparing for. Included are sections on behavioral-based interviewing, the STAR answer format, tips for great interview answers
  • 101 Cybersecurity Slides: While Anthony took the time to share exclusive knowledge with NexGenT students, he has also mentored students in the past at places like UC Irvine. He shared with us the slides he uses to help students understand the different paths into IT and cybersecurity. Link to InfoSec 101: How to be a Cybersecurity Expert Slides Here
  • Coding Interviews & Challenges: Use websites like Leet Code to help you enhance your skills and prepare for technical IT interviews.

Ready to reach out to technical IT recruiters? Check out our step-by-step guide with email templates.

Is College Really Necessary?

Is College Really Necessary?

NexGenT was founded on the belief that education is for everyone and that the ideal educational system should be based on real-world skills training. The company ethos includes the belief that education cannot leave people in debt with degrees that do not teach the real skills needed to succeed, and that it should prepare people to be ready for the workforce. We want our students to be field-ready after completing our program, similar to how we trained network engineers in the military.

This is how we view proper training – it should actually prepare folks for a real job and give them tangible skills that are necessary to do the job (I know, crazy right!?). However, we find that traditional College education is lacking in technical fields of study such as information technology. What is needed in IT are people who can do the job, not people with a head full of concepts with no application.

For this reason, people mostly get hired based on their skills and certifications. There are not enough college programs that teach the necessary technical skills and to make things even worse, traditional institutions leave their students in massive amounts of debt. So, it’s important to highlight this issue of College debt, and discuss alternatives to traditional academia, but alternatives that actually provide the education needed for a great career.

Last year, more than 20 million students attended College or University, and 70% graduated with a significant amount of student loan debt. The national student debt is nearly $1.5 Trillion, collectively held by around 44 million Americans. This figure is truly unsustainable, and there must be change. The average student debt is around $37,000, and that significant amount of money could have been otherwise invested somewhere else.

At NexGenT, we provide real-world skills training for a fraction of the cost of College. Students graduate in just months instead of years and gain sought after skills without the burden of large amounts of debt. This is the kind of thinking we will need in order to fill the millions of tech jobs that will be open in just the next couple years.

And, don’t only take it from us – we created a short video with raw footage from some of our students who were inspired to share their stories and discuss this topic. The video starts with a question about College and then students share their authentic stories providing genuine insight into the value of alternative educational programs and the mission at NexGenT.

Launch your career in cybersecurity in just 6 months! Find out how.

Enjoy the video!

What is Edge Computing and Why You Should Care About It

What is Edge Computing and Why You Should Care About It

The underlying concept of Edge Computing is simple: it’s the idea that pushing “intelligence” to the edge of the network will reduce the load on the core servers and on the network itself, and make the network more efficient overall.  

Edge Computing, like many other technological advancements, arose as a response to an issue. The issue? A massive overload on servers caused by a “surplus” of data generated by networked devices incapable of making decisions on their own.

If you’ve read The Hottest IT Trends Of Our Time, you’d probably recall the security camera example. In this example, I refer to a scenario in which you have a few security cameras recording information and sending it to a centralized server as long as they are turned on.

This, of course, is not an issue if you have just a few cameras. But, when you get into a situation like that of the city of London, which has over 400,000 cameras, you run into a huge issue: an overload on the main server and network that can, and probably will, break things even if you have the biggest pipe in the world.  

Edge Computing Network Engineering Information Technology IoT

37298498 – cloud computing concept, global computer network

In a hypothetical case similar to London’s, ideally you’d want to filter the information that is being sent to the network’s main servers. This, as you might already know, would require those data-generating devices to be capable of making decisions—of identifying which information is relevant and which is irrelevant.

There are many more applications of Edge Computing other than surveillance cameras. However, surveillance cameras are one of the biggest use cases for Edge Computing because they require a lot of bandwidth at peak operation. Also, there are several things that can be done with data collected from surveillance cameras, that wasn’t realistically possible even within the past few years when most cameras were still “dumb” devices.  

For example, you could be a British government agency hunting down a criminal in London. So, you scan a picture of the criminal and create a biometric map of his/her face. Then, you can configure your security cameras to only report back to the main server once they detect someone that matches that biometric map (obviously this would require facial recognition software).

This, of course, is only possible if security cameras sitting on the edge of the network are capable of making decisions. Otherwise, the network’s main servers would go nuts processing data, most of which would be garbage, from over 400,000 cameras streaming 24/7!

The overload problem wasn’t an easy one to solve, but since sensors and software are now incorporated into “edge” devices (these are devices living on the edge of the network), network engineers can now configure these devices to only send relevant information to the network’s main servers, or in other words, these devices can now make decisions without having to rely on anything other than their own computational power. Thus, making things better for everybody.

Related: How to become a network engineer in less than a year

Edge Computing not only helps to reduce network loads, but also increases efficiency, functionality of devices and speed of information processing since data doesn’t have to travel far to be analyzed. But it’s not all good news, there are problems that arise from the incorporation of Edge Computing, as well as smaller issues that can also affect business’ operations. Let’s take a look at the pros and the cons of Edge Computing:  

Pros to Edge Computing

  1. Reduces network load

Let’s go back to the London security camera example for a second. Pretend you’re running security for the entire city, and that you have decided to upgrade all of your cameras to stream in 4k definition to make better use of recordings…

A 4k definition stream consumes something around 25Mbps. So, if all of these cameras were only capable of sending information back, your network would have to smoothly process the information coming from over 400,000 cameras every second. In that case, you’d have to wait for technology to catch up to your needs, my friend!

Edge Computing makes these type of crazy but quite common scenarios possible. With Edge Computing, networks can scale to meet the demands of the IoT world without having to worry about overconsumption of resources on the network and servers or wasting resources on processing irrelevant data.  

  1. Functionality

Network engineers can program Edge Computing devices to perform several different kinds of functions. I’ve covered the example of filtering data before sending it over the network, but Edge Computing devices are capable of doing many more things. Since they have their own software and can process their own data, they can be configured to handle edge data in ways that have not yet been imagined.

With the new capabilities presented by leveraging data at the edges, networks will inevitably have more functionality and will hopefully become increasingly more efficient as well.

  1. Efficiency (real time access to analytics)  

Another benefit of Edge Computing is that it enables real time data analysis performed on the spot—which is a big deal for businesses.

For example, if you’re part of a manufacturing business with several manufacturing plants, as a manager of one of those plants you could greatly benefit from analyzing your plant’s data as it is being recorded, rather than having to wait for that data to go to a central server to be analyzed and then be sent back to your plant.

Such speed translates into immediate action, which ultimately results  in cost reductions and/or revenue increases (the main things businesses try to do).

Imagine being a manager of a manufacturing plant having an issue with your production process and you have to wait for your data to be analyzed by the company’s main server. Whereas with Edge Computing, you could find what that issue is virtually immediately. Thus, saving significant resources!

Cons to Edge Computing

  1. Security

The main negative aspect about Edge Computing is security. Before edge devices became “intelligent” they weren’t a vulnerable part of the network—they were just “dumb” devices performing very limited tasks.

However, by adding advanced software and hardware into these devices and also empowering them analyze their data locally, all of these devices become more vulnerable to malicious attacks.

edge computing

With networked devices analyzing their own data on the spot, it is now even more likely for any of them to be infected with malware and begin distributing it across your network.

The security problem isn’t going away anytime soon. As of right now, and for several years to come, building full-blown security into every endpoint of a network would not be feasible, which makes conventional security virtually impossible to accomplish. Therefore, networks utilizing Edge Computing will have to rely more on security through the network itself. [More on that topic here]  

  1. Increased risk of human error

With several new intelligent devices connected to a network, configuring all of these devices correctly becomes a challenge. Network engineers can now go into each one of those little devices and perform several configurations, which makes it easy to make a mistake.

Going back to the security camera example, imagine something as simple as a setting up one of your cameras to record during the day rather than at night. This, of course, isn’t inherently caused by Edge Computing, but by human error. However, the possibility for these potential misconfigurations can certainly be enhanced with the incorporation of more Edge Computing devices.

  1. Cost of functionality

The advancement of Edge Computing devices makes it possible for new businesses to modify their business model. Nowadays, for example, instead of selling you a device, they sell you the device plus the ability to use certain key functionalities—only if you pay extra, of course. It is very easy to pretty much double the cost of the hardware just by adding additional functionalities.

Related: How the Network Intuitive will change the future of IT professionals

This is something to watch out for if you’re deploying Edge Computing into your network because, as you know, the IT industry revolves around money so you must keep your priorities in check. Make sure that you read the fine print every time you purchase new technology so that you’re only paying for what you’re truly going to use, and aren’t being charged for functionalities that you don’t need.

Why should you care?  

Edge Computing is enabling the Internet of Things to take over the world. According to Cisco Systems, by 2020 there will be tens of billions of devices connected to the Internet. Even if all of these devices were to send text files all day every day, we’d still need Edge Computing technologies to avoid big issues.

This means that every single network in the near future will use Edge Computing to operate. Hence, if you start digging into the weeds of Edge Computing, you’d be at the forefront of the industry—at least until the next big change comes by.

Nonetheless, you must watch out for costs, since they can skyrocket in the blink of an eye; you must go the extra mile to protect the integrity of your data, since Edge Computing could make it quite vulnerable to malicious attacks; and, you must think about better methods for configuration management and orchestration of network devices as more and more computing and intelligence is deployed to the edge of the network!