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Becoming a Cybersecurity Engineer

by Brent Kirkpatrick

(Date Published: .)

To have a career doing cybersecurity, cultivate strong engineering skills.

You know you want to "do cybersecurity." The excitement and challenge call to you. You see multiple entry points into the field: learning on-the-job in IT, taking certification courses, learning about penetration testing, and getting a bachelors degree. These bewildering choices become clearer when you have a guiding strategy.

People who are successful in cybersecurity have strong engineering skills and are able to write computer code. The best defenders are able to reverse engineer software and hardware systems while identifying weaknesses.

Doing cybersecurity means cultivating strong engineering skills

Contrary to popular opinion, learning how to hack has little to do with defending or for being good at cybersecurity. Actually, hacking is a distraction that takes away time from learning solid engineering skills.

The highest value degree for cybersecurity is the bachelors degree of computer science. While there are now bachelors of information technology, those degrees do not teach you how to program. In computer science, you will learn programming skills and engineering.

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