How Can I Become a Cyber Professional?

By 2022 employers are expected to be looking to fill an astounding 1.8 million new positions in cybersecurity. All those potential new jobs mean that there’s perhaps no time like the present to start pursuing the training necessary to get hired into one.

A career change, especially in the middle of your career, can sometimes seem like an impossible or, at the very least, a daunting task. What you may not know, however, is that the training you need to start a career in cybersecurity doesn’t necessarily require you to head back to school for a four-year degree.

An accelerated program, such as our Cyber Defense Professional Certificate Program, can quickly help you get the training you need so you’re ready to start your new career sooner than you might think is possible.

What Does It Take To Become a Cybersecurity Pro?

For you to become a certified cybersecurity professional, you’ll first need to pass a range of different certification exams.

Unlike some other exams you may have taken in the past, cybersecurity exams are global in nature so that they can ensure professionals around the world are prepared with some of the same tools. These certifications also help the industry regulate itself so that only people who have passed the exams can refer to themselves as experts.

While the right education is critical to passing these exams, the teaching itself doesn’t need to come in the form of a four-year degree. Instead, someone interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity can get the education they need in weeks rather than years with accelerated training programs.

Accelerated programs offer hands-on training in addition to classroom learning, ultimately enabling them to give students the focused and thorough training necessary to pass the required industry exams. Even better, the cybersecurity training you’ll receive in some accelerated programs is taught by industry professionals currently working in the field. Not only will that help ensure that you’re getting the most up-to-date applicable education possible, but you’ll also be building your network while simultaneously building your knowledge.

While the whole idea of changing careers might seem daunting, states that 87% of cybersecurity workers globally didn’t start their career as a cybersecurity professional. However, 94% of hiring managers are looking for candidates who have some experience in the field. That means that getting experience while you’re also getting the training can potentially give you a leg up on the competition.

What Professional Cybersecurity Certifications Will I Need to Start My Career?

As we mentioned earlier, if you do decide to pursue a career as a cybersecurity professional, you’ll need to obtain a few specific certifications.

LPI Linux Essentials

In the LPI Linux Essentials exam, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of Linux and knowledge of some of the most popular open-source applications. You’ll also need to show you have a grasp of security and admin topics such as user and group management and permissions.


The Systems Security Certified Practitioner exam allows you to demonstrate the technical skills and knowledge to implement, monitor, and administer IT infrastructure. It proves that you know the best security practices, policies, and procedures to do so.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

In the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam, you’ll need to demonstrate knowledge of AWS Cloud and its architectural principals and describe key services on the AWS platform and their use cases. The exam also measures your ability to describe the characteristics of deploying and operating using AWS Cloud.


There are 3 CompTIA certifications you can choose from CysA+, Security+, and Network+. These will cover things like security analytics, core security functions, and the essentials of network infrastructure. Beginners are encouraged to start with Security+.

CCNA CyberOps

CCNA CyberOps is a relatively new certification, but a good one to have. The verification was approved by the Department of Defense in 2018 and focuses on Cisco cybersecurity fundamentals.

What’s The Next Step Towards Starting My Cybersecurity Career?

If you’ve decided that a career in cybersecurity is for you, then an accelerated certification program, such as the Cyber Defense Professional Certificate Program available at The University of Central Florida, can be an excellent choice.

While an accelerated program helps you learn the skills you need to pass certain certification exams, it also allows you to potentially network with other cybersecurity professionals and get help finding that first position once you graduate.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Cyber Defense Professional Certificate Program, schedule a call with an admissions advisor today and ask about our Introductory Course.

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