Let’s face it, cybersecurity isn’t for everyone. Sure there's a lot of hype around the field. While tons of people are talking about cybersecurity, that doesn’t mean that everyone will enjoy it. What are some key reasons that you shouldn’t get into cybersecurity?
You Value Routine In Your Work Schedule
For a variety of reasons you may highly value routine in your work schedule. Maybe you have commitments outside of work that are inflexible time-wise. Perhaps you simply don’t want to sacrifice time with friends or family for your career. A predictable work schedule might be very important to you.
Cybersecurity can often present a work schedule that is less than predictable. At its essence, cybersecurity is—as the name states—security work. That means that when things go wrong, people’s personal schedules can suffer. Bad actors don’t respect weekends or holidays. In fact some will intentionally target them.
Bad actors don’t respect weekends or holidays.
You’ll struggle to find many experienced cybersecurity professionals, who have never had their evening, weekend, or a holiday disrupted by work. Of course, some roles (such as, incident responders) are more hectic than others. To many extents though, a career in cybersecurity involves accepting the lack of routine that accompanies it. If you value a fixed work routine above all else, cybersecurity might not be right for you.
You Prefer Not to Depend on Others
No one can successfully defend an organization alone. Maybe you prefer a level of autonomy in which you don’t have to deal with other people. Perhaps you want to succeed or fail on your own merits. Does being dependent on others for your success frustrates you?
There are some cybersecurity roles in which you wouldn’t be dependent upon or accountable to others for your success, such as independent researchers. However, when it comes to defending organizations, cybersecurity is a team sport. You have to work well with others to be effective and you’re dependent on them for your organizational success.
You can undoubtedly find a specialized niche that doesn’t require other people. By and large you’ll need to depend on others in cybersecurity. If you value autonomy over teamwork, cybersecurity might not be right for you.
You’re Not a Fan of Studying
Technology changes. Industry frameworks evolve. The line between “learning” and “doing” blur in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity requires life-long learning. Not everyone enjoyed school, but you’ll need to be willing to study new topics to succeed. For example, different organizations will have varying technology stacks. If you have no desire to learn new technologies over the course of your career, you’ll find yourself with limited career options.
Cybersecurity requires life-long learning.
Becoming Cyber often discusses the best entry-level certifications to break into cybersecurity. As you progress in your career there will likely be expectations of obtaining more advanced certifications, like the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). Getting in the door doesn’t mean you’re done studying for certifications.
Technology continues to advance over time. In order to stay relevant, you need to keep studying and learning. You need to keep up. If you’re not a fan of continued learning, cybersecurity may not be right for you.
Cybersecurity is a great career field. If it’s not right for you, that’s okay. There are other high growth, future-oriented careers out there. You can learn more about them in books like The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross. If you are not dissuaded in your cybersecurity interests, there is plenty of work. We just need to land you that first cybersecurity job. Let’s get back to work.