Practical Career Advice for MS in Cybersecurity Aspirants

Before we begin, here’s what Statista’s Cybersecurity Outlook predicts:

The cost of cybercrime worldwide is expected to soar in the next five years, going from $8.44 trillion in 2022 to $23.84 trillion by 2027.

Practical Career Advice for MS in Cybersecurity Aspirants​


Thankfully, the cybersecurity market is gearing up! 

The numbers look promising for cybersecurity aspirants, but that also means increased competition. 

Apart from raw skills and knowledge, you also need proper guidance to get ahead.

That’s why in this article, we have outlined the best career advice for MS in cybersecurity aspirants.

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Too busy to read?

Just do these:

    1. Choose the right MS in cybersecurity course
    2. Keep tabs on the job market
    3. Explore cybersecurity networking opportunities
    4. Gain experience and build your resume
    5. Learn to ace the interviews

Let’s get started.

Career Advice for MS in Cybersecurity Aspirants

1. Choose the Right MS in Cybersecurity Course

Getting an MS in cybersecurity will help lay the foundation for your career. A solid program from a reputed university will help you master the right set of skills and tools that you will need to succeed in the fiercely competitive industry. So, here’s what you should do:

  • Research the reputation of the university.
  • Study and compare the cybersecurity curriculum.
  • Learn about the faculty members and their expertise.
  • Consider the overall cost (tuition, living expenses, food, travel, etc.)
  • Find out about campus placements, job placement rates, and alumni success stories.

An expert’s view:

For cybersecurity programs in the US, check out the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which ranks 4th in the entire country for its MS in cybersecurity program. More importantly, NJIT’s cybersecurity program is the most coveted because it’s among the few courses that evolve as rapidly as the cybersecurity industry. 


2. Keep Tabs on the Job Market

Keep Tabs on the Job Market


As you can see, cybersecurity job prospects look excellent, especially in the US. The best career advice for MS in cybersecurity would be to keep a close watch on the job trends in the coming years. Here’s how you should do it:

  • Regularly monitor the job boards.
  • Keep abreast of all the latest news on cybersecurity.
  • If possible, visit cybersecurity conferences such as Black Hat USA, SANS Institute Cybersecurity Training Event, and DEF CON 31 to name a few.

An expert’s view:

Check out cybersecurity job listings for the following roles:

  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Security Architect
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
  • Malware Analyst
  • Penetration Tester
  • Computer Forensics Analyst
  • Application Security Engineer
  • Incident Manager
  • Cloud Security Specialist
Keep Tabs on the Job Market

Source: JerseyCTF 2023 Cybersecurity Competition

3. Explore Cybersecurity Networking Opportunities

The best career advice for MS in cybersecurity aspirants who want a job immediately after completing their course is to start networking as early as possible. There are plenty of networking opportunities available for cybersecurity students in the US.

  • Join cybersecurity organizations like the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence. 
  • Students at NJIT can join NICC, the university’s official Information & Cybersecurity Club, which organizes various networking events.
  • Join Women in Cyber Security at NJIT, a student chapter that collaborates with the WiCyS.
  • Join NJIT ACM, the world’s largest educational computer science organization.
  • Follow and connect to influential people from the industry on social media.

An expert’s view:

Follow these cybersecurity experts on LinkedIn:


4. Gain Experience and Build Your Resume

You may be able to land an entry-level cybersecurity job with little to no experience. But the best career advice for MS in cybersecurity aspirants would be to build an impressive resume with practical and proven skills. There are several ways to do that:

  • Apply for internships and co-ops while pursuing your MS degree.
  • Experiment on your own (preferably on a second computer!).
  • Learn how to program.
  • Provide services as a freelancer to build your portfolio.
  • Take part in a cybersecurity boot camp. 
  • Participate in CTF (Capture The Flag) cyber exercises.

An expert’s view:

Check if your chosen university offers opportunities for students to gain real, hands-on experience like NJIT’s:

5. Learn to Ace the Interviews

You’ve reached the final stage of the process. Now, it’s time to land your dream job! But the interviews can be tough and nerve-wracking. 

How do you prepare? 

Here are a few tips:

  • Spruce up your resume. Use a good resume template, put the most effective information, keep it succinct, and make it easy to scan. 
  • Extensively research companies you want to work at.
  • Find out about the common interview questions related to the role you are interviewing for that you are likely to get asked.
  • Try free online interview practice tools such as Google Interview Warmup, LinkedIn Interview Preparation, and Glassdoor Company Interview Questions.
  • Dress to make a great first impression, start with a firm handshake, and greet your interviewer with a confident yet polite smile.

An expert’s view:

Always rely on your university resources to prepare for the big interviews. Students at NJIT can find a wealth of information on the interview preparation page of the website. There’s also Big Interview, an online tool that helps you build confidence and improve your interview skills. 


Wrapping Up: Bonus Tips for Effective Job Search

There are several ways to make your job search strategic and effective. Here are a few tips:

  • Start researching companies before your course ends.
  • Start networking and talking to moderators at events and conferences (they are usually hyper-connected and less mobbed than the guest speakers at these events).
  • Build and send your own newsletters.
  • Try to bypass HR (if possible) and connect to someone in the company’s cybersecurity department.

With such practical and useful career advice for MS in cybersecurity, you are ready to begin your journey with confidence and excitement!

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