Getting into Cybersecurity as a Technical Communicator

It’s hard to check the news without hearing something about cybersecurity. Learning cybersecurity best practices has become fundamental in daily life and in our roles as technical communicators. Estimates of unfilled job openings in cybersecurity range from 2.5-3.5 million worldwide. As a technical communicator, what are my options for getting a job in this field? We want to explore some of the paths to employment in cybersecurity.

  • Working in a traditional technical communicator role
  • Security-specific roles for technical communicators
  • Becoming a cybersecurity practitioner

Working in a traditional technical communicator role

Cybersecurity companies, whether offering software as a service, software, hardware, or even providing an Information Security Officer as a service, all have needs for typical documentation and strong reader-focused communication. cybersecurity professionals are often highly skilled technically, but may have difficulty translating or contextualising their knowledge so it’s actionable for the typical end user. A basic understanding of security vocabulary will also provide you as the candidate more confidence and demonstrate to the interviewer that you have a genuine interest in the field. I recommend Toni Flores, The Language of Cybersecurity, for a primer of cybersecurity-related terms.

 

Security-specific roles for technical communicators

There are a number of security-specific technical communication roles available. Much of my career has been spent in security awareness, working with end users to apply good cybersecurity hygiene to their daily practices and to help them understand how to respond to an ever-evolving threat landscape. Other opportunities include drafting policies and procedures, working in compliance-related roles, and even assisting with forensics investigations. In short, there are plenty of opportunities for you to take your current skill set, learn about the field, and find a position. Security certifications of any level may help them see you as a viable candidate.

 

Becoming a cybersecurity practitioner

How does a technical communicator become a cybersecurity practitioner? Is this something that happens naturally, or are there specific steps I should take to transition my technical communication skill set to cybersecurity? As in many industries, the longer you are immersed in a subject, the more familiar you are with it and you may find a gradual progression into the field.. You may also develop a keen interest in specific areas of cybersecurity. 

There are technical and non-technical career paths you may follow. Although it is US-based, the National Institute for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), provides an extensive framework of cybersecurity roles that are applicable worldwide. Many professional organizations and colleges and universities offer degree or certificate programs.

Certifications and cybersecurity

For many, obtaining appropriate certifications may help bolster your career opportunities.There are over 300 different computer security-related certifications available with varying prerequisites. Many of the certifications are exam-based and require ongoing Continuing Professional Education (CPEs) to maintain certification.Popular certifications include

 


 

Find out the 10 Practices that you’ll need to adopt to keep yourself (and your family and friends) safer online.

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