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5 Reasons To Start A Career In Cybersecurity

Published by: SkillsFuture Singapore

Starting a career in Cybersecurity

A decade ago, files were passed between personal computers by cumbersome hard drives and easily misplaced USB sticks. Fast forward to today and files can be sent over to your friends and family at the touch of a button, thanks to cloud technology.  

With digitalisation of industries and services in every aspect of our lives, the importance of cybersecurity has never been greater. This practice of protecting systems, networks, and programmes from digital attacks has led to great demand and interest from businesses.  

With cyber threats growing year on year and data breaches by both local and international organisations increasing, it’s no surprise that cybersecurity is now one of the fastest growing sectors in the IT industry and one of the top skill areas to pick up in 2021.

1. Demand for cybersecurity professionals has grown by 6.6 times over the last three years

The number of job postings for cybersecurity professionals has grown from 629 in 2018 Q1 to 4162 in 2021 Q1. The 6.6 times* growth in over three years is expected to increase in time, with the government announcing the Safer Cyberspace Masterplan in October 2020 that aims to raise Singapore’s general level of cybersecurity. Under the master plan, a slew of initiatives such as a Cybersecurity Trustmark for enterprises that practise good cybersecurity and newly established processes to boost Singapore’s cybersecurity defence will be put in place to safeguard digital assets. 

In terms of salary, the average monthly salary for new cybersecurity professionals starts from around $3,500 to $4,900, with most jobs offering around $5,000 to $6,999 for individuals with a couple of years of experience.

*Source: Salary Board Singapore, filter:SSOC 2524 Cybersecurity Professionals

2. There’s no need for a specific cybersecurity degree

Cybersecurity is a wide and encompassing field. As long as you hold a basic IT degree or diploma and understand the fundamentals of coding, you stand a chance to work in cybersecurity.   

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fresh graduate, IT veteran or a mid-careerist from a different industry looking to switch to cybersecurity. A wide range of courses is available on MySkillsFuture to kickstart your journey into cybersecurity. These include advanced certificates, bridging programmes, and even specialist diplomas. The courses are eligible for SkillsFuture Credit, which means that learning more about cybersecurity is made all the more affordable. 

3. Room for transferable IT skills

General programming, Python, Unix commands, and networking architecture are all essential tech skills that can be applied in cybersecurity. Those with domain IT knowledge such as computer science, cloud technology, regulatory compliance are also much sought after.

Soft skills, or critical core skills, such as communication, transdisciplinary thinking and creative thinking are highly coveted by cybersecurity firms as well. 

4. Work in a variety of sectors

From retail, transport and government services, cybersecurity is needed in virtually every industry. This means that you can work with a variety of portfolios and immerse yourself in different industries. Top hirers for cybersecurity specialists in Singapore include the government, professional services, and banking and finance. 

If you’re male and have yet to take part in National Service, MINDEF has a Cyber NSF Scheme that lets you serve as a Cyber Operator during your National Service. This includes performing tasks such as threat monitoring and assessment to safeguard MINDEF’s system and network. Selected individuals who have the skills and aptitude may also continue to serve as Cyber Specialists. This advanced specialised role is packed with developmental opportunities but requires a longer commitment period of three to four years.

5. Wide range of training opportunities available

One of the best things about joining cybersecurity and the ICT sector, in particular, is that there is a wide variety of government-led programmes that are accessible and affordable.  

Besides the SkillsFuture Work-Study programme that lets you gain access to structured in-company learning and mentorship, there are others like TeSA that support current information and communications technology (ICT) professionals and non-ICT professionals to upskill themselves.  

If you want to specialise in cybersecurity right after graduation, the Cybersecurity Development Programme by the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) is a great option to consider. The 18-month programme is set up to train recent graduates or working professionals to be fully certified cybersecurity professionals. Participants will undergo technical training and get deployed to technical divisions within CSA to gain valuable hands-on experience.

An exciting career in cybersecurity

With more and more companies beefing up their cybersecurity protocols, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to soar.  

If you’re still on the fence on what to do after graduation, check out our guide on skills and career development. Alternatively, you can also speak with a Skills Ambassador under the Skills & Training Advisory Services programme. This free service lets you gain a better understanding of your career interests and guides you with the right information on the tools, training and resources needed.

Be sure to also stay up to date with the latest webinars and learn more about the latest industry trends and insights from industry professionals.

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Last updated on 16 Aug 2023