So, you want a career in cybersecurity? IT security is one of the fastest growing career fields. But it takes more than a computer science degree to land a job. Here are the five skills you need for a great cybersecurity career.

#1 IT Fundamentals

This is where that computer science degree may come in handy. You need a good understanding of basic IT principles to work in cybersecurity. Think of concepts like web application and systems administration.

#2 Coding Skills

There are actually a number of IT careers you can pursue without knowing how to code. Cybersecurity probably isn’t one of them. You’ll need a good understanding of at least two programming languages – JAVA, Perl, PHP or Python, to name a few.

#3 IT Architecture and Systems Administration

Many cybersecurity professionals have backgrounds as systems administrators. Why? You can’t protect a system if you don’t know how to build or manage it. That’s why many cyber security positions list ‘3 years of experience as a Windows system administrator’ as a basic requirement. Show an employer how you can build it, and then show them how you’ll protect it.

#4 Certifications

You’re going to need at least some level of certification to work as a cyber professional within the government. Whether it’s Security plus or a CISSP, make sure you list your certifications at the top of your resume.

#5 Soft Skills

Think you can work in cybersecurity and never have to deal with human beings? Think again. The highest paid and most successful cybersecurity professionals also have great oral and written communication and work well in a team. If this is a struggle for you, remember that like honing your professional skills, mastering soft skills often comes down to practice.

With these five skills under your belt and listed prominently on your resume, you’ll find yourself on a smooth path to a great cyber career.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer