Four essential skills that’ll help you land your dream cyber security job

Learn to become a cyber-crime specialist this summer…

According to a study on cyber security skills in the UK labour market, 33% of cyber firms have advanced skills gaps, most commonly in areas such as penetration testing, forensic analysis and security architecture (Gov UK, 2022). 

This, combined with the fact that 2/3 executives consider cybercrime their most significant threat in the coming year, highlights a growing market for advanced cyber security specialists.

But what are employers looking for and how can you bring your skills in line with companies’ expectations? 

To point you in the right direction and shed some light on the skills and experience required to develop yourself as a cyber security professional, we’ve spoken with Northumbria University London, whose MSc Cyber Security degree is certified as among the best in the UK by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ.


Specialist skills for cyber security professionals 

1. Information governance 

Information governance (IG) is the framework for handling, storing, and processing confidential information, which complies with the law and acts as a standard of best practice. As cyber security professionals are primarily tasked with protecting information, it’s vital for you to be aware of and abide by the key principles of information governance. 


2. Network security control 

Alongside an in-depth understanding of the technical aspects of networking, you’ll also need to be familiar with the security measures that are used to protect these networks. This involves learning how things like routers, firewalls, and other security devices work. Keeping a network secure also requires an understanding of Intrusion Detection Systems, Intrusion Prevention Systems, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and remote access.


3. Ethical hacking 

To best prevent major cyber-attacks and become an industry maestro you need to understand how the best hackers operate (in an ethical way, of course). Gaining ethical hacking skills will enable you to spot any potential vulnerabilities within a network, figure out how a system could be exploited, and develop solutions to stop experienced hackers from breaking in.


4. Scripting  

Scripting is a written coding language (such as Python) that allows you to manipulate moving text and images and automate repetitive tasks. Whilst it’s an extremely helpful tool, it can also be used by hackers. That’s why as a cyber security expert, you should be proficient in not only using scripting, but also in developing protection methods that’ll thwart any potential attacks.  


Establishing yourself as a cyber security expert 

With major security breaches at an all-time high, employers are putting more investment into their data protection methods, sparking the need for qualified professionals who can keep their networks safe. 

To ensure you’re ticking the right boxes, here are a few ways you can best develop yourself as a cyber security professional: 

  • Work on your transferable soft skills. Whilst many cyber security skills are technical, there are also a lot of soft skills that you can gain outside of the industry. Things such as effective communication, critical thinking and adaptability are essential for establishing yourself as a cyber specialist, and can be worked on in your current job, at university, or even through your hobbies and interests.
  • Keep up to date with the latest trends. The cyber security landscape is always changing, and it’s up to you to keep up. Luckily, there are a number of resources to help. From webinars and articles written by reputable sources like the National Cyber Security Centre, to government reports and university blogs, which are available to give you insights into industry developments.  
  • Take a cyber security course. One of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert in your field is to study for a recognised qualification, and you don’t have to wait to take that next step. The MSc Cyber Security from Northumbria University London has start dates in September, January, and May, and is available full-time and part-time. Covering advanced topics such as Information Governance and Security, Ethical Hacking and more, their strong links to the industry will enable you to further develop your cyber skills and open the door to a number of greater career opportunities. 
  • Gain some relevant work experience. If you’re looking for your dream role in cyber security, we’ve got a few bits of advice to help you stand out. Working in any kind of tech role (such as IT support, engineering, or anything that requires you to be computer literate) is a great way to build the key foundations for a successful cyber career, but there are also many different opportunities to help take your expertise to the next level. The MSc in Cyber Security with Advanced Practice from Northumbria University London for example, offers a 12-15 week internship, allowing you to put your learning into practice and boost your employability.


Why study with Northumbria University London?

At Northumbria University London, their academic experts and support staff are committed to giving you an educational experience that will set you up for life.

Not only do they offer a range of cutting-edge postgraduate courses that are at the forefront of current knowledge and informed by global perspectives, but they also offer a range of options when it comes to your finances.

Some great reasons to study with this university include:

  • Their MSc Cyber Security degree is certified as among the best in the UK by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ
  • Northumbria University has been named University of the Year 2022 in the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards
  • Their central London campus location with modern facilities and fantastic transport links across the UK
  • They offer a range of programme start dates, with full-time intakes in May, January, and September, offering flexibility on when you begin your studies
  • They deliver engaging classes and one-to-one guidance to build your confidence
  • They offer a range of flexible finance options for students looking to self-fund 


Get a head start on your career in cyber security with Northumbria University London’s range of full-time and part-time Masters.



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Northumbria University London is the London base for Northumbria University which is located in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Their London Campus offers a variety of full-time or part-time programmes, including postgraduate courses in Business, Computing, Cyber, Project Management, Technology and more.