Cybersecurity is evolving, not only because of hackers and cybercriminals, who are finding new ways to invade systems, but in its approach. From being a male-controlled and dominated sector, it has now progressed into a more diverse field where the industry is open to accepting change and welcoming a new perspective.
In the recent past, women’s involvement in the cybersecurity industry has risen from merely 10% in 2017 to 25% in 2022, and is projected to go up to 35% in 2031. The skill set and new outlook have extensively contributed to the field with many experts looking at gender diversity as a way to fill the existing skill gap the cybersecurity industry is facing.
While women add tremendous value to the field, there are several ways to enhance career growth and strengthen one’s position in the cybersecurity field and good cybersecurity resources always come in handy.
On International Women’s Day, The Cyber Express has curated tips and resources that will help women to start a career in cybersecurity. This guide includes information about scholarships, training programs, mentorship opportunities, and much more.
Professional organizations that encourage women in cybersecurity
There are several organizations that cater to women and offer the right training and career guidance to lead them right into the cybersecurity industry. They have mentor-mentee programs, scholarships, internships, etc. Some of the prominent cybersecurity organizations for women are:
- Women of Cybersecurity (WoSEC) is a global organization that has meetups in France, India, Canada, etc., that women can opt to join. This is a free-to-join organization that offers several benefits like helping increase and exchange knowledge with others in the industry. Members meet in groups in specific locations and spread awareness about cybersecurity to help candidates find the right path through such interactions.
- Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) is a global organization with a presence in several nations.
They are a welcoming group of highly motivated individuals focused on bringing together a robust workforce of women. They offer annual memberships with identification details such as emails for students and proof of service for U.S. military spouses, etc.
Pro tip: To avail of a 20$ annual fee membership with WiCyS as a student, US military spouse, or US veteran, apply for it with the respective proof of service or school-issued email address.
- Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC) (USA) is a non-profit organization that caters to women who want to enter cybersecurity. They offer training, access to a career center for guidance, volunteer opportunities, etc., on an annual membership.
Pro tip: They offer several membership schemes annually for women, men, and students who are interested in this field.
The ultimate list of resources for women in cybersecurity
Besides women-specific initiatives, several organizations help candidates from diverse backgrounds learn cybersecurity with training, certification, courses, etc.
Most of them are free of cost depending upon the course and the candidate opting for it. The same must be clarified by the individual from the chosen organization. They are as follows:
- The Demographic and Health Surveys program is for learners who want to learn from an array of resources using an online app.
- Federal Virtual Training Environment by the National Initiative for cybersecurity careers and studies offers training in cloud security, hacking, risk management, etc. U.S. government employees and veterans can avail it.
- SANS Cyber Aces Online offers free training for all its participants. It is an initiative to help candidates develop their skills for cybersecurity.
- CompTIA offers training to candidates and professionals to upgrade their skills. With interactive learning and assessment, users can get certified in courses they like.
- Cybrary IT is another platform for learning with virtual lab simulation that are based on real-world cyberattacks.
Webinars and podcasts to learn cybersecurity is another option. Listening to relevant podcasts on platforms such as Security Now and informative videos on TED Talks may also prove beneficial.
Cybersecurity is adhered to in every sector, organization, and institute today, and being a part of the workforce that deals with online crimes requires the right attitude, a proactive approach and an open mind to inculcate for the ever-evolving cybersecurity industry.
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