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What is a good pathway in order to get into a cybersecurity pathway?

I will be entering my freshman year at UC Berkeley this fall and am earning a GIAC certification over the summer. My dream has always been to enter cybersecurity and I want to learn how to effectively join the community as a changemaker.

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Matt’s Answer

Apart from the technical skills, already mentioned, I would suggest taking courses in marketing, plus training up on public speaking.

Why? Well, you said you wanted to be a changemaker.
You cannot change everything. You want OTHER people to support your change, perhaps even furthering it.
And for that, you'll need to "sell" your ideas.

Many technical professionals are brilliant, but fail to express why what they do matters. Why what they do deserves funding and support.

Furthermore, many create solutions purely for the joy of solving, never checking if anyone needed the solution. They end up trying to find a problem or get frustrated because nobody cares about their work as they do.


Go into marketing to understand how to spot problems that people care about, how to shape and communicate solutions.
That'll help you understand the business side.

Take courses in public speaking (or do Toastmasters) to be able to project your message effectively, instilling a sense of action in whatever audience you address.

Matt recommends the following next steps:

Take up courses / modules in marketing and public relations
Train up on public speaking through university resources and/or join Toastmasters
Join entrepreneurship crash-courses/seminars and learn how to spot problems, craft messages
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Richard J (Rich)’s Answer

Most colleges have information security or cybersecurity programs. If not take Computer Science. If you can get additional certifications along the way related to Cyber and information security - I would do that too. Coming out of Berkley should provide you good credentials.

The other thing you can do for yourself is get internships over the summer with a company or a division of a company focused on cyber or information security. If you make a good impression - they sometime go from intern to hire. Just work hard on the job.

So, get your education, certificates, and internship is what I have seen as a good path. Good luck
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Atul’s Answer

Enroll in essential computer programming courses that are popular in the cybersecurity industry, such as Python, GO, and C++.

Research and identify cybersecurity companies in your local area, and apply for internships, even if they are unpaid.

Pursue a certification in ethical hacking.

Gain knowledge in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, as machine learning is increasingly prevalent in today's world.

Wishing you success!
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Mie’s Answer

Kuljit,

Your passion and skills in cybersecurity couldn't be more relevant today. As others have mentioned, your UC Berkeley education and potential internships with companies will definitely support you in becoming a part of the community.

Remember not to overlook the possibilities of government-based summer internships and co-op programs. Organizations like the FBI, Departments of Defense and Homeland Security are working hand in hand with numerous tech companies to achieve their cybersecurity goals. By participating, you'll have the chance to apply your knowledge to real-world challenges while collaborating with experienced professionals in the field. Plus, many of these programs offer great perks like pay and tuition assistance.
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