Crack the code, break the mould! 6 soft skills cyber security teaches that will make your college applications stand out.
When your college application or resumé hits the desk of your future college tutor or employer, you need it to really shine. When they sit down to review your application, they’ll be building a profile of you, assessing whether your personal and academic skills are a good match for the course or job you’re looking to secure. But how do you stand out when there are so many other applicants?
Spoiler alert! By building the soft skills and traits you can develop by trying your hand at cyber security.
But I don’t want to pursue a career in cyber security? Don’t stop reading!
With diverse skills like programming, problem-solving, working under pressure, interpersonal and communication abilities, creativity and organization, learning the basics in cyber security can make you a desirable proposition for all kinds of employers and colleges - whatever the subject!
We’ve put together 6 soft skills that will support your application - some may come natural to you, others you can work on. Although soft skills need to be accompanied by knowledge and experience in your subject area, they are great example of the attitude you can apply when learning something new.
1. Working under pressure
Those training and working with you want to know you can be calm and precise, even when the pressures on. So show them you’re quick to adapt and respond and that nothing gets past you! Working under pressure is vital in nearly every industry – whether your a doctor or a pilot, you need to think on your feet, and continuously think of new, original approaches to tackle problems. In cyber security, it’s no different. Could you keep your cool when phishing scams and malware drama is unfolding all around you? Can you turn off the panic and focus on the solution?
2. Problem solver
Future tutors and employers want to know that you can think outside of the box, coming up with original ways to solve problems. In cyber security, this is a skill you have to practice daily. To spot potential vulnerabilities and stop the cyber criminals from getting in to systems and networks, you have to think like them. You need to think of the flaws and gaps in software and systems before they do! If you can demonstrate the ability to think ahead and creatively, you’ll gain an edge over your peers.
Are you stubborn? Can you keep attempting to fix something over and over without giving up? Highlight your skill of persistence and you’ll be a desirable candidate in any role. When you’re working in cyber security, it is rare that you’re going to find the answer the first time you try - cyber criminals are hard to keep ahead of. You need persistance and resilience to try a new approach, learn from your mistakes and crack the case.
4. Attention to detail
Detail-orientated candidates are more likely to catch and prevent mistakes. What industry or job role doesn’t want somebody with these skills? Even the latest technology can’t beat a human with a curious and perceptive eye. When practicing and learning cyber security, your attention to detail skills will continuously improve as you search for that one mistake that could allow a cyber criminal to hack into a system! Paying attention to small deviations in patterns or parsing through something until you find the information you need is invaluable in careers from technology all the way to finance.
5. Communication skills
Being able to communicate effectively is a vital life skill that will support you in any job role or college course. As you learn the basics in cyber security, you’ll be constantly working and developing this skill. Often the people who have suffered a security incident or brief aren’t aware of the technical ramfications. Could you take your knowledge and explain it to someone who had no idea what a SQL injection or brute force attack was? It’s not easy! This is a skill that can lead to lots of different careers in cyber security, but can also help you explain technical concepts to business leaders. This is incredibly valuable in most jobs today!
6. The basics of programming
You may think that programming skills are only needed for people who want to work in technical roles. However, our digital world means that learning the basics of coding is a critical career skill that can be applied across many industries. Not only does it open up new areas of opportunity in your career, it also builds on personality trait two - thinking creatively and giving you a new perspective on problem solving. Learning basic programming can help you to automate tasks, build algorithms and work more closely with developers. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to become a world class developer if you don’t enjoy it but a basic understanding teaches you so much about how our modern world works, how products are built and how to solve problems.
How many of our soft skills do you possess?
If there are a few you still need to brush up on, you can join CyberStart and put yourself to the test! Whether you are a destined cyber agent or you have another career path in mind, developing these soft skills will make you a desirable prospect.