Assessing Cyber Security as a Career

By: Tonya Mead, PhD, MBA, M.Ed, CFE, CHFI, PI

Recently, I gave a presentation at the inaugural Women and Minorities in Technology Conference in Jacksonville, Florida and was so excited to learn from the audience of their interest in the field of cyber security as a career. However, they were somewhat hesitant because they did not know where to begin.

Reflecting upon the advice I received many decades ago from a trusted 9th Grade School Counselor, I suggested that the best way to embark upon a career change is to assess whether cyber security would be a ‘good fit’ given one’s innate talents, interests and transferable skills.

Good news!

There is good news. The cyber security field covers many professions under its umbrella. And now more than ever before, the requirement for information technology professionals to broaden their expertise to include cyber security skills is in high demand.

But, you say, “You still have not answered the question. Where do we start?”

Interest Inventory

Please see below a short version of the O*Net Interest Inventory. I use the longer version when giving presentations and assessing clients for specific interests relating to cyber security.

O*Net (trade mark) Interest Profiler Short Form developed for the the U.S. Department of Labor

There is a longer version on the website available here.

This tool will allow you to assess your interests and categorize them using the Holland Codes into six distinct areas: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Once you sum your responses relating to the category with the highest score, you can determine where most of your interests are positioned.

The Cyber Security Career For Me

Now that you have identified the area in which a bulk of your interests resides, the next step is to select a few cyber security positions for which you may have the most affinity.

Please take a look at these two images. The first image is the traditional RAISEC chart. The second image is a RAISEC chart that I have aligned to cyber security jobs that relate to the area of interest by category.

Shared Knowledge LLC RAISEC Overlay to Cyber Security

Hope this article has been helpful. If you would like to see the full presentation, click here.

About Tonya Mead

Tonya J. Mead, PhD, MBA, M.Ed, CHFI,  CFE,  PI,  is the founder of Shared Knowledge LLC a private security and detective agency. Dr. Mead, formerly a certified K-12 Administrator and School Psychologist, is author of Fraud in Education: Beyond the Wrong Answer and president of Shared Knowledge, LLC If you like her work, please support her at Patreon.