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The cybersecurity field continues to grow rapidly, and the need for experts is increasing within virtually every industry. In fact, the sector cannot fill jobs fast enough. According to CSO, which provides news, analysis and research on security and risk management, 1 million cybersecurity jobs are likely to remain open in 2017, and that number is expected to grow.

This shortage affords countless opportunities to those who want to further their cybersecurity careers. The nearly limitless number of possible career paths is exciting, but can also present challenges in knowing how to move forward. Education, skills and attitude are all key — but exactly what’s needed differs with each career stage.

This guide offers insider advice from seasoned professionals for how to advance your career, whether you’re an early-, middle- or senior-stage career insider. The guide features tips and inside knowledge from several experts, including these cybersecurity heavy hitters:

 

       

Like the process of combating cyber threats, the path to advance your career within the cybersecurity field isn’t always obvious, even to those who have been working in it for years. As in any field, the best advice comes from those who have been there, and the following guide includes key strategies from a few of the leading cybersecurity professionals:

  • We start with a look at education, certifications and other actions needed to get beyond the entry-level stage. In particular, we’ll explore why passion is so important at this stage.
  • Then we examine how cybersecurity professionals can gain additional skills, and take the next step into mid-level management.
  • Finally, we’ll look at the late or executive stage, and discover how landing a top job doesn’t mean it’s time to relax.

In addition, throughout, we’ve included spotlights on critical skills, such as the importance of passion, networking, tips for managers new to cybersecurity and the best cybersecurity resources.

The experts quoted here — as well as other trusted sources — offer actionable suggestions that, when followed, will lead to a long and fulfilling cybersecurity career.