If you want to learn cybersecurity but don’t have the means or the ability to do it traditionally, i.e. attend college classes, you might think you are at a dead end. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. These days there are a lot of ways to learn just about anything and become good enough just by learning from home, on your own. Cybersecurity is no exception to this rule. In this article, we’re going to go over some of the fundamentals of learning cybersecurity on your own. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Can you learn cybersecurity on your own?
In a nutshell – yes. However, what you need to understand is that you will need to overcome some difficulties and have a clear path in mind if you are to be successful. You will need to identify exactly what you want to learn, you will need to be thorough, plan everything, find the learning materials and resources, have hands-on training, etc. You’ll also need a good work ethic, but other than that there shouldn’t be any major issues along the way.
Are there any downsides to learning on your own?
Before you start, you need to understand that by doing all of this on your own, you will need to overcome some obstacles. Here are a few.
Limited access to equipment
Cyber security is a pretty handy field and unless you’re willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars on equipment like universities do, you’ll have a hard time doing it. It is almost certain that this will be one of the main disadvantages of learning on your own, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. You will just have to find a way to access some equipment eventually.
Another problem you might face is having no one to answer your questions, help you with any problems you might have, or give you advice of any kind. You are alone. You are both a student and a teacher. Which, again, puts you at a disadvantage compared to those studying at universities or colleges.
Universities have spent years and years developing their programs. They went through phases of trial and error over and over to create a learning plan suitable for most students. You, on the other hand, will have to do this on your own. Now that you are aware of the downsides, let’s move on.
How to learn on your own
In this part of the article, we’ll walk you through the learning process, step by step, so that you can “easily” master the world of cybersecurity. First, you will start with …
Create a curriculum
You need to understand that the field of cybersecurity is very large, so at first you might feel overwhelmed by how much information you need to learn. On top of all that, this field is ever-changing and ever-changing which can also be overwhelming and disheartening, but don’t let that get you down. Instead, design a plan.
Decide what you want to learn and where to start. It’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s doable, don’t worry. Now, if you need some guidance on where to start, you can visit here, but in general you will need to decide right away whether you want to focus on programming, testing, network security, or some other area of cybersecurity. Once you have chosen a path, you can start by working on your program and taking it one step at a time.
Find teaching material
Once you have decided what you want to learn, you need to find the resources from which you can learn. Fortunately, there are plenty of free or very affordable online resources you can use to get started. There are many courses and eBooks available online, so this step shouldn’t be a problem. Do a little research to find out which sources or courses are the most reliable and trustworthy and go find them.
One thing to keep in mind is that the field is constantly evolving – be sure not to use old literature as the information may not be correct or applicable today. Additionally, YouTube can be useful, but keep in mind that there is quality control on the platform, so you might bombard yourself with fake information.
Don’t plan ahead / focus on one thing at a time
This might sound like bad advice, but the point is that if you start planning too far in advance, you might end up skipping some important information that you will need later on once you get started. progress in studies. So don’t let the information overwhelm you, take it one step at a time. Start with the basics and work your way up. The best way to know that you have mastered something is to be able to effortlessly explain it to someone else. So don’t skip anything and focus on one thing at a time as this is the best way to progress to something more advanced.
Learn the practice
As you progress in your studies, you will have to get your hands dirty. Well, not literally, but you’ll need it to get some hands-on experience. Over time, you will need to acquire certain equipment and software needed to progress. Plus, if you can’t afford your own equipment, there are lab trainings and classes you can attend for much less. This step is the one you cannot skip, because it is arguably the most important.
Additional tips and tricks
Now, let’s talk about some additional things you can do to make your trip easier.
Read every day
If possible, you’ll want to start your day with at least an hour of reading about the topic you’re learning right now. If you can instill this habit, we can guarantee that you will be able to master any area within 3-5 years. Now that might sound like a lot, but that’s how long you go to college and we never said you would learn cybersecurity in three months. You won’t.
Don’t waste your time
Taking learning breaks is essential, but if you spend 5 hours a day scrolling Instagram or binge-watching Netflix shows, you’re not going anywhere. Cutting back on activities like these will definitely make you more productive.
Listening to audiobooks
Another great way to learn is to listen to audiobooks. If you have to get to work or if you’re doing something that lets you listen to music or podcasts while you’re doing it, you have time to learn. Instead of listening to music or podcasts, listen to cybersecurity audiobooks and learn, without learning. It’s a little trick that will help you progress faster.
Finally, we just want to say that we are happy that you are trying to learn and improve. If you are embarking on this journey, know that it won’t be easy, but when you are done you will feel more than good. Hope we have managed to give you some great and useful tips on how to learn cybersecurity and we wish you the best.