How To Build a Career in Cybersecurity in New Orleans

The Ins and Outs of Building a Successful Cybersecurity Career in the Crescent City. 

New Orleans, LA, is an extraordinary city. Amidst its vibrant culture, extravagant celebrations, and historic charm, you’ll find that New Orleans is also a high-tech sweet spot that many technology and digital media companies call home. Since 2006, more than 45 high-tech startups or subsidiaries have planted roots in the Crescent City, creating more than 20,000 lucrative, highly sustainable jobs. 

Amidst these job openings, you’ll find a wide variety of cybersecurity opportunities. Why? Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly prevalent and complex, and there is currently a widespread shortage of people with the proper skills and experience to defend against them. According to the ICS Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the cybersecurity workforce would need to grow by 62% to meet the increasing demands of today’s businesses. 

Between the immense shortage of cybersecurity professionals and the lucrative nature of a cybersecurity career, there has never been a better time to pivot into the cyber workforce. So, you may be wondering how to get started. Keep reading to learn how to transform your current skills and background into a fulfilling cybersecurity career.

Cybersecurity Career Fields in New Orleans

You’ll quickly find that job positions in the cybersecurity sector are often separated into two categories: Red Team and Blue Team. This naming structure dates back to military techniques. 

In cybersecurity, the Red Team is essentially serving as the offense, testing the efficiency and resilience of a company’s network by mimicking criminal hackers to see if there are any vulnerabilities in the system.

The Blue Team serves as the defense, doing everything and anything they can to ensure that no one without authorization can access the network. They’re responsible for making sure that all critical systems remain secure and operational at all times.

Companies often employ members of each team to run simulation exercises and improve their operations based on the results of each test. Keep reading on to discover the abundant opportunities in the cybersecurity field map to Red and Blue Team roles. 

New Orleans Cybersecurity Career Path

Since cybersecurity is such a broad field and there is a high demand for cybersecurity professionals in the Greater New Orleans area, there are plenty of opportunities to find a position that aligns with your strengths and interests. And because the industry is continuously evolving, you’ll be able to expand your skill set as you progress throughout your career, leading the charge on the latest and greatest ways to defend your company’s most valuable assets.

Cybersecurity job titles can vary depending on the sector and organization you choose, but below, you’ll find some of the most in-demand cybersecurity career paths.

Blue Team (Defensive) Cybersecurity Career Paths

Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst

This position is perfect for newcomers to the cybersecurity field, who enjoy working with cross-functional teams across the organization and have a knack for solving puzzles. On a day-to-day basis, a SOC Analyst will research and evaluate emerging cyber threats and ensure an organization has the proper tools to mitigate them. They’ll also perform risk assessments, encrypt data transmissions, and create contingency plans to prepare for security breaches. 

Cybersecurity Technician

A Cybersecurity Technician’s main responsibility is keeping an organization’s computer information systems secure. Cybersecurity Technicians can specialize in numerous areas within the cybersecurity field, including software application security, network, security, information security, and more. Everyday tasks include implementing critical password management systems and detecting security issues and incoming web threats.

Information Security Researcher 

Put on your detective hat and get ready to uncover some serious threats. Information Security Researchers are on the hunt for any and all security threats using manual methods that automated systems may have glossed over. After finding the source of the threat, they’ll use their knowledge of coding and technical writing to repair affected systems. This incredibly important role is typically responsible for discovering hidden vulnerabilities within an environment that can reveal serious breaches and threats within an organization.

Security Incident Responder 

If you’re a thrillseeker, this position may be right for you. Security Incident Responders are the first to arrive on the scene when a cyberattack occurs. Their main priority is to efficiently assess the damage caused and fix the system’s weakness so that no further damage can occur. In this role, you’ll need a thorough understanding of security principles, including protocol design, physical security, and configuration weaknesses. Having a basic understanding of popular programming languages, penetration techniques, and network applications is also a bonus. 

Red Team (Offensive) Cybersecurity Career Paths

Penetration Tester

Also known as an “Ethical Hacker,” a Penetration Tester spends their time attempting to breach network security systems. These attempts allow them to uncover where the network or website isn’t properly secured to withstand cyber threats. This role is all about being proactive in fixing system vulnerabilities to keep the “black hat hackers” or “criminal hackers” out. As a Penetration Tester, you’ll have flexibility in working for a company, consulting firm, or even as a freelancer. 

Vulnerability Assessment Analyst

If you’re interested in consulting in the cybersecurity space, this may be the path for you. Vulnerability Assessment Analysts often work as third-party consultants, helping cybersecurity teams identity and reduce threats to their critical systems. They’ll train teams on the latest methods and defense mechanisms, maintain a readily deployable cyber defense toolkit to support auditing, prepare audit reports that identify technical findings, and more. 

Adaptive Threat Replication Engineer

An Adaptive Threat Replication Engineer wears many hats and would be the perfect position for someone interested in diversified work. This role requires expertise in penetration testing and social engineering across a multitude of systems, and a thirst for staying current on emerging industry trends/technologies. Day-to-day responsibilities include monitoring, analyzing, documenting, and neutralizing prominent threats.

Cybersecurity Crime Investigator 

This role is multifaceted, rewarding, and is perfect for those who enjoy getting to the bottom of complex issues. From recovering files on hacked or damaged software to extracting data from computers for a criminal prosecution, there is no shortage of investigative work for this professional. After the Cybersecurity Crime Investigator gathers the necessary electronic evidence, they’ll create a report that may later be used in court, depending on the nature of the offense. 

Thriving in a Cybersecurity Career in New Orleans

A cybersecurity career can transform your life by providing a better work-life balance, continued advancement opportunities, job stability, and the opportunity to make a positive impact within your community. 

Taking the first step toward pivoting into a cybersecurity career can feel intimidating, but the Loyola University Cybersecurity Bootcamp is here to help you transition into the cyber workforce seamlessly. We educate students on the fundamentals of cybersecurity while providing practical, hands-on experience through immersive lectures, group exercises, virtual simulations, and real-world scenarios. 

As part of our robust curriculum, we’ll ensure you’re geared up and ready to take the industry’s most renowned certification exams that will increase your hiring potential with future employers. And because each course is led by an expert currently active in their field, you’ll learn the most up-to-date practices and tools utilized throughout the cybersecurity industry. 

You’ll also have a dedicated support team of student success managers, hiring partners, and career services team members who will help you perfect your resume and LinkedIn profile, practice for interviews, and even assist with job placement. 

Loyola University Cybersecurity Bootcamp cohorts begin on a rolling basis throughout each calendar year. To learn more about our program and upcoming classes, call (504) 475-1400 or fill out the form below to get in touch with a career consultant.

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