How Long Does It Take to Learn Cyber Security? – Tips and Tricks

how long does it take to learn cyber security
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If you are keen to learn something new, then your first doubt would be how long does it take to learn cyber security. It is a common question for everyone who wants to explore different things and expand their knowledge.

The same applies here. If you plan to learn cybersecurity, do not worry about the learning journey and the time it would take to learn cybersecurity from the basics.

Do not worry; this article will guide you on how long does it take to learn cyber security from its basics and how long it will take if you are consistent in your learning process.

Though it is not a must to be a computer science student to learn cyber security, being a computer security administrator or computer science student has its own advantages in mastering cyber security.

Even if you are not one, you can still learn cyber security in your own interest. Come on, let’s explore the depths of learning cyber security.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Cybersecurity?
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1. How Long Does it Take to Learn Cybersecurity?

Cyber security is to defend and protect all electronic devices. However, these include devices such as computers, servers, mobiles, networks, and data from any sort of illegal cyber attacks and hackers. The learning process is consistent; people can learn and upskill through it. 

The time taken to learn cyber security varies from person to person with hands-on experience. You can understand the depths of cyber security in six months or a year at maximum if you are learning cyber security with the help of any courses.

If you opt for self-study, it may take at least two years to get a grip on it. Mastering the skill of cybersecurity depends mostly on the usage of the skill by the user. Nevertheless, you can master it and know about the nooks and corners of cyber security once you practically work in that field.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Cybersecurity?
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2. What is the Need for Cyber Security?

These days, as everything is made online, everyone is mostly dependent on information technology and the computer world, From buying day-to-day groceries and necessities to bank transactions, everything can be done from where you are with the help of computer networks.

When we depend on these online saviours, we forget to protect the data and assets we provide on these platforms from cyber threats.

For instance, when you shop online for delivery purposes, it asks for all your details, from your name to your residence. So, your security is questionable when the data is not protected in this online shopping platform. To avoid these instances, cyber security comes into the picture.

Again, for example, when making an online transaction using all the credentials, and if that bank’s server is not protected, then eventually, the data you used for the transaction and the money you have in your bank account are also not secured.

Therefore, the importance of cyber security is huge in this digital world. A single security break leads to many consequences. Cyber security is important for all the online platforms. It is required for everyone, including students, business organizations, personal systems, etc. Today, in this digital world, every single individual is prone to cyber-attacks.

Cyber security is essential to protect ourselves from the cyber threats posed to us through cyber attacks. As Network security is essential, unavoidable steps must be taken for our data and assets to be safe from cyber-attacks.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Cybersecurity?
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3. Various Cyber Attacks

There are different types of cyber-attacks that pose a threat to your safety. The most common cyber attack is the Phishing Attack. In this, the user is tricked into clicking an unknown link that provides access to the person trying to loot you.

This is mostly done through the unknown messages we receive in our systems. The reason behind the advice is to not click on any URLs you receive through unknown messages.

Malware attacks are other attacks in which malicious software is used to steal information or hijack systems. These, in turn, affect your computer and other devices. Denial of Service Attack is an attack that denies access to a system or service by placing many requests.

In the same way, when your files and systems are encrypted, and you are demanded for a ransom to decrypt them, then this attack is known as the Ransomware attack.

Similarly, if your communication with someone is interrupted by a third party, which is done by eavesdropping on network communication, then this attack is known as the Man in the Middle Attack.

Apart from these attacks, there are many more ways to threaten your data’s safety. Cyber security is essential daily to prevent these and other cyber attacks, new vulnerabilities, and threats.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Cybersecurity?
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4. Platforms to Learn CyberSecurity

Many platforms provide you with online courses. Some offer free courses, while others courses are paid to learn cyber security. These online courses also certify you for completing the course. The certificates you earn through them are valuable.

If you are searching for some of the best platforms to learn cyber security for free from its basics, then check out the following platforms.

4.1. TryHackMe

TryHackMe is a free platform that allows you to train from the basics if you are a beginner. It also has different levels to select. Complete Beginners Level is for people who don’t have any prior knowledge about cyber security.  The Early Intermediate Level is for individuals with prior basic cloud computing knowledge.

The Intermediate Level is for people with prior basic experience in cybersecurity career-related topics. Finally, the Advanced Level is for individuals already working on cyber security and penetration testing and willing to learn more. TryHackMe specializes in training you for offensive and defensive cybersecurity careers.

4.2. Hack The Box

Hack The Box specializes in training you for offensive security. It provides a live training area for budding hackers to upskill themselves. This platform has two types of boxes: the retired boxes, where the previous community members guide you with their work.

The other boxes in which the answers wouldn’t be present are known as the active boxes. You can test yourself through these active boxes. If you can hack these active boxes, your ranking in the Hack The Box increases. This site provides you with both free ads and paid boxes for you to work on.

4.3. SANS Cyber Aces Online

This platform provides free, self-paced courses. These are from the official SANS professional development curriculum. This platform runs on the donations offered by the SANS Institute.

The courses offered here for students are of two types: tutorials and recorded videos. This platform helps you to cover the fundamentals of information security, namely the OSes, Networking, and System Administration.


Image from SANS Institute


Apart from these free resources, Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers free courses to learn security-related content from the basics. These courses include:

  • Start with the AWS security hub

  • AWS security fundamentals

  • Start with Amazon detective

and much more.

If you are ready to spend some money along with your time, then check out these platforms for the best training in cyber security:

  • Pentester Academy

  • Cyber security for Managers

  • Cybrary Insider Pro

  • Western Governors University

  • University of Maryland

  • NYU School of Professional Studies

  • NSA Centre of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations

  • Coursera

  • W3Schools

 You have two ways to start if you are not willing to opt for any paid or free courses and you are willing to learn on your own. The first one is to choose the best tutorial that matches your interests on YouTube.

You have to cover those videos to gain knowledge, but YouTube videos are not an ideal choice for professionals in the long run.

The other one is to attend webinars and seminars on the topic of ethical hacking and cyber security, where industry experts and professionals would guide you on the right path to learn cyber security.

5. Cyber Security as a Career

Cyber security professionals are in high demand due to increased threats and cyber attacks in various organizations.

As a cybersecurity professional, you should be specialized in some skills. The skills include Technical Skills, Analytical Skills, Communication skills, Ethical Skills, and Soft Skills.

5.1. Technical Skills

A perfect cyber-security engineer or analyst should have a good grip on basic computer science, mathematics, and informatics. Since cyber security is a branch of computer science, the professional should know programming languages like Python, Java, or C to manipulate data.

Technical skills for a cybersecurity professional include knowledge of computer networks, cryptography, data analysis, and digital forensics. Apart from these, you should know about cyber security tools such as firewalls, penetration testing tools, web applications, and forensic tools.

5.2. Analytical Skills

Analytical skills are very important for a cyber security analyst. These skills are used to identify, assess, and respond to cyber threats. Being a cyber security analyst, you should be able to analyze data from various sources to study the network traffic or the threats posed on the system.

Analytical skills not only mean the ability to analyze the data. It also includes critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making – skills required to deduce the attack’s depth and recommend a solution for the problem.

5.3. Communication Skills

A cyber security professional cannot just survive only with technical and analytical skills. You should have very good communication skills to convey your thoughts concisely. It helps in collaboration with IT professionals and customers.

Apart from conveying your thoughts, ask questions and give and receive feedback and you should also be able to listen attentively, 

5.4. Ethical Skills

As a cyber security analyst, you should have some ethics to uphold the confidential details regarding the organization you work for and the threats they face.

Ethical Skills teach you to respect the privacy of customers and users. You should also abide by the terms and conditions of the organization you are working for.

5.5. Soft Skills

You should have soft skills, including a curious and resourceful nature, to work in that dynamic and demanding field. To work in the field of cyber security, the ability to multitask be flexible, supportive, disciplined, and adaptable is also essential. You should contribute towards the growth of the organization with your skills.

how long does it take to learn cyber security
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These skills are very important to have a successful career in the field of cyber security. You can become a cyber security professional by taking extra courses and taking up a Bachelor of Engineering with Cyber Security specialization as your bachelor’s degree. This specialized Engineering degree is almost available in every educational institution.

After completing your bachelor’s, you can opt for a Master’s degree in the field of cyber security to add value to your resume. The time taken to complete a bachelor’s and master’s in cyber security is approximately 6 years, which is a long time.

Due to this, many people opt for additional resources provided by other institutions or online resources to pursue their careers in cyber security.

When compared with the time taken to get a college degree or complete your post-graduation in a cyber security course, the time taken to master cyber security through other continuous learning resources is less. So, choosing an ideal platform to start your learning helps you to complete the course in a short span of time.

6. Conclusion

Cyber security is in demand because it is a dynamic field. If you are willing to know the depths of cyber security and pursue a career in it, then you should be consistent with your learning process.

 It is in demand, so you should at least spend an hour daily to master the skill in a year.

It may take you a year or more to be a professional in cyber security. There are many ways and many resources to learn cyber security. Choosing the ideal platform first to learn cybersecurity skills really decides your knowledge. We hope we covered everything on “how long does it take to learn cyber security”.

For similar articles, check The Importance of Cybersecurity Services in Today’s Digital Landscape.

Bhavika is a passionate content writer with a flair for creating engaging and informative articles. A Computer science student who has a keen interest in exploring new things is here to make you experience the world's best places through her research on them. She aspires to be a professional content writer soon.