How Students Land Jobs As Information Security Analysts

Unconventional Route to Land A Cybersecurity Job In Reston, Virginia

Meetup Jan 21Intellectual Point had a packed house of eager students at our Digital Natives Meetup on January 21st, 2019 in Reston, VA. The #DigitalNatives meetup was titled “Launching Your Career in Cybersecurity”. Prem Jadhwani kicked off the meetup with an excellent presentation about the growth of cybersecurity and the available positions that are open to students. Prem also informed the audience that some students he meets have set up their own barriers by saying that they need an IT degree to get a stable job in the field. He was encouraging students to take IT classes, have hands-on training and break their own mindset barriers of going through a 4-year degree. The quickest way to get into the field is to take IT training courses, get an entry-level job, and continuously learn more while “on the job”… 


The highlight of the presentation was former Intellectual Point students of Prem Jadhwani explaining how they transitioned into a brand new IT Career without any experience. Here are their stories.

Bryan Changed From Christian Ministry to a SOC analyst

BryanBryan started out with a background as a business analyst in the ‘90s and transitioned to Christian Ministry 16 years ago! He needed to make more money after having a low paying job in Christian Ministry. He was determined to start classes in boot camp type environments because of time constraints. He needed a well-paying job in IT and time was not on his side. He also signed up with a  WOIA program to help pay for the IT training offered at Intellectual Point. 

Classes and certifications Bryan completed:
  1. CompTIA Network + Training Course 
  2. CompTIA Security + Training Course
  3. ITIL Training Course

He noted that enrolling in the classes enables students to break their psychological barriers and build confidence over time. The more you build confidence, the more you are able to expand and learn more in the field, and the easier the interview process will be.  

What were the results of the training Bryan accomplished?

With these certifications and plenty of networking, he was able to land a job as a SOC analyst. He wants to improve to a level 2 SOC analyst and have management roles. When initially starting out he was very overwhelmed and had no experience in cybersecurity. Now he works at a  financial institution which houses 48 million people’s banking information. The team needs to be on guard and look out for any cyber-attacks. He encouraged students to get into a SOC analyst position when initially starting a cybersecurity position. 


Quote: “A lot of these hiring managers are looking for lifelong learners”

Essential Skills for Cyber Security Professionals Chart

Next steps in his Journey

His next steps are to get more training in Cloud Security because it is the way of the future. 

He gives the warning to be alert for the available six-figure salary positions available in the (do you want to use the word “available” twice?) market when you are choosing the correct route with the right certifications. Some of these positions have salaries from  $120k up to $150k. 


Shivani Karikar Changed from Starbucks to an Information Security Engineer

Shivani at Meetup Jan 21Shivani was not in the IT industry at all and was working at Starbucks. After meeting Prem she started working at Intellectual Point and enrolled in classes at the Reston location. She has three certifications 


Classes and certifications Shivani completed:
  1. CompTIA Security + Training Course
  2. Certified Ethical Hacker Training Course
  3. Amazon Web Services Certified Cloud Practioner


Quote from Shivani: “Every expert was once a beginner.” 

About Shivani

How She Prepared for a Cybersecurity Entry Level Job

Along with the certifications, she practiced her skills. 

Places to Practice Your Cybersecurity Skills

  • Rapid Test Simulation – After you take a class with Intellectual Point, then it is time to study. You can practice with our Rapid Test Prep Quiz Portal. You can also study with our Rapid Flash Cards Portal. Then when you are ready, test your cybersecurity skills with Rapid Simulations.
  • ITProTV labs – With virtual labs from ITProTV, you get on-demand access to cloned virtual machine environments. Get hands-on access without ever purchasing expensive hardware or dealing with complex setups. You can run your virtual machine with multiple instances of Windows Server and Desktop Clients on your OSX, Linux, iOS device and, of course, your Windows platform.
  • Kali Linux – Helps students protect and perform penetration testing using fake websites/vulnerable web apps
Network & Soft Skills

She encouraged the audience to attend events and exchange information. Go to Meetups, CTFs, Codewars, and have study groups with peers. Taking initiative in building connections and knowing the positions that are available in the market is a better mindset to land an entry-level job in cybersecurity. 

How to Get Into Cybersecurity With No Experience?


If you want to learn more about how to start a cybersecurity career, please reach out to us! We are very excited to help you have success like Bryan and Shivani.



Learn more about our Digital Natives Meetup group.



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