Top 5 Skills Employers Look For

If you are anything like me, the job hunt following graduation is one of the top stressors currently on your mind. Finding a position that pays well and is what you truly love to do takes a backseat to just getting your foot in somewhere. I often worry that I do not possess the technical knowledge to land even an entry-level position. According to Zachary Scott, NRI Secure Technologies’ VP of business security, “soft skills” are oftentimes just as important to employers as “hard skills.” The following are the top 5 skills that companies look for in entry level computer security employees:

1. Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting skills are vital in all potential candidates. Any detected problem or anomaly can be viewed as something that troubleshooting skills can be applied to. Security pros with exceptional troubleshooting skills can figure out where things are broken, what’s still working, and how to fix the problem. This is vital in the field.

2. Innate Curiosity
Innate curiosity refers to a person’s willingness to dive deeper into a subject. Companies look for potential candidates who want to get deep into an issue and discover not just how to fix it, but what is causing it and to learn the best method to deal with said issue. “This is a trait that can not be learned, but is a monster that needs constantly fed.”

3. Knowledge of the Latest Attack Trends
Computer security is constantly changing and evolving. It is important that candidates have a rudimentary knowledge of how attacks are being perpetrated and who/what the common targets are.

4. Knowledge of the Latest Vulnerabilities
Knowledge of modern vulnerabilities helps employees determine the path that was taken by the hacker pre-breach, and where in the system hackers could be heading. In short, it increases awareness and helps to get a foot up on hackers to help prepare the system against them.

5. Data Analysis and Visualization Creation
In short, candidates who are able to create and implement systems that monitor and parse the vast arrays of data that enter a system. This is part development and part visionary in the sense that it helps to be able to plan the system and also how to create it.

I can’t stress enough that this is not a be-all/end-all definitive list, but these are areas that graduates and really anyone in the hunt for a job in the IT security field should look into and become familiar with. As I mentioned earlier, as a soon-to-be graduate still looking for a job in the field, tips like these are always helpful. Hopefully they will be of aid to you!

Best of luck!

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