Laura Budge works for User Testing in Scotland. Here she enthusiastically tells her story proving there is no right or wrong way to get a job in cyber security. As she rightly says: "dont let someone else's success undermine (your) potential".
Entering into cyber security was without a doubt one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but I didn’t always think that. When I applied to my first cyber security job, I had a lot of doubts.
I was studying part-time for my degree, which had absolutely nothing to do with cyber security. I was up against people who had been in IT for years, who had knowledge and experience, and due to chronic illness, I would also need accommodations to allow me to work part-time and from home when my health was poor.
To me, I didn’t sound like the best candidate, at all. However, what I realised when I was offered the job was that someone else’s success did not undermine my potential. I had compared my journey to that of someone who had a degree, cyber experience, and was healthy. I was ignoring all the strengths my path had taught me.
"Entering into cyber security was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made"
I had learnt problem-solving and analytical skills from my studies, I knew how to communicate with people from all walks of life through my volunteering, and my health had taught me about perseverance and how to overcome challenging times. On paper these aren’t qualifications, but they are foundations to my success, and are just as important. I rely on these skills daily within my role, and without having walked this path, I do not think I would be where I am today. I have my degree, I work full-time for a software company as a Security Analyst, and I am the healthiest I’ve ever been. You do not need to follow the traditional path to succeed, I certainly didn’t and couldn’t be happier with where it led me.