Cyber careers

Daisy MacDonald

Daisy is proving a lot of people wrong, taking the apprentice route into cyber security instead of traditional university and formal qualification routes. She harnesses her networks to make her an effective communicator and never underestimates the power of curiosity. 

1. Tell us a bit about your journey into the industry

After completing my A-Levels at sixth-form, I decided to apply to apprenticeships, having come to the conclusion that I didn’t want to go to university and would instead rather start my journey into the industry straight from school. Since leaving school in June 2017, I have been taking part in a 2 year Cyber Security apprentice run by National Grid, and am therefore still working on my journey into the industry.

2. What are your top tips for those looking to get into the industry?

Don’t think you can’t get into the industry if you don’t have a degree, or if your degree isn’t relevant – there are loads of opportunities to get into the industry without those qualifications. Networking is incredibly important, whether you are in the industry, on your way into the industry, or even just considering it, networking will allow you to learn about the industry and help you gain opportunities you may not have otherwise found.

3. What are three of the top traits you should have to work in cyber security?

Curious – working in cyber security means constant opportunities to learn new skills, and embrace new challenges, being curious in such a fast-paced and quickly advancing industry is essential.

Innovative – Cyber security involves solving problems on a daily basis, whether than be finding and securing a system vulnerability or responding to a cyber-attack. Being innovative in your problem solving makes you incredibly valuable in all areas of cyber security.

Effective communicator – Unlike what some stereotypes portray, working in cyber security involves huge amounts of communication, both with other people in the cyber security industry and – often – with colleagues external to the security professional domain.