So you’re interested in studying or pursuing a career in cybersecurity and privacy?

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That’s great. Berkeley has fantastic resources for your intellectual journey and career. This FAQ offers three pieces of high-level advice, and links to many resources and ideas. 

First, keep in mind that “cybersecurity” is a relatively ill-defined and quickly changing field. This means that you’ll have to  think creatively in order to best develop your skills, work to keep abreast of developments, and supplement these materials with your own research. 

Second, make your course decisions with care. Cybersecurity and privacy are social and political fields as well as technical ones. Depending on your background, you’ll want to consider expanding your understanding of aspects of the field that are less familiar. 

  • You can develop deep cybersecurity expertise and insight by studying traditional social sciences such as law, international relations, and economics. 
  • If you have a CS/STEM background and are looking for an entrypoint into the law and policy aspects of cybersecurity, we recommend our courses, Cybersecurity in Context and the Future of Cybersecurity Reading Group. But there are many more resources listed below, particularly the blogs, books, and podcasts that have a policy focus.
  • If you are a humanities student and wish to improve your technical skills, there are many campus resources to do so detailed here. Signing up for a computer science class might not be the best first step. In addition to the technical difficulty of those courses, they may not be a good fit for developing cybersecurity knowledge. There are alternative approaches more well suited to the kinds of challenges privacy and security experts face. 
  • Employers often complain about job candidates’ skills. It’s important to know that colleges and universities may teach some skills, but our purpose is to impart foundational knowledge that will enrich your life. Skills are often developed on-the-job, but we identify many resources on this site to get you started.

Third, find your cybersecurity and privacy community. This FAQ provides some initial information about departments, organizations, classes, and events, both on the Berkeley campus and outside, to get you started.

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