Is becoming a SOC manager right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do SOC managers do?

Still unsure if becoming a SOC manager is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a SOC manager or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

How to become a SOC Manager

To become a SOC manager, here are some general steps you can take:

  • Obtain a bachelor's degree: While a degree is not always a mandatory requirement, having a bachelor's degree in a related field such as cyber security, computer science, or information technology can greatly enhance your prospects. It provides a solid foundation of knowledge and demonstrates your commitment to the field.
  • Gain relevant experience: Start by acquiring experience in the field of cyber security and specifically within a SOC environment. This can be achieved through roles such as a SOC analyst or incident responder. Focus on developing expertise in security operations, incident response, threat detection, and related areas.
  • Acquire relevant certifications: Certifications play an important role in demonstrating your expertise and dedication to the cyber security field. Consider obtaining certifications specific to SOC management, as these certifications validate your knowledge and can enhance your credibility as a SOC manager candidate (see below).
  • Develop leadership and management skills: As a SOC manager, strong leadership and management skills are essential. Look for opportunities to develop these skills, whether through professional development programs, leadership courses, or taking on additional responsibilities within your current role. Effective communication, decision-making, and team management are key competencies for a SOC manager.
  • Stay updated with industry trends: The cyber security landscape is ever-evolving, and as a SOC manager, you need to stay informed about the latest threats, technologies, and best practices. Engage in continuous learning, attend industry conferences, participate in webinars, and join relevant professional organizations to stay updated and network with peers.
  • Seek professional growth opportunities: Look for opportunities to take on progressively more responsible roles within a SOC or cyber security team. This could include roles such as a team lead, senior analyst, or incident response manager. Building a track record of success and demonstrating your ability to lead and manage teams will strengthen your candidacy for a SOC manager position.
  • Network and gain industry connections: Networking is crucial in any profession, including cyber security. Attend industry events, join professional associations, participate in online communities, and connect with other professionals in the field. Building a strong network can provide valuable insights, job opportunities, and mentorship as you progress in your career.
  • Prepare a strong resume and interview well: Craft a compelling resume that highlights your relevant experience, certifications, and achievements. Tailor your resume to emphasize your leadership abilities, management skills, and specific accomplishments in security operations. Prepare for interviews by researching common SOC manager interview questions and practicing your responses.

Several certifications in the field of cyber security can benefit professionals aspiring to become SOC managers. These certifications validate knowledge and skills in various areas of cyber security, including security operations.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): CISSP is a highly recognized certification that covers various domains of cyber security, including security operations. It demonstrates expertise in security management, risk assessment, and incident response, which are critical for SOC managers.
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): CISM certification focuses on information security management, governance, and risk assessment. It validates skills in managing and overseeing security operations, making it relevant for SOC managers responsible for leading and supervising SOC teams.
  • Certified SOC Manager (CSM): The Certified SOC Manager (CSM) certification, offered by EC-Council, specifically targets professionals aspiring to be SOC managers. It covers topics such as SOC governance, team management, incident response, and threat intelligence.
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): Although CEH is primarily focused on offensive security and ethical hacking techniques, it can be beneficial for SOC managers. Understanding offensive security tactics helps in anticipating and mitigating potential threats.
  • GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH): The GCIH certification emphasizes incident handling and response skills. It covers incident management, identification and analysis of security incidents, and effective response techniques, which are essential for SOC managers overseeing incident response operations.
  • CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA CySA+: These certifications, offered by CompTIA, provide a solid foundation in cyber security principles, including security operations. CompTIA Security+ covers broader security concepts, while CompTIA CySA+ focuses specifically on cyber security analytics and response, making them relevant for SOC managers.