No matter what the state of the cybersecurity skills gap and unfilled job positions, landing that first job in cybersecurity is harder than you would think.
Most organizations know how important cybersecurity team members are. Thus they are careful about who they hire. In other jobs, a warm body will do. The fact they are so careful is actually a good thing. There are enough dumb things bringing cybersecurity down.
It should also be noted that a college education will NOT help you get a job in cybersecurity. Certifications are only valuable to bypass the "HR Firewall" and ATS. Hiring managers generally do not care about certifications. They are specified to reduce the number of applicants they need to consider.
I realize you may be experiencing some frustration. You may be up to your ears in college debt. You may have paid good money to pass a certification test. Only to find out their limited value.
So what do employers value?
Put simply: competency
They are seeking people who can actually do the job. This is why candidates with any experience float immediately to the top of the candidate pool. The Cyber Warfare Ranges operates by the National Cyber Warfare Range are places where anyone with a passion for cybersecurity may obtain the knowledge and practical skills a person needs to be employable and effective in cybersecurity.
The statistics are off the charts for the hiring ratio of known entities vs. strangers. Therefore, getting to know organizations and people in cybersecurity is very useful in landing that first job. Knowing anyone working in cybersecurity is a significant advantage. Therefore, socializing with your future peers in cybersecurity is time well spent.