How to Become a Data Protection Officer
Becoming a data protection officer (DPO) opens you up to a fast-paced and exciting career field. In this guide, we will take a look at what the role entails and how you can get started on this career path.
What Does a Data Protection Officer do?
Before you start looking into training options, you will want to know what a data protection officer does. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of this role. In the simplest of terms, a data protection officer is in charge of creating and implementing a company’s Data Protection Policy. The tasks of this job may include the following:
When you are a certified data protection officer, your job will largely depend on the company in which you work. Before you start applying for roles, you should read each job description. Doing so will give you a broad overview of what you can expect from the position and the duties you will take on.
What Qualifications Are Needed to Become a Data Protection Officer?
Now that you know what a certified data protection officer does, let’s talk about the training that you need to get started. Before you decide to make this career change, you may already have experience in the legal, HR, or data management sectors. However, it is equally possible that you are coming from a different walk of life. Regardless of your current status, it is possible to start training to become a data protection officer.
To get your break into this industry, it’s a smart move to start undertaking a cyber security course online. Different companies will expect you to have a different level of education, so consider which options suit your current lifestyle and learning approach.
Should you be completely new to the realms of IT, now is your chance to brush up on that all-important knowledge. Luckily, there are plenty of IT courses that you may want to consider. It may be worth looking at where the different training courses are available and working out whether they suit your needs.
While you may need a bachelor’s degree to become a data protection officer, employers will expect you to have some level of additional training. Searching for a certified GDPR course is a savvy place to start as it has the weight that hiring managers are searching for. The idea is that you can showcase that you have expert knowledge.
What Skills Are Needed to Become a Data Protection Officer?
Think that you have what it takes to become a data protection officer? If you are ready to take the leap, you first need to make sure that you have the right skills.
To excel in this field, you will need a balanced mixture of both hard and soft skills. Hard skills pertain directly to the job while soft skills help you interact with your co-workers and get the job done. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the skills you will need for a DPO role:
Knowledge of cyber security
Understanding of European data protection
Training staff skills
When you have completed some form of data protection training, you should find that you possess the above skills. However, you should always look at the job description when applying for new roles. Every business will have a different set of requirements. The world of information security is vast, and so it pays to keep ahead of the game. Whether you’re working for a large scale company or a small business, data privacy is a top priority.
Does Becoming a Data Protection Officer Need Any Work Experience?
If you’re ready to take the first step in this career path, you may be wondering what work experience you need. The truth is that a deep knowledge of IT will help you along the way. That is the reason that many people come to a DPO role from similar positions. If you have previously worked in processing operations, for example, this is an obvious transition. However, it is often the training that is more important than experience.
Making sure that you have the right expert knowledge under your belt is a must. Privacy professionals need to have a clear understanding of data security, GDPR compliance, audits, data subjects, data protection policies, and upcoming legislation. If you can showcase this broad variety of knowledge, you are more likely to bag yourself a DPO role. Getting qualified through cyber security and IT courses is the best way to go about this.
DPO roles are highly regarded within businesses. However, if you have worked in this position for a matter of years, you may be wondering what the next steps are. In some cases, you can climb the career ladder to become the Head of Cyber Security or the Head of Risk Management. Explore courses and start your career journey today.
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