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5 Cybersecurity Career Paths and How to Get Started

A cyber security strategy is vital, and cyber hygiene needs to be performed on the regular. This is why cyber security is a growing profession, and there are many career paths you can purse to get started at varying levels of education. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of cybersecurity jobs is expected to increase by 32 percent from 2022 through 2032. That’s much faster than the average for all jobs, which is 3 percent [3].

Earning a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is a great first step to learning the skills that could lead to you entering this industry. In a cybersecurity degree program, you could learn how to establish a secure network, defensive/offensive strategies cybersecurity specialist for protecting it, how to create security policies and procedures, and so much more. A common misconception about cybersecurity is that it is only for highly technical people who have hacked systems and codes to build better, more robust systems.

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There are many network-oriented professional cyber security organizations and groups that are designed to alert members about job openings and professional development opportunities. Depending on your level of education, there are various roles you can fill within the realm of cyber security. For example, network or systems administrators are common entry-level positions. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems and other data communication systems. People who work in cybersecurity often work closely with other IT professionals, like network administrators or in various roles. For this reason, experts and those within the industry often group cybersecurity jobs within the broader sector of IT.

  • A doctorate in cybersecurity typically requires 60 credit hours and can take three to seven years to complete.
  • You can be a more effective cybersecurity analyst by keeping up-to-date on the threat landscape.
  • Security professionals often calculate risk, which involves using math, statistics, and logic.

Over half (59 percent) of all cybersecurity positions require at least one certification, according to data from Burning Glass Technologies [5]. Earning a cybersecurity certification can be a great way to validate your skills to recruiters and potential employers. Preparing for an exam doubles as a way to learn more about the field and build your skills. Take a look at some of the most popular cybersecurity certifications companies are hiring for. The average annual salary quoted in US job listings for cybersecurity analysts from May 2022 through April 2023 was $107,517, according to CyberSeek [1].

Wondering How To Get Into Cybersecurity? Here’s What You Should Know

Depending on the specific cybersecurity position, employers may have other job requirements. For instance, keeping databases secure might be an ideal job for someone who’s spent time as a database administrator and is also well-versed in security issues. Overall, the work that a cybersecurity professional does tends to be varied and is a crucial component in the vast majority of organizations today. In-demand roles include penetration testers, who go into a system or network, find vulnerabilities, and either report them to the organization or patch them themselves.

An information security analyst is a cybersecurity professional who works to prevent cyberattacks and minimize the risk of a data breach by strengthening the organization’s computer network and security systems. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is an entry-level career path for those with an IT degree, and the median annual salary is more than $112,000. According to the US Department of Labor, the need for qualified cybersecurity professionals is on the rise, as the cybersecurity industry continues to grow rapidly.

The Role of Data Analytics in Cybersecurity

Someone who enjoys learning and is ready to challenge themselves may find that cybersecurity is the right field for them. Aside from work experience and college degrees, some employers also prefer job candidates who have received certifications demonstrating their understanding of best practices in the field. For example, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential validates a professional’s general knowledge and abilities in information security.

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