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Location: Home / Technology / 6 Engaging & Lucrative Cyber Security Career Paths

6 Engaging & Lucrative Cyber Security Career Paths

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It’s no secret that the cybersecurity industry is a job seeker’s market. This article explores half a dozen of the most popular cyber security career paths to see what opportunities exist and what these roles entail

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog contribution from Michelle Moore, Academic Director and Professor of Practice for the University of San Diego’s Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership program. Moore shares her perspective on six of the most popular careers in the cybersecurity industry.

It seems like not a week goes by without an unfortunate cybersecurity-related incident making headlines. In 2021 alone, more than 40 million patients’ records were compromised in data breaches. The victims of 2021’s biggest data breaches included:

Data breaches now cost companies an average of $4.24 million per incident and, as recent cyber crime statistics show, the cost of cyber crime seems to have nowhere to go but up. Amid this highly active cyber crime climate, it is easy to see why there is such strong demand for skilled and knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals. And the need for talent cuts across a range of different cybersecurity careers. The ideal one for you will depend on your experience, skills, education, and career goals.

But what are some of the major cyber security career paths? And what are some of the skills and certificates you might be expected to have to land these careers?

Let’s hash it out.

6 Career Categories People Transition from to Cybersecurity

First, let’s discuss the half-dozen main cybersecurity career path “feeder” categories outlined by Cyber Seek:

1. Networking

As the category indicates, these types of positions work closely with all types of networks and computer systems. Responsibilities typically include overseeing and maintaining networks — managing wide area networks (WAN) and local area networks (LAN) — and other types of communication systems. The top skills requested include knowledge and experience with Linux, Cisco, network engineering, WAN, LAN and routers.

2. Software Development

These types of positions work with a wide range of programming and coding software, such as Java, SQL, JavaScript, Python and Linux. Common job titles in this category include:

6 Engaging & Lucrative Cyber Security Career Paths

3. Systems Engineering

At a high level, professionals in these types of positions focus on managing complicated systems. This could include managing software, developing and maintaining new products, working on new security systems, and aiding other engineers involved in the process.

4. Financial and Risk Analysis

Cybercrime threatens any company’s financial stability and health, which is why it’s important to employ skilled professionals who have the business acumen to help mitigate risk and protect a company’s financial interests. Accounting, financial analysis, budgeting, risk management, financial reporting and project management are among the skills typically needed for these types of positions.

5. Security Intelligence

The world of cybersecurity requires constant vigilance, and a large part of that includes gathering and monitoring security intelligence. In these types of positions, professionals gather relevant information, data and intel that will help a company prepare for or avoid a cyber attack. Security intelligence is used for everything from carrying out hypothetical or real-life training/preparation to modifying a company’s overall cyber strategy or business goals.

6. IT Support

If you’re a people person, roles in this category may be of interest to you. IT support covers a wealth of roles that often interact directly with customers and other end-users. Examples of some of the roles that fall under this umbrella include technical support specialists, help desk technicians, and IT support specialists.

6 Cyber Security Career Paths to Consider

Want some good news about cybersecurity careers? You can choose from a variety of positions (depending on your interests and career goals), salaries are high, and the job market is booming. In fact, a recent LinkedIn search for “cybersecurity” positions in the United States yielded more than 100,000 results for top companies such as:

And since cybersecurity touches practically every industry, you could find yourself working at Bath & Body Works, Target, Duke University, the NBA, or NASCAR — all companies that were recently looking to hire skilled cybersecurity professionals.

Now let’s explore some of the top positions, including required skills and certifications and average salary. One note: Salary estimates are listed below, but they often vary as they are updated in real time.

1. Information Security Analyst

First up on our list of cyber security career paths is an Information Security Analyst. This professional is on the front lines, generating and implementing strategies to prevent cyber attacks. They may also create policies and work to ensure employees are complying with certain requirements and regulations. U.S. News & World Report ranks this role as No. 4 among Best Technology Jobs, No. 10 in Best STEM Jobs, and No. 15 overall.

  • Salary: Median annual salary of $102,600, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • 2. Cybersecurity Architect

    A Cybersecurity Architect is typically responsible for everything related to a company or organization’s computer and network security infrastructure. This includes designing, testing, and maintenance.

    3. Cybersecurity Specialist

    You may also find this position listed as an IT or information security specialist or simply security specialist. Responsibilities typically include testing and implementing security measures, working to secure sensitive or classified information or assets, and identifying vulnerability risks in various systems.

    4. Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

    A high-ranking Chief Information Security Officer who oversees the development and implementation of security processes for a business or organization. The goal is to provide and maintain protection from different types of risks and cyber threats.

    5. Penetration Tester

    The goal of a Penetration Tester is just as the name indicates — to test how difficult it is to penetrate a company or organization’s software, network, and other systems. This also includes conducting tests to gather specific information about vulnerabilities so that they can be hardened before bad guys exploit them.

  • Common certifications: There are multiple certificates that would be particularly useful for this position (listed alphabetically):
  • Salary: Average salary for a penetration and vulnerability tester is $101,231
  • 6. Network Administrator

    A Network Administrator oversees networks within a company, organization or government agency to ensure they’re running as they should be. This includes managing and monitoring Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs) and other systems, testing equipment, troubleshooting, and providing maintenance.

  • Salary: According to ZipRecruiter, the national average for this position is $69,182.
  • Other Career Opportunities Within Cyber Security

    This article, by no means, is an exhaustive list. Here are some other popular cybersecurity career paths:

    How to Get Started on Your Cyber Security Career Path

    There are many ways to position yourself for a successful career in cybersecurity. Here are some of the most popular ones:

    From finance and engineering to software development and risk analysis, there is a wide variety of cyber security career paths for those interested in pursuing or advancing a meaningful career in cybersecurity.

    Check out this related article for some additional cyber security career job-related tips.

    *** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Hashed Out by The SSL Store™ authored by Michelle Moore. Read the original post at: https://www.thesslstore.com/blog/6-engaging-lucrative-cyber-security-career-paths/