When you are exploring the world of cybersecurity, you will find that there are hundreds of job titles within the discipline that is housed within information technology. While at one time, cybersecurity was considered to be associated only with government agencies and defense contractors, now, cybersecurity jobs are everywhere in society, in both the public and private sectors. Top industries that hire cybersecurity professionals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), include computer systems design, finance and insurance, company and enterprise management, information, and administration and support services.
The demand for well-educated, properly trained cyber professionals remains high. Worldwide, there are expected to be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. This trend is expected to continue, as the BLS projects that by 2029, there will be 40,900 new information security analyst positions in just the United States.
All of this information adds up to a simple fact: this is if you are looking for a new career or have been thinking of changing careers, now is the perfect time to explore careers related to cybersecurity.
Begin a Career in Cybersecurity
In order to start a career in cybersecurity, you will need some type of certificate, certification, or degree. An associate degree or certificate is often sufficient to break into the cyber field. You will find, however, that a bachelor’s degree is quickly becoming the standard for most cybersecurity jobs.
In addition to degrees, industry certifications are highly important in finding and qualifying for certain positions in cybersecurity. According to Cybercrime Magazine, in 2020, some of the most vital cybersecurity certifications that will help you to land a job include:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified Information Privacy Professional/US (CIPP/US)
- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate Security (CCNA)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Cisco Certified Network Professional Security (CCNP)
- Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (C/HFI)
- CompTIA Security+
Types of Cybersecurity Careers
There are so many jobs that fall within the realm of cybersecurity, it would be impossible to list all of the associated job titles. There is some agreement, however, on what the most in-demand cybersecurity careers are as of 2020. Per the EC-Council (otherwise known as the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants), the world’s largest cybersecurity technical certification body operating in 145 countries around the world, the most in-demand cyber careers right now are:
Information Security Analyst
- What they do: Monitor potential security breaches and risks. Create security measures to protect an organization’s security infrastructure from cyberattacks. Make sure all installed software is continuously updated. Help organizational employees understand new applications, hardware and potential security risks/protecting them from such.
- How to become one: usually requires a minimum of an associate degree, preferably a bachelor’s degree
- Jobs available worldwide, per LinkedIn: 13,852
- Average salary (U.S., per Payscale): $71,398
- What they do: Penetrate an organization’s security infrastructure to find system vulnerabilities. Also called “white hat hackers,” they use the same techniques as the “bad guys” or “black hat hackers” to find hidden weaknesses in a system. Once vulnerabilities are exposed, other professionals will patch the flaws. Ethical hackers also conduct risk assessments for entire security systems as needed.
- How to become one: Receive the CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) industry certification through training and credentialing program. Certificates and associate degrees can also be helpful, but this industry certification is the standard of the position.
- Jobs available worldwide, per LinkedIn: 6597
- Average salary (U.S.., per Payscale): $91,000
Digital Forensic Analyst
- What they do: Retrieves digital evidence form assets that are used in conducting cybercrimes. May work with law enforcement to retrieve evidence. Recover deleted files, analyze data, follow data trails. Keep detailed records of all investigations to track the perpetrator(s) of the crime.
- How to become one: Minimum of associate degree/bachelor’s degree preferred. Completing the industry’s Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator program is highly recommended.
- Jobs available worldwide, per LinkedIn: 1575
- Average salary (U.S., per Payscale.): $72,019
Penetration Tester/Vulnerability Analyst
- What they do: Test an organization’s information technology system, infiltrating it to discover existing flaws. Using network penetration testing, social engineering penetration testing, database penetration testing, web application penetration testing and others, these professionals will expose the root cause of a system’s vulnerabilities and flaws before criminals can find them.
- How to become one: Industry certification EC-Council Certified Security Analyst will provide training in order to become a penetration tester. Associate degree, certificate and bachelor’s degree are also helpful.
- Jobs available worldwide, per LinkedIn: 6577
- Average salary (U.S.., per Payscale): $82,000
Chief Information Security Officer
- What they do: A senior-level executive position responsible for an entire organization’s information security and data. Work with management of an organization, setting cybersecurity strategies and policies for that organization and coming up with solutions.
- How to become one: Bachelor’s degree required, advanced graduate degree preferred. Also the industry’s Certified Chief Information Security Officer program is recommended.
- Jobs available worldwide, per LinkedIn: 3482
- Average salary (U.S.., per Payscale): $171,000
Security Software Developer
- What they do: Develop secure software through integrating security practices into its design and development. May oversee a team of software developers, as well as build and test software security strategies.
- How to become one: Associate degree needed, bachelor’s degree preferred. Certified Application Security Engineer certification is also recommended.
- Jobs available worldwide, per LinkedIn: 1575
- Average salary (U.S.., per Payscale): $88,000
- What they do: Work for organizations, constantly and actively monitoring their systems and networks for security breaches. Look for potential vulnerabilities to avoid intrusions before they occur. They are also the first responders when a system is the victim of a cyberattack. Often work for organizations that have online business presences.
- How to become one: Bachelor’s degree preferred. EC-Council Certified Incident Handler certification is recommended.
- Jobs available worldwide, per LinkedIn: 14,448
- Average salary (U.S., per Payscale): $79,239
Network Engineer/Security Architect
- What they do: Designs and builds an organization’s network, executes security practices on that network, makes sure that the organization’s network security remains intact. Designs systems that help to counter DDos and malware attacks.
- How to become one: Bachelor’s degree required. Certified Network Defender certification required for US Department of Defense positions.
- Jobs available worldwide, per LinkedIn: 6122
- Average salary (U.S., per Payscale): $86,000
There are many other career titles within the numbers of cybersecurity professionals worldwide. For more information, check out our career profiles, educational requirements and guide pages.