Cyber security is an expanding career path, especially in 2022. As business management globally shifts to methods like online management and cloud-based data storage, the scope of making a career out of cyber security is also increasing. Even a few years ago, Cyber security was a specialty, only associated with government agencies. But now, many industries such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and finance need professional cyber security experts to protect valuable and private information from online security breaches. Research also suggests that cyber security jobs pay much better than other IT-related jobs and are also very high in demand.
So, here is all you need to know about a career in cyber security. We will give you a detailed overview of what you need to study and what jobs you might want to go for as a professional in cyber security.
What to Expect from a Career in Cyber Security
There are diverse ways to make a career in cyber security. Companies hire ethical hackers to try and hack into their systems and check for loopholes that increase the risk of unauthorized access. The process enables them to keep their security systems updated and protected at all times. They also hire cyber cryptographers who help them decrypt the received data and protect it from cyber terrorists.
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In any way, the final goal of a cyber security specialist is to ensure sensitive data stays out of the wrong hands. Every career field in the world right now uses cloud systems to store large amounts of sensitive data. In the wrong hands, this could be disastrous. That is why cyber security specialists are in demand at this age. Data influx fuels the chances of data breaches, and cyber security specialists assist businesses in protecting their valued data, making it one of the most lucrative careers. The cyber security career path is ever expanding, and this is the right time for you to jump in on this opportunity.
The First Step- Getting a Degree in Cyber Security
The first step toward making a career in cyber security is to get a degree in a relevant field. As companies aim to hire highly competent individuals for this responsible position, competition is getting fierce for aspirants. Here are a few prerequisites for cyber security aspirants to hone before applying for their dream job.
- Bachelor’s Degree
The first step toward your dream cyber security professional job is earning a Bachelor’s degree. You can also get an associate’s degree and obtain entry-level cybersecurity-related jobs. But most good jobs will require a Bachelor’s degree in either cyber security or a similar field such as Computer Science or Information Technology. You will learn computer forensics and ethics along with statistics and programming. These classes will prepare you for a career in cyber security. There are many degrees related to cyber security as the field is expanding. So, make sure to choose a course that covers your choice of specialization.
- Advanced Training
Usually, a Bachelor’s degree is enough to get a good job in the cyber security market, but many organizations still prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Some of them also offer tuition assistance for your Master’s degree. This would take an additional one or two more years to complete, where you can gain a more in-depth knowledge of how to protect your employer’s electronic instruments and computer networks from attacks online. After you start your job, you can also get additional degrees to boost your knowledge while still working for more experience.
- Security Clearances
You must pass a few security clearances to work with the military or other government agencies as a cyber security professional. These fields work with extremely private, sensitive, and classified information, which can bring about a nation’s downfall if it reaches the wrong hands. Many agencies issue facility and personnel security clearances, but the Department of Defense issues most of them. Each of these has different sets of paperwork as well as multiple procedures. The clearance process only begins when one of these agencies wishes to hire you, and the process can take between 3-12 months to finish the paperwork. You will first have to submit clearance documentation, and then the agency will conduct a background investigation, only after which you are eligible to apply for relevant positions.
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Some Cyber Security Career Paths You Can Choose From
Cyber Security might seem like a linear field with little to no variety for outsiders. However, the market scenario differs. You can find a cybersecurity-related job that suits you perfectly based on your goals and interests. All you need is detailed research and resources to find the opportunity. Here are a few of them!
- Cyber Security Architect: Cyber security architects’ responsibility is to overview the organization’s network and computer security infrastructure responsibly. You will be required to design, test, and maintain the entire infrastructure. Such jobs usually require a degree in cyber security and work experience in the relevant field. The expected average salary in this position is about $150,000, but it can go as high as $185,000 in higher positions.
- Penetration Tester: Penetration testers are hired to periodically check how hard a company’s online walls are to breach. All the online systems, including the company’s network and software, must be checked regularly against safe breaches. When penetration testers find any vulnerabilities, the company needs to fix them before some hacker exploits them. Requirements for the position usually include a Bachelor’s degree in cyber security and some hands-on experience in the field. The average salary in this field is about $101,000.
- Network Administrator: A Network Administrator’s job is to ensure that network systems, including LANs and WANs, are running smoothly. They have to provide services like periodically testing all equipment and doing maintenance work on these systems. You will not necessarily need a cyber security degree to land a job like this. But you might need an IT or Computer Science degree and work experience. The average salary in this field is about $69,182.
- Information Security Analyst: An Information Security Analyst is required to ensure that the company’s server and networks can hold strong against any online attack. They generate and implement strategies to secure the company’s network against cyber attacks. They can also come up with regulations for employees to ensure safety. This is one of the most popular tech-related jobs in the USA. A degree in Information-related fields such as Computer Science and Programming is important for ISA roles. With jobs like this, the more degrees and experience you have, the better your chances of landing a more high-paying position will be. The average annual salary for this position is about $102,500.
- Cyber Security Consultants: This is a very high-paying profession that is revered amongst the cyber security circles. Cyber Security Consultants are usually hired by companies that need their knowledge and insight to build up their organization’s security system. Their roles and fees also differ depending on the job they do for a company. Cyber security consultants are usually professionals in the field that have more experience in the field than most. Their average annual salary ranges from $92,500-$145,500, but for more experienced professionals, it can go as high as $161,000.
Some other jobs in the field with great salary packages are – Security Auditor, Risk Manager, Cybersecurity Engineer, etc.
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By now, you must have learned the details about cyber security’s expansive field and the broad scope it offers to its aspirants. You must kickstart your cyber security career with relevant courses to ensure you get the job you want while focusing on your goals.
One of the top-tier courses you can look into is the Master of Science in Computer Science course. This is one of the best courses for someone who wants to pursue a successful career in Cyber Security.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security, in simple terms, is the method through which all available online data and information, including servers, networks, cellphones, computers, and all electronic systems, are protected against malicious attacks on the internet.
Why are Cyber Security Professionals in such high demand?
With the changing times, everything is now online. All personal and private data is kept on online servers. That is why online threats need to be stopped from getting their hands on the information, which is why so many companies are hiring cyber security professionals to keep their data safe.
What career options can one opt for in the field of Cyber Security?
There are many career options in Cyber Security, including Information Security Analyst, Network Administrator, Cyber Security Architect, and many more.