A cybersecurity professional performing his job in front of his workstation.

What You Need to Know About Cybersecurity Jobs

What You Need to Know to Get on the Fast Track of Cybersecurity Jobs

The demand for cybersecurity professionals has been growing at an exponential rate, and it is not going to slow down any time soon. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be 1 million unfilled jobs by 2020. This guide contains everything you need to know to get up to speed on the rapidly growing cybersecurity job market. The guide is intended to provide enough “at-a-glance” information, but also give enough depth so that the reader can find the latest cybersecurity job opportunities.

Why the Above Average Growth in Cybersecurity Jobs Makes Sense

In recent years, the cybersecurity job market has grown so rapidly that there are not enough well-qualified experts to go around. Cyberattacks have become more prevalent and sophisticated in many industries. 

So why is it that there’s been such an increase in cybersecurity jobs? It all comes down to how technology affects our day-to-day lives. As we rely increasingly on computers and other digital devices for work, education, entertainment, etc., security becomes importantly superior—and so does finding professionals who can protect us from hackers or malware!

With this, everyone wants to work in cybersecurity these days. With the rise of cybercrime and an increasing number of data breaches, the need for trained professionals is greater than ever. If you’re considering a career in cybersecurity, there are many different paths that await you from entry-level all the way up to executive management positions. The following job roles are what you can expect as your career progresses or what job career you are specifically looking into. 

  1. Security software developers work in teams to design, create, and maintain software that safeguards against unwanted intrusion. They often work with other IT professionals such as information security analysts or network administrators. The job can be challenging but also rewarding when it comes to knowing you have made a difference for your company’s data protection needs. The challenge with software development is an ever-changing field, which requires constant learning and adaptation as new technologies emerge and older ones evolve. Some firms may require employees to relocate on occasion due to project demands or business needs.
  2. Computer forensics is a specialized field of information technology that deals with the recovery and analysis of computer data. Computer forensics analysts are often called upon to investigate cases such as hacking, theft, or other misuse of computers. Some people may think that cyber security professionals only work in corporate settings but you can also find them working for law enforcement agencies and private firms. 
  3. If you are looking for a higher position, the chief privacy officer (CPO) and chief information security officer (CISO) are executive management roles you may be interested in. 

Overall, when the outlook for your career is this good, you should take notice! There are currently 2.93 million cybersecurity positions open around the globe and that number is only going to increase as more and more cyberattacks occur. The ISC2’s Cybersecurity Workforce Study found that there were five key areas of need for people with cybersecurity expertise: security awareness, risk assessment, security administration, network monitoring, incident investigation and response. The next part of this article will talk about how you can attain these skills. 

The Educational Pathways of a Cybersecurity Professional

In today’s world, a cybersecurity professional is in high demand. As with any career, education is an important element of entering the workforce and becoming knowledgeable in your field. There are many different educational paths that individuals can take to learn the tools of this trade, but there are some that provide more benefits than others. Pursuing a cybersecurity associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is an excellent place to start, as these programs will have been designed for those who want to learn the tools of the trade from experts who deal with it day-to-day. For people looking to make their way into management roles, there are newer opportunities available at graduate school levels such as certificates or master’s degrees in computer science or information

Certifications That Will Help You Land a Job in Cybersecurity

The cybersecurity field is a growing industry that offers many exciting opportunities for job seekers. While there are no shortcuts to landing a job in this competitive field, certifications and experience will help tremendously when looking for employment. Cybersecurity technicians are in high demand and according to the Burning Glass 2018 Report, 60% of positions require at least one certification. The following are five of the most popular cybersecurity certifications:

Certified Ethical Hacker: Become a Cybersecurity Technician

The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification is the world’s most popular and respected credential in information security. Created by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), this certification is designed to teach a cybersecurity technician how to think like a hacker. Certified Ethical Hacker training and certification will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are needed for an organization or company to effectively protect its networks from cyber attacks. A point to take of is that the CEH certification is only available for those with two years of experience or more in cyber security.

5-Year Experience Required: CISSP Certification Course

Do you have five years or more of experience in the field of cybersecurity? If so, then CISSP certification could be your next step. Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP) is a globally recognized certification that has been offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium since 1988. This course teaches students how to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in web-based systems as well as various other topics such as cryptography, penetration testing, and cyber warfare strategies.

CISA: The Sign of Expertise

The CISA is a sign of expertise. The Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification is designed to signify expertise for those that, as a regular part of their work, audit, control, monitor, and assess their organization’s information technology and business systems. It is an internationally recognized credential with over 70 countries that have adopted it in some form or another.

Introduction to Networking and Cybersecurity Certification Course

Network security has become a very important topic in recent years. Networking is an essential part of modern life, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep your network safe now that we’re all connected with each other through the internet. There are many courses available for people who want to improve their knowledge about networking, but not many focus specifically on cybersecurity. This course will teach you how to design a secure network by teaching best practices in cryptography, intrusion detection systems (IDS), firewalls, and more!

The Security+ Course: Hack Proof Your Computer System

With hackers lurking on the internet, and malware infecting our computers, it’s no surprise that people are feeling insecure about their data. The Security+ course is a great way to learn how to hackproof your computer system. There are many important topics in the certification program, including threat analysis and hacking mitigation techniques. The Security+ course teaches students how to manage risks, locate vulnerabilities in a computer system and understand cryptography as it relates to security. Other topics include understanding risk management, incident response procedures, and cryptographic concepts.

The LPT: The Security Industry’s Most Advanced Certification

The Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT) certification is a hallmark of excellence for those who know what they’re doing in the cybersecurity industry. If you want to be one of the most highly-respected technicians in your field, then this certification is for you. To get it, you need to have extensive experience and proven skills under pressure. The LPT was created with a specific purpose: prepare any technician who holds it to respond quickly and efficiently at any moment during a real-time cyber breach.

While certifications do show a great way of increasing your knowledge and skills, they may not come across as affordable. It doesn’t mean that those who can’t pay for it will not be able to learn. There are actually free online learning resources available. 

Tricks and Tools: Free Online Learning Resources

Many people are interested in the field of cybersecurity but don’t know where to start. Free online learning resources can be a great way to begin your cybersecurity journey! These resources introduce students to important concepts in cybersecurity, and they provide an easy way for those who have already begun their education or careers in the field to stay up-to-date on new techniques. One of the best things about free online learning resources is that you can continue using them as technology evolves and changes over time.

Free Online Cybersecurity Training Platform

Cybrary

Cybrary was created as a cybersecurity workforce training platform. It currently offers dozens of training modules across a wide range of topics and is free or subscription-based depending on the course materials you want to access. The courses cover specific topic areas such as understanding malware, to certification prep courses like CISSP and CEH. 

Coursera 

Coursera offers courses from top universities around the world. Courses are offered for free, and range in size and rigor. From the intro to cybersecurity at the University of Georgia to a certification course on Development Operations from Stanford, Coursera has something for everyone. They even offer an online job interview process course!

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a nonprofit with the mission of providing free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. And their newest course? Cybersecurity. Khan Academy has just released a whole suite of cybersecurity courses that are all completely free and available online 24/7. The topics include everything from intro-level content to more advanced concepts like penetration testing and hacking. So if you’re looking to brush up on your skills or learn new ones altogether, head over to KhanAcademy.org!

OpenSecurityTraining.info

OpenSecurityTraining.info is a free resource, just like the others mentioned here. This website provides in-depth video and text-based resources studying specific skills training for cybersecurity and information technology professionals. The goal of this project is to make cyber security and IT training available to all who are interested in learning about these topics. 

Udemy 

Educational platforms are not always the most interesting topics to read about. Udemy is one of those exceptions. Udemy has over 800 hours of free cybersecurity content, but you have to pay a fee in order to access it all. The courses range from introductory, “Intro to Cybersecurity” videos and courses, for beginners, up through “Preparing for Certification Exams,” which will help you get your certifications once you’ve passed the exam. There is something on Udemy that everyone can enjoy! 

Stack Skills

StackSkills is a new learning platform, created by educators and technologists who are passionate about helping people learn. StackSkills packages courses into topic areas that track digital media skills in specific domains such as marketing, finance, and IT security. It’s like Netflix for education – you can pick from thousands of hours of videos on-demand to build your own custom curriculum.

Lynda

One company has taken the lead to provide high-quality training content: Lynda.com. With over 1,000 courses available in their library (ranging from beginner to expert), you can learn all about information security basics or delve into topics like malware analysis or penetration testing without paying anything up front!

With your education and job roles set in place, if you want to know where you start off from, here are some entry-level jobs that you can start looking into. 

What You Need to Know About Working as an Entry-Level Cybersecurity Professional

Cybersecurity is a growing industry with plenty of room for entry-level professionals. While some jobs will require a graduate degree in computer science or information security, it is possible to land an entry-level position within the field of cybersecurity. Entry-level security professionals can expect to handle lower-level security matters such as log monitoring, maintaining backups, and managing updates.

Even so, as the demand for cybersecurity experts continues to grow, it is becoming more difficult to find qualified candidates. Many of these professionals are in high demand and are being offered positions before they graduate from college with a degree in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity boot camps offer an alternative route for students who want to enter this growing field without waiting years for their degree or certification. 

One of the top-paying, entry-level jobs available is a career as an information security analyst. Information Security Analysts usually require a bachelor’s degree before entering this field, and they earn median wages of $98,350 per year. The lowest ten percent of earners make less than $56,000 per year. Some of the duties that you may be expected to complete include:

  • Planning, designing and implementing security policies across a wide range of technologies.
  • Creating audit trails to monitor system access and misuse.
  • Inspecting systems for vulnerabilities in network devices or software applications.
  • Monitoring information flow to identify unauthorized attempts at accessing data with the intent to steal it, damage it or disrupt its use by others.
  • Testing computer configuration settings on new hardware prior to installation as well as testing the reliability of critical networks under stress conditions.

So you’re really thinking about getting into cybersecurity? Great! You’ll need to be prepared, though. Cybersecurity job requirements can vary wildly by company or organization. Some organizations require an undergraduate degree in information security, while others will hire people with a solid work history and experience. Regardless of the specifics of your situation, it’s important to know what cybersecurity employers are looking for before you apply for a position.

Cybersecurity Job Requirements: What Organizations Look For

Let’s take a look at a job role called an IT Security Analyst. Here, you will be required to have knowledge of network and cloud-based security. You will also need familiarity with virtualization as well as the ability to analyze assets and identify vulnerabilities. The selected candidate must also possess the flexibility to perform a variety of different tasks concurrently by using self-motivation, sound planning, organization, and scheduling skills.

Working from home has become more and more popular in recent years, especially with the pandemic. The internet has changed not only the demand on the workforce but also the way we work, allowing many people to find jobs that are either completely or partially remote. Remote cybersecurity jobs are becoming more and more popular because of how well-suited they are for a home office environment. Many in this field can now enjoy the freedom from being tied to their desk at an office!

Freedom from a Desk: Remote Working in the Cybersecurity World

There are some jobs that will still require that individuals are onsite. For example, if you are a penetration tester and part of your job is testing physical controls, your presence at the customer site will be a vital part of your role. On the other hand, an individual tasked with reverse-engineering malware may be able to do so from anywhere in the world. There are plenty of tools ranging from remote access software to virtual private networks, which allow professionals to be on their organization’s network without physically being in the same geographical location. 

Cybersecurity: Facts and Figures

As with any other job, it is important to know the facts before entering a field. Cybersecurity is no exception. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2019 the median pay for a cybersecurity technician was $99,730 per year or roughly around 4,768,340.63 Philippine Pesos, or $47.95 (2292.61 Philippine Pesos) per hour and can go as high as $158,860 (7,595,493.75 Philippine Pesos) per year or more for managers. 

Overall Takeaway

It is an undeniable doubt that jobs relating to cybersecurity are not going anywhere and so far the perks are quite nice, to say the least. First, in today’s world, working from home has become common and many companies are now realizing that they want to offer the opportunity for their employees. For some of these people, work from home is a dream come true. One cybersecurity technician, in particular, worked from home for 8 years without ever visiting an office! He was so productive for his company that he was promoted 4 times as a result of his hard work. Second, it’s not often that the job market is booming for a certain profession—but in today’s world, it seems like cybersecurity is one of the few exceptions. A new study from ICS2 has found that 71 percent of all cybersecurity technicians report being satisfied with their job and 36 percent report being very satisfied. The study also found that salaries are on the rise for this important position as well. Lastly, there are a few things that make cybersecurity so interesting and dynamic. One is the variety of the job – no two days are alike for a cybersecurity technician. You are constantly challenged with new threats to defend against, new skills to learn, and always engaged on the job. Another reason why this career path has grown in popularity is that it requires such a diverse set of skillsets from its employees. If you have an interest in computer programming or engineering but don’t want to be stuck doing one thing all day long, then consider becoming a cyber security professional!

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