Two of the Best Cybersecurity Careers for 2020
Professionals from all backgrounds, in all industries, can find lucrative opportunities to advance if they choose to build skills and knowledge in cybersecurity. At the moment, the cybersecurity industry is experiencing an alarming shortage of talent,1 meaning there is a wealth of opportunity to learn the dimensions of the field and revitalize your career.
In this article, we discuss two top managerial and C-level cybersecurity roles that professionals should aspire toward when plotting their cybersecurity career paths in 2020. You're probably not ready to step into these roles today, but with the right training, you can start building the foundation of skills to take you there.
Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
The Chief Information Security Officer, or CISO, is the executive in charge of information and data security for an organization.2 Security pros who are ambitious and looking for high-level positions with expansive responsibilities should think about how they might eventually work toward the CISO position over the course of their cybersecurity careers. Achieving this role does typically require 7-12 years of experience working in IT and other security roles, but with an average salary for CISO positions of nearly $160,000,3 it's worth the long-term planning and hard work.
Steven Katz, the innovator of the CISO role, founded the position at Citigroup in the 1990s when they were experiencing significant information security problems.4 Katz provided a standard set of categories to define the position that are still utilized today:
- Security Operations: Perform immediate analysis of threats and triage when things go wrong
- Cyber Risk and Cyber Intelligence: Staying on top of developing security threats and keeping the board of directors aware of potential security risks associated with business acquisitions and major company moves
- Data Loss and Fraud Prevention: Ensuring the employees aren't abusing or stealing internal data
- Security Architecture: Strategically planning and purchasing security hardware and software for the company
- Identity and Access Management: Preserving and regulating authorized access to restricted data and systems
- Program Management: Program or project implementation that fosters risk reduction such as conducting system patches
- Investigation and Forensics: Figuring out why a breach occurred and dealing with the perpetrators. This also requires the CISO to figure out how to prevent the same problem from happening again
- Governance: Implementing measures to ensure that every CISO role is carried out smoothly and efficiently. It also requires the skill of getting the necessary funding and ensuring that the corporate leadership is on board with both their mission and agenda
Cybersecurity consultants offer expert advice covering all aspects of risk assessment, incident response, and preventative strategy for companies who cannot afford their own in-house cybersecurity staff.5 The average senior consultant with 3-5 years' experience earns around $108,000 per year.6 Beyond being a lucrative cybersecurity career, pursuing a consultant role can allow you to enjoy the opportunity of working on more varied types of client projects than you might encounter in a cybersecurity role for a specific organization.
There are two additional major perks of being a cybersecurity consultant: the opportunity to choose your own clients and control over your own consulting rates. However, you should probably only consider going into cybersecurity consulting once you've amassed some significant experience in the field—10 years, at least.7
Building a thriving cybersecurity consulting practice isn't easy and requires a lot of hard work, including self-marketing to help you land clients, but it can be extremely rewarding for any individual who's looking for a new challenge in their cybersecurity career.
Other Cybersecurity Careers Worth Considering
There are other careers in cybersecurity that are worth considering, including potentially lucrative opportunities for career changers who are in the process of building a technical cybersecurity skill set.
- Security Manager: Manages and facilitates cybersecurity personnel and resources in order to ensure projects are implemented
- Security Auditor: Assesses the structural weaknesses and strengths of an organization's digital databases
- Security Specialist: Offers vast opportunities for growth and experience in methods of protecting a data network
- Cryptographer: Writes source codes such as algorithms, ciphers and security systems that are aimed at developing encryption
- Incident Responder: Rapidly addresses cybersecurity incidents and threats occurring within an organization
- Penetration Tester: A legally-authorized hacker who searches and penetrates web-based systems, networks, and software applications
- Forensics Expert: A digital detective that collects, investigates and analyzes evidence from sophisticated cybercrimes
- Security Administrator: The point person who handles cybersecurity systems and is in charge of installing, administering and troubleshooting the security solutions of an organization
- Security Director: In charge of overseeing IT security measures throughout an organization and dealing with strategic oversight of all security-related issues
- Vulnerability Assessor: Responsible for assessing applications and systems in order to discover vulnerabilities and flaws within the network system
Begin Your Cybersecurity Career Journey With EmergingEd
These C-level and managerial positions represent two of the best cybersecurity careers in 2020. But if you're just getting started planning a career pivot into cybersecurity with the goal of eventually reaching these heights, you may want to start with expert-driven skills-based education in the field. Enroll in an online cybersecurity course from EmergingEd today, and start building your career advantage.
1. Retrieved on December 13, 2019, from techcrunch.com/2019/01/27/too-few-cybersecurity-professionals-is-a-gigantic-problem-for-2019/
2. Retrieved on December 13, 2019, from csoonline.com/article/3332026/what-is-a-ciso-responsibilities-and-requirements-for-this-vital-leadership-role.html
3. Retrieved on December 13, 2019, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Chief_Information_Security_Officer/Salary
4. Retrieved on December 13, 2019, from cnbc.com/2018/07/20/what-is-ciso-chief-information-security-officer.html
5. Retrieved on December 13, 2019, from noodle.com/articles/how-to-become-a-cyber-security-consultant
6. Retrieved on December 13, 2019, from payscale.com/research/US/Job=Senior_Security_Consultant/Salary
7. Retrieved on December 13, 2019, from noodle.com/articles/how-to-become-a-cyber-security-consultant