Cybersecurity: A Secure Job Field
Specializing in cybersecurity opens up a myriad of job opportunities in nearly every industry. Whether you want to find your place in the private sector or in the public sector working for the government, the outlook for cybersecurity professionals looking to secure their future in IT appears bright.
Learn more about the future outlook for this field, as well as the most popular roles and career paths in cybersecurity. What does it take to land these positions? Read on to find out.
Building a Secure Future in Cybersecurity
In our interconnected world, cyber attacks are not going away. Professionals will continue to be needed to combat new and more sophisticated attacks. Additionally, more businesses are shifting to cloud services or hybrid IT. One study found that 88 percent of organizations surveyed had plans to move on-premise infrastructure off-premise.1 Increased migrations to the cloud and to a hybrid IT infrastructure (having infrastructure both on premise within the organization and off-premise in a data center) demands cybersecurity professionals both within organizations and for data center providers.
A number of industries will also need the expertise of cybersecurity professionals to protect clients. Financial institutions and healthcare providers are among those industries that are facing increased cybersecurity risks. It is essential that these industries are protecting client/patient privacy and data.
This all around need for cybersecurity professionals is reflected in the job outlook through 2030. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cybersecurity roles (what they are calling information security analysts) are expected to grow 33 percent, or much faster than average.2 For comparison, the average growth for all occupations is eight percent. If you are looking to set yourself up for a lucrative and stable career in IT, cybersecurity looks to be a winning route to take.
Cybersecurity Career Paths and Roles
There are various pathways to take in order to move into entry-level cybersecurity roles and to further progress into advanced cybersecurity roles, which include titles like cybersecurity manager, cybersecurity engineer and cybersecurity architect.3
To get started, which we discuss further in the next section, studying cybersecurity or working in other areas of IT will give you a leg up into entry-level roles. Areas that feed into cybersecurity include software development, networking, systems engineering, financial and risk analysis, IT support and security intelligence.3
Popular entry-level cybersecurity roles include:3
- Cybersecurity specialist/technician
- Cyber crime analyst
- IT auditor
- Incident and instruction analyst
While having experience in IT or computer science is helpful, it is not the only pathway to a career in cybersecurity. Some “outside the box” backgrounds can feed into cybersecurity, as well. For example, one cybersecurity professional recommended law school as a path to a career in cybersecurity.4 Legal issues certainly impact cybersecurity processes and procedures, and many law programs now exist that focus on cybersecurity topics. The bottom line is that you should not let an atypical degree or work history hold you back from forging your path in cybersecurity.
How to Land a Cybersecurity Job
You know you will have a variety of career pathways open to you within the cybersecurity space once you land an entry-level position, but what do you need to do to get started in the first place?
You likely know that the bar for securing an entry-level job varies from field to field. For cybersecurity, the level of degree you hold, and your experience directly influences what roles are open to you. Many employers will prefer that you hold a bachelor’s degree over an associate degree, but with some years of direct experience under your belt, you may be able to land a job with a two-year degree.
Generally, if you are getting started in cybersecurity, you will find that holding a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is best, but degrees in computer science or information technology are also strong contenders to helping you land the job.5
On top of getting specific degrees, your education can also come from connecting with and talking to cybersecurity professionals. Following professionals online and listening to cybersecurity podcasts and reading books on cybersecurity are great ways to get more familiar with the field.
Get Specialized Training
To advance your career in cybersecurity, earning a master’s degree would be advantageous. However, when you are just starting out, earning certifications is a great way to learn specific skills and about various areas of cybersecurity in a more cost-efficient and timely manner.
There are a number of certifications available. Be sure to do your research and look at what certifications working professionals hold (by viewing profiles on LinkedIn, for example). Some job listings will note desired certifications, as well.
Leverage Your Experience in Your Search
Dedicating time to your job search is important in order to uncover the right opportunities. You may be surprised by what is open to you based on your past experience. For example, the National Security Agency (NSA) encourages those with backgrounds in computer science, computer/electrical engineering, intelligence analysis and mathematics to apply to roles at the organization, which works to protect and defend U.S. government IT systems.6 While a computer science background may be an obvious fit for cybersecurity, a mathematics background is less obvious. You may have skills from past positions that can be leveraged to help you land an entry-level cybersecurity position. Thoroughly read job descriptions or talk to a cybersecurity professional to see what from your past can be applied to this new venture.
If you find you still need to get applicable experience to stand out in the job pool, look for internships to build your resume and gain the valuable hands-on training that companies are looking for when filling cybersecurity roles.
Choose a Career Path That Fits Your Goals and Secures Your Future
Interested in starting or growing a career in cybersecurity? You can start getting targeted cybersecurity training right now. Online cybersecurity courses from EmergingEd can give you a career advantage and an edge when applying for popular cybersecurity positions. With programs ranging from building a foundation in cybersecurity to building your capabilities to hunt down cyber threats, EmergingEd has the courses you need to grow your skills.
- Retrieved April 4, 2022, from inap.com/blog/new-report-it-infrastructure-pandemic/
- Retrieved April 4, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
- Retrieved April 5, 2022, from cyberseek.org/pathway.html
- Retrieved April 5, 2022, fromvaronis.com/blog/working-in-cybersecurity#salary-disclaimer
- Retrieved April 4, 2022, from learnhowtobecome.org/computer-careers/cyber-security/
- Retrieved April 5, 2022, from intelligencecareers.gov/nsa/nsacyber.html