Data or cyber security breaches can cost companies a significant amount of money while also putting consumers, patients, and customers at risk of having their personal information exposed. How often do these breaches occur? By December 2019, the number of breaches rose by 33 percent compared to the year before. This resulted in just under 8 billion records that were exposed during 5,183 breaches. Among the most common targets of these breaches were retailers, medical services, and public entities.
This rise in breaches is leading to a growing demand for trained professionals in cyber security careers. If you have a strong interest in protecting data and networks, a cyber security job might be a great fit. Joining the ranks of cybersecurity professionals means you’ll be playing a valuable role in keeping sensitive information safe, which helps reduce the risk of identity theft and similar crimes. Learning more about the kinds of cyber security jobs that are available can help you determine if this career path is right for you.
How to Get Started with a Cyber Security Career
You’ll find plenty of different roles in cyber security that you can fill as a career, but how do you get there? Getting started with a cyber security career often involves learning the basics first, such as coding. You can work on building the skills you need and gain hands-on experience while earning a bachelor’s degree or another degree that focuses on computers, such as computer information systems degree programs.
There are other ways for you to learn more about computer security as well, such as rebuilding computers on your own. This gives you an opportunity to understand how computers work, so that you can apply that knowledge to the cyber security field. You can take older computers and other equipment apart, then practice putting it back together. Setting up a cyber security lab using several computers or taking part in cyber security-themed contests also provide ways for you to learn more about network and server security.
Skills Needed to Enter the Cyber Security Field
What kinds of skills will you need in order to work in the cyber security field? While specific technical skills can differ based on the kind of work you want to do, you should have certain IT skills if you want a career in this field. For example, you should learn systems administration, database management, web applications, and networking. You should also have a sound fundamental understanding of server and network security and storage.
Customer service skills are another important part of your training for cyber security work. You should gain skills that allow you to effectively communicate with clients and customers when it comes to keeping data secure, such as by following safety protocols. You might also need customer service skills when dealing with customers and clients who need repairs or maintenance done in order to keep networks, servers, and other sources of data as secure as possible.
Best Cyber Security Jobs
What jobs are there in cyber security? This field offers a wide range of jobs that provide you with different ways to guard against breaches and other cyber security attacks. The following are some of the best cyber security jobs available. Keep in mind that the skills needed for each job may vary and average salaries can differ widely depending on the type of work you’re doing and where you’re working.
Security architects are responsible for identifying possible threats and creating network and computer security systems that prevent them from doing damage. These cyber security experts typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a degree in a similar field. Security architects check for potential weaknesses in an organization or company’s networks, servers, and other technological sources of data, as well as firewalls and routers. They come up with security protocols and features that help reduce the risk of having these weaknesses lead to breaches.
The median pay for security architects is around $112,690 per year or $54.18 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This kind of career has a job outlook of 5 percent, which is higher than average.
Computer Forensics Analysts
Computer forensics analysts work as part of cyber security teams that investigate cyberattacks and breaches. These analysts put their skills to use in analyzing data in order to help determine who was responsible for crimes such as fraud or illegal content distribution. Computer forensics analysts might also assist prosecutors or law enforcement officials by providing insight into cybercrime cases. These jobs are usually found in criminal justice settings.
The average annual salary for computer forensics analysts is roughly $59,150 a year or $28.44 an hour. With the growing demand for cyber security careers, the job outlook for computer forensics analysts is 14 percent, much higher than usual.
Security Software Developer
Security software developers update current programs and applications to make them safer from breaches and other cybercrimes while also producing new programs and applications, as needed. These developers usually handle the whole process involved with developing software programs, from designing and testing new programs to implementing them in the field. Security software developers keep applications and programs updated to ensure ongoing protection from cyberattacks and breaches.
Security software developers have an average pay of roughly $107,510 per year or $51.69 per hour. There is a high rate of job growth for this type of career. In fact, the job outlook through 2029 is 22 percent, which is significantly higher than average.
Chief Information Security Officer
A chief information security officer (CISO) is responsible for managing information security for a company or organization. These cyber security professionals carry out several duties to ensure that all computer information systems are protected as much as possible from breaches and other attacks. Some of these duties typically include supervising IT and security employees, handling security budgets, creating security plans, making upgrades to networks, as needed, and conducting employee education classes.
How much can someone expect to make as a CISO? The median pay for this type of job is around $146,360 per year or $70.37 per hour. At 10 percent, the job outlook for CISO careers is higher than usual.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts implement new security measures or upgrade existing security measures to keep networks and servers safe from breaches. These analysts play a role in coming up with disaster recovery plans for a business or organization. They perform several tasks as part of their job, including monitoring networks for attacks or breaches, staying updated on the latest security trends, installing firewalls and other software to keep data safe, and doing penetration testing to identify weaknesses that cybercriminals could exploit.
Information security analysts have a median salary of roughly $99,730 per year or $47.95 per hour. The job outlook for this kind of work is very high. In fact, the job outlook is 31 percent, which is considerably higher than average.
Penetration testers carry out tests on computer networks, software programs, and applications in order to expose vulnerabilities or weaknesses that cybercriminals might use. This is an important part of keeping security protocols up to date, which helps reduce the risk of breaches and attacks. Penetration testers typically have a wide range of skills, including computer programming, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, and customer service skills. These cyber security experts also go over any security problems that have occurred and provide detailed information on what happened and how they can be prevented.
Penetration testers have a median salary and job outlook that are similar to information security analysts. The job outlook is 31 percent through 2029, while the median pay is around $99,730 a year or $47.95 an hour.
Ethical hackers who are responsible for hacking into security systems on purpose as a way to highlight weaknesses and flaws. These hackers test networks and attempt to hack their way into them to gain access to sensitive information. This is done in order to find vulnerabilities that unethical hackers could use to steal data or perform other kinds of cybercrime. Ethical hackers should have analytical skills along with computer programming skills and other technical skills. They’re also responsible for coming up with new ways to identify potential security problems.
Ethical hackers, sometimes classified as information security analysts, have a median salary of $99,730 per year or $47.95 an hour. With a job outlook of 31 percent from 2019 to 2029, there are expected to be plenty of opportunities available in this career field.
IT Security Consultant
IT security consultants perform assessments to find vulnerabilities in software, networks, databases, and other IT technology, and create security protocols to address these weaknesses. These consultants look for ways in which cybercriminals could attack systems and use this information to recommend security safeguards and protocols for organizations and companies. Some of the skills these consultants need include penetration testing, ethical hacking principles, encryption techniques, and firewall management. IT security consultants should also be familiar with the latest trends in cybercrime.
IT security consultants have an average yearly pay that’s around $99,730 and an average hourly pay that’s around $47.95 per hour. There are many opportunities available for IT security consultants, a trend that is expected to continue with the job outlook at 31 percent.
A security administrator is responsible for implementing and troubleshooting security protocols for an organization or company. These administrators carry out several tasks on a regular basis, such as watching network traffic for signs of unusual activity, coming up with disaster recovery protocols, configuring firewalls and other security tools, and checking networks for weaknesses. Security administrators in general are responsible for keeping an entire system secure rather than focusing on specific components.
The median pay for a security administrator is roughly $83,510 per year or $40.15 per hour. Between 2019 and 2029, the job outlook for these administrators is expected to be around 4 percent, which is about as fast as average.
Source Code Auditor
Source code auditors look for glitches or other problems with source code that could compromise security or affect their performance. These auditors have to stay updated on the most recent strategies that hackers use to gain unauthorized entry and come up with ways to prevent this from happening. They are responsible for analyzing lines of code to look for errors, bugs, and other possible vulnerabilities. These auditors might also do penetration testing or use other methods to check the security of source code.
Source code auditors can expect to make salaries that are roughly similar to those of information security analysts, which is around $99,730 annually or $47.95 hourly. A high job outlook of 31 percent means that there are many opportunities available for source code auditors.
Security engineers are responsible for developing computer security systems in order to reduce the risk of attacks and breaches. These engineers usually build firewalls and similar systems to help protect networks and other computer systems from intruders. They might also check security systems for potential risks and recommend ways to prevent these from occurring. Security engineers typically collaborate with other security professionals to solve issues that could compromise a computer system’s safety.
The average pay for a security engineer is around $133,550 per year or $64 per hour. The job outlook for those who work in this type of career is roughly 31 percent.
Cryptographers focus on protecting sensitive, encrypted data, which can include financial data or military information. These cyber security professionals might also be responsible for coming up with mathematical or statistical models for data analysis. Cryptographers perform other tasks as well, such as testing software in order to look for weaknesses or creating encryption solutions to protect data.
The median pay for cryptographers is around $92,030 a year or $44.25 an hour. The job outlook for this type of cyber security career is 33 percent, which is higher than average.
If you’re considering a cyber security career, contact Post University about our Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems program.
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