Careers: How to Get into Cybersecurity

Perhaps you’ve read that demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals dramatically outstrips supply and that an entry level salary is $54,000 a year, with an average salary nearly double that. CyberSeek have even produced this handy interactive map showing areas of need. It’s a job seeker’s market and a savvy operative might decide they’d like to pick its juicy fruit.

Possible career paths

Cast your eye down Monster’s list of cybersecurity vacancies and you’ll see titles like information security analyst or cybersecurity engineer, technician, architect, manager, director, auditor, forensic investigator, penetration tester, instructor or CISO (chief information security officer).  Some of these will have you at the front end, protecting your organization, some will have you hacking into others to test their defenses – like our penetration testers.  Once you’ve got experience you can move into more strategic planning or consulting, teaching, auditing, or forensic investigation roles!

The top industries crying out for qualified cybersecurity professionals are those which deal with sensitive information, making them prime targets for cybercriminals, industries like banking and finance, healthcare and defense.

What a starter cybersecurity role involves 

A typical Information Security Analyst will take measures to prevent, monitor for, investigate and report on security breaches.  They’ll install software, conduct penetration tests, and research security trends, and develop security standards and practices for their organization. Unless there’s a cyber attack you’ll be expected to work normal office hours. Read a day in the life of this Cyber Security Resilience Lead.

Skills that you’ll need to succeed in cyber security

Dawn Kawamoto at Dark Reading put together this list of the skills most sought-after in cybersecurity professionals:

  • Security analysis and investigation
  • Cloud security
  • Customer service
  • Secure application development
  • Risk analysis and negotiation
  • IoT (internet of things) security
  • Data management and analytics
  • Communication

Useful qualifications and certifications

There are different areas you can specialize in, and the leading qualifications include CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), ISO 27001 and many more.

Don’t feel you have to limit yourself to pure IT qualifications – cybersecurity salaries rise to $120,000 with ISO 27001 qualifications.

Check out our ISO 27001 Foundation and Lead Implementer combination course >>