Cybersecurity professionals can work in many different sectors to protect sensitive data from bad actors. After gaining industry experience, they can pursue management-level roles to oversee departments and craft organizational security efforts.
The following section explores common cybersecurity careers.
Chief Information Security Officer
Average Annual Salary: Around $184,000
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology, master’s degree often preferred
Job Description: CISOs prepare for, manage and assess cyberthreats. These senior, executive-level professionals oversee and implement organisations’ cybersecurity and information security efforts. CISOs, which may also carry the title of chief security officer, typically collaborate with other executives to reduce damages related to breaches and ensure that security programs meet organisational goals.
Larger employers may require CISOs to hold seven to 10 years of experience in information security and/or cybersecurity. Many hiring managers seek candidates with master’s degrees, but more professional experience can often stand in for formal education.
Though certification is not required for the role, CISOs can pursue relevant credentials like certified information systems security professional (CISSP) and certified chief information security officer to increase their earning power and career opportunities.
Information Security Analyst
Median Annual Salary: $90,000
Required Education: High school diploma and experience, bachelor’s degree in computer science preferred
Job Description: Information security analysts assist organisations by scanning computer systems and networks for potential breaches. They use data encryption software and firewalls to safeguard data and communications. These professionals set companies’ security standards and apply security best practices while remaining current on changes and trends in the field.
Information security analysts primarily work in computer systems design and other related professions, along with the finance and insurance sectors. They often work alongside computer systems analysts and network administrators, requiring strong collaboration skills.
Most employers look to hire applicants with certifications in the field, like CISSP. These professionals can also pursue certified information systems auditor (CISA), certified ethical hacker (CEH) and CISSP credentials.
Average Annual Salary: Around $153,000
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field, MBA in information systems cyber threats
Job Description: Security architects plan and construct safe networks for businesses and organisations. These systems may include traditional local area and wide area networks, along with modern technologies like cloud computing. Their work also includes researching emerging networking technologies and presenting their findings to stakeholders to suggest upgrades and improvements.
These professionals use network penetration tests, or ‘ethical hacks’ to perform intrusions in good faith to test the effectiveness of safeguards in place. Security architects, like other cybersecurity workers, also assess cyberattacks and breaches to study damages and plan for data recovery efforts.
While security architects do not need certification, they can pursue credentials like systems security certified practitioner, certified cloud security professional and CISSP to demonstrate their knowledge of and commitment to the field.
Average Annual Salary: Around $89,000
Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or related field and experience
Job Description: Security engineers craft and oversee networks for organisations to protect sensitive information and data. They may perform vulnerability tests to find areas for improvement and implement network upgrades to protect against breaches.
These engineers set organisational best practices, training coworkers on security measures and ensuring timely updates for network-connected devices. They also investigate cyberattacks to identify the intruder and avoid future breaches. After an intrusion, a security engineer may collect information on the attack and implement efforts to mitigate data loss and future attacks.
Like other professionals in information security and cybersecurity, security engineers can boost their earning potential and competitiveness in the job market by earning certifications such as CISM or CISSP.