3 Different Career Paths in Cybersecurity & How to Get Started

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Technology and cyber threats evolve every day, and with a desperate need to protect data, a wealth of career paths are becoming present. The global cybersecurity workforce gap has increased by 26.2% in 2022 compared to 2021, with 3.4 million more workers needed to secure assets effectively, according the (ISC)2 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study. As a part of an ongoing cybersecurity career path series, we’re highlighting career paths you can take if you’re thinking about making a career pivot to the cybersecurity industry. Here are three roles in cyber and how to get started in each one.

Cybersecurity Analyst

Cybersecurity analysts monitor and analyze computer systems, which helps identify and mitigate possible security threats. Those who work in this position develop and implement strategies for protecting a network’s data. A successful cybersecurity analyst has a solid understanding of computer systems, networks, and security protocols.

Often, the first step to becoming a cybersecurity analyst is to earn a degree in computer science or cybersecurity. Multitudes of universities offer cybersecurity programs and many are taught by leaders in the industry who can become mentors. These programs also provide students with hands-on experience in the field. Cybersecurity students can earn industry certifications, including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification.

With still so much to learn after completing your education, an entry-level position such as a security analyst or network security administrator can be an ideal way to gain practical experience. Any entry-level position in cybersecurity will allow you to develop crucial skills to move up to a cybersecurity analyst position. The average salary for a cybersecurity analyst is around $80,000 per year.

Cybersecurity Engineer

Designing and implementing security measures to protect computer systems and networks is what cybersecurity engineers specialize in. As part of their job, this type of engineer works in association with software developers. The partnership ensures security is built into the software from day one.

As a prerequisite for becoming a cybersecurity engineer, a solid background in computer science and engineering is a must. A degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field is a great idea. Industry certifications, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) certification, will ensure you learn all you need to know.

After you earn your degree or diploma, take a job as a software developer or network engineer. Even an entry-level job can provide you with the necessary experience upskill to a cybersecurity engineer position in the future. The average salary for a cybersecurity engineer is around $95,000 per year.

Cybersecurity Consultant

Technology advances fast and a cybersecurity consultant can provide expert advice and guidance. They provide support to organizations as they protect their computer systems and networks. Consultants are responsible for performing security assessments, identifying vulnerabilities, and developing strategies to mitigate risks.

Being a cybersecurity consultant requires a strong understanding of updated computer systems, networks, and security protocols.

A cybersecurity consultant needs a degree in computer science, cybersecurity, or a related field. Industry certifications, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), are also helpful.

After a certification, diploma or degree has been earned, a consultant can begin their career as an entry-level security analyst or network security administrator. Any position in alignment with this career path can provide necessary experience and skills to boost your career and help you advance to a cybersecurity consultant position. The average salary for a cybersecurity consultant is around $100,000 per year.

There are so many career paths within the cybersecurity industry. Whether you are interested in becoming a cybersecurity analyst, cybersecurity engineer, or cybersecurity consultant, there are many opportunities to start your career in cybersecurity. It’s important to note that several tech organizations are eliminating degree requirements for open cyber roles and instead are focused on skills based hiring to fill their cyber workforce gaps. It’s reported that 50% of IBM’s open jobs have removed the four year degree requirement.

Overall, it’s crucial for cybersecurity experts to keep up-to-date with the continuously evolving landscape, which is characterized by new technologies, security hazards, and refined best practices. ThriveDX is a valuable resource for those in cyber (or those thinking of getting into cyber) that offers a comprehensive array of services, such as training courses and bootcamp courses to secure certifications to enable cybersecurity professionals to remain competitive. With career counseling, networking opportunities, and a vast selection of courses, ThriveDX serves as an optimal platform for everyone from novices to seasoned experts looking to catapult lifelong learners’ cyber career.


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