The safety of a company’s data depends on the strength of the company’s security system. And a sequel to the 2021 cyber attack involving major companies like Colonial Pipeline, Facebook, Volkswagen, etc. was the surge in demand for cybersecurity professionals.
Cybersecurity is a fast-growing career field. The benefits of being a cybersecurity professional are numerous. Aside from being a career path in demand, cybersecurity professionals are also well paid for their services.
However, if you are interested in pursuing a degree in cybersecurity and are confused about what career path to consider. To save you trouble, in this article, we’ll explain five different cybersecurity career paths and jobs you can consider.
Information Security Analyst
One of the major career paths you can consider is being an information security analyst. What does an information security analyst do?
An information security analyst is always on the front line to prevent cyber attacks. He’s saddled with the responsibility of creating security strategies. These strategies are then implemented to secure stored information and data.
Also, an information security analyst also devises proper work ethics and policies. These policies are used to ensure compliance of other employees with standard regulations.
It is a senior-level category Cybersecurity career. It is ranked as the 4th best technology Job in the US News and Reports.
However, if you want to be an information security analyst, below are the requirements:
For an entry-level position, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in any information-related field. This could be in programming, computer science, etc.
But you’d need more education and field experience if you are aiming for a more advanced position. In addition to this, you’ll need more certifications beyond a bachelor’s degree.
The needed certifications vary based on the position you are applying for. However, the most common is
- CompTIA’s Network+,
- CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst, and
- CompTIA’s security+ certifications.
Below is a list of other certifications less commonly required:
- EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Certification
- GIAC Security Essentials Certification
- Certified Security Analyst Training
- CompTIA Security Analytics Expert certification
- CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
The average annual salary of an information security analyst ranges from $102000-$105000.
Cybersecurity Specialist, CS
They are also referred to as information security specialists or security specialists. A cybersecurity specialist handles implementing security audits for system software and hardware.
In addition, you’ll also test and provide security measures to secure classified information. A cybersecurity specialist should be to assess and identify risks in different systems. Then his analysis, prevents the loss of data.
So, to succeed as a CS, you’ll need good risk analysis and critical thinking skills.
Like most other Cybersecurity jobs, you’ll need some years of experience. This requirement holds even if you applied for an entry-level position.
However, the years of experience required vary between companies. For an entry-level position, the average requirement is between 3-5 years. But for a mid-level position, you’ll need 5-8 years of experience in any information security-related field.
Below are the required certifications to work as a cybersecurity specialist.
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA),
- CompTIA Security+
- SANS/GIAC Certification or Certified
The average annual salary for a cybersecurity specialist ranges from $110000-$112000
If you are interested in designing, and maintenance of a cybersecurity system. Then, you can consider being a cybersecurity architect. These are the basic duties of a cybersecurity architect.
A cybersecurity architect is saddled with the responsibility of security structuring. He plans and designs the network security of an organization or a company.
Asides from certifications, you’ll need to be able to think critically. In addition to that, good communication skills are also required.
To be a professional, you’ll need in-depth knowledge of different operating systems. This includes working experience with Windows, Linux, and UNIX systems.
In addition, an understanding of wireless and virtual local area network security is needed.
Based on your position, there are different certifications required. However, the major certifications required are the CISSP or CISSP-ISSAP
Below is a list of other relevant certifications:
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- GIAC Defensible Security Architecture (GDSA)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
Annually, the average salary of a cybersecurity architect ranges from $150000-$180000.
Chief Information Security Officer
The Chief Information Security Officer, CISO career path is a senior-level position. It is often referred to as the pinnacle of a cybersecurity professional career.
A CISO oversees all information security processes in an organization. He reports directly to the CEO of a company.
However, other heads of information security departments give him reports. Then, use this information to provide strategies that can improve company security systems.
Educational certification and a master’s degree are important to fill a CISO role. However, practical experience in the information security field is considered more important.
This is because, as a CISO, you need to possess good leadership skills. You’ll also need the ability to think critically to manage different information and security events.
One of the most important certifications you’ll need in order to be a CISO is the Certification in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC). Other certifications include the CISA, CISM, etc.
As expected, the annual salary is on the high side. It ranges from $203000-$205000.
Penetration testing is one of the most interesting career paths in cybersecurity. As the name implies, a penetration tester acts as a potential hacker. He tries to breach a company’s security system. This is to test the strength of a company’s software security.
Furthermore, he conducts security tests to discover vulnerabilities in a company’s security system. Then, these vulnerabilities and loopholes are removed to strengthen the company’s information security.
As an entry-level penetration tester, a bachelor’s degree in information security is required. However, for mid and senior-level penetration testers, a more advanced degree with years of experience is required.
Furthermore, you need an in-depth knowledge of various coding languages such as Python, Java, etc.
Below is a list of various certifications you can get to fill penetration tester positions in a company:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GPET)
- Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT
- CompTIA PenTest+
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
- Certified Penetration Tester (CPT)
The average annual salary of a penetration tester ranges from $100000-$102000.
The cybersecurity field is very wide. There are various in-demand career paths you can decide to pursue. But, in this article, we’ve been able to give a summary of some career paths and jobs you can consider in the cybersecurity field.