5 Jobs in Cyber Security to Consider


Illustration of five jobs in cyber security to consider right now.

There are 300,000 openings for cyber security jobs in the United States. You just need one.

But how do you narrow those down in a field that is not only in demand, but also constantly evolving to keep pace with changes in technology and increasingly savvy cybercriminals?

First, sharpen your skills as much as possible. In addition to what you may be learning in the classroom and from your professors and fellow students, attend security conferences. Talk to the people you meet there. Explore ethical hacking and compete in hacking contests.

Looking for other ideas to expand your cyber security bandwidth? Enroll in SANS courses. Contribute to open-source projects. Complete an internship.

Those experiences will grow your contact list and give you insight into your strengths and interests. Jobs in cyber security vary in terms of responsibilities but have the same end goal: to protect data against unrelenting threats.

Here are five jobs in cyber security to consider.

1. Cyber Security Engineer

A cyber security engineer builds and protects computer networking systems from unauthorized access by potential hackers and cyberattacks. This career relies heavily on math, science and, of course, computer science—you’ll need to have an understanding of system infrastructure and encryption, plus the ability to detect and thwart viruses and phishing attempts.

Cyber security engineers take on leadership roles, directing an IT team to build emergency plans and supervising changes to software, hardware and telecommunications. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cyber security engineers make an annual salary of $107,000 to $127,000.

2. Cyber Security Analyst

A cyber security analyst determines what tools will work best to monitor network activity. They identify network vulnerabilities, recommend changes to improve security and apply security protocols.

At the same time, a cyber security analyst is also something of a soothsayer—anticipating future flaws and customizing software to meet the firm’s or agency’s needs. The median annual salary for a cyber security analyst is more than $98,000.

3. Network Engineer or Architect

Network engineers, sometimes called network architects, focus specifically on designing security systems that will stave off malware and intrusions by attackers. They test for vulnerabilities and provide audits of the security systems.

In addition, network engineers have a role in implementing employee protocols and training workers to keep systems safe. Along with their managerial duties, they must stay up to date on current trends. Network engineers earn about $100,000 a year, on average.

4. Systems Engineer

Computer science, engineering, mathematics and analytics all play a part in the job of a systems engineer, who is tasked with building a system to meet the needs of a business or government agency. The systems engineer monitors and manages hardware and software.

Systems engineers provide guidance on projects, documenting specifications about system design and installation. They also weigh how stable and scalable a system’s infrastructure is and determine whether or not to upgrade them. Systems engineers typically make about $86,000 annually.

5. Security Auditor

As the name of the role suggests, security auditors assess computer security systems to ensure they are, in fact, secure. From there, they produce detailed reports that delineate any effectiveness gaps and propose improvements. The average annual salary of $92,000 comes with a hefty responsibility: ensuring companies are safe from cybercriminals and terrorists.

Some additional skills factor into the job. For example, security auditors sort through data to demonstrate what’s working and what can be improved. Then, they produce cost-benefit analyses for any suggested upgrades.

What Are the Educational Requirements for Jobs in Cyber Security?

A career in cyber security means you’ll never run out of things to learn, problems to solve and job paths to pursue. Elmhurst University offers an online undergraduate certificate in cyber security that’s perfect for busy professionals.

Request information about our cyber security certificate program below.

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Posted July 8, 2019

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