How to Become a Cybersecurity Specialist Career Path and Job Description
Some organizations employ these specialists in entry-level roles, allowing them to develop on-the-job experience. The field of cyber security focuses on network and data protection at various levels. Whether looking for an accredited online program or a traditional on-campus program, students have many options when it comes to cyber security degrees. For those unsure which degree level they want to pursue, the table below looks at the options. IT security specialists and cybersecurity specialists perform similar jobs.
Cybersecurity defends against attacks on hardware, software, networks and users. In contrast, network security focuses on vulnerabilities in the connections between devices. Cybersecurity specialists perform crucial work in protecting sensitive digital information and communications. These professionals work with public and private employers of all sizes to ensure the safety of data for customers, government entities and healthcare organizations.
Cyber security experts typically have a computer science or engineering background and use their computing systems knowledge to design effective security solutions. In addition to their technical skills, cyber security experts must also be able to think strategically and stay up-to-date on the latest threat trends. Cybersecurity experts have the right skills and knowledge to spot suspicious communications before they become an issue. They can monitor the latest threats and shut them down before they cause damage to the business. Some organizations require a master’s degree to become a cybersecurity specialist, but not all.
Professionals pursuing higher-level positions may opt for a master’s or doctoral degree. People seeking a career change into the cybersecurity field and computer scientists looking to specialize can also earn a graduate degree in IT security. The good news is there’s no one education path to become a cybersecurity speciality; you have options.
How Do I Become a Cybersecurity Specialist?
The median salary for a cybersecurity professional depends on the position. For example, information security analysts earn a median salary of $103,590 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries are significantly higher in certain cities, such as San Francisco and New York. The skills required to work in cybersecurity vary depending on the position and company, but generally may include penetration testing, risk analysis, and security assessment. In order to truly excel in this field, you also need to be able to think critically, stay ahead of the curve, and be proactive in your approach to security.
- With so many agile project management software tools available, it can be overwhelming to find the best fit for you.
- With training and experience, candidates can also pursue other security specialties, such as computer forensics, penetration testing, and governance, risk, and compliance.
- In their role, Cybersecurity Analysts determine whether any weaknesses exist in information systems and develop strategies and solutions to fix these vulnerabilities.
- They maintain the security of a computer network through testing as well as virus protection and regular updates.
- A master’s degree takes an additional one to two years to complete after the bachelor’s degree-level and provides advanced instruction in protecting computer networks and electronic infrastructures from attack.
- Master’s degree programs in cyber security teach students how to be sophisticated practitioners in the industry as they protect vital computer networks and electronic infrastructures from attack.
Impact Scholarships Become a sponsor and contribute to diversity and accessibility in tech. Hire BrainStation Graduates Tap into our network of skilled graduates, get access to our hiring events, and more. Glassdoor estimates that the average pentester salary is around $69,123. Their findings and reports are crucial to improving a company’s security policies. Cryptographers encrypt sensitive organizational and personal data to enhance corporate privacy. Note that different organizations may have more or fewer qualifications or attach lesser or greater importance to any of the given criteria.
Finally, you’ll want to continue to update your training, skills, and knowledge. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that demand for Information Security Analysts will grow 28 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is roughly an increase of 28,500 jobs. Many businesses gather information from their customers, so customers need to feel that their data is in safe hands.
- Review professional expectations, median salaries, typical responsibilities, and required skills for security specialists.
- Users can search for cybersecurity positions and browse listings from high-profile companies.
- The field of cyber security focuses on network and data protection at various levels.
- Hackers are constantly evolving their methods, so keeping up with the latest news and research is important.
You will get on-hands training and practical lessons you need to sharpen your skills and enhance your overall productivity. This also includes self-paced learning and access to free papers online. Popular online learning platforms include Udemy, Udacity, and Coursera. More so, you will learn how to use an essay database as well as answering self-taught exercises online. However, essay writing is one skill you can’t do without while learning cybersecurity either in the classroom or online.
Finally, holding the position of security specialist might require helping co-workers adopt new technologies and security software as it develops. But most people are reluctant to change, especially if it requires learning a new operating procedure or work-flow. So the ability to articulate the reason for the change and the ability to relate to co-workers’ needs and objections how to become a security specialist is also important. Cybersecurity specialists are also responsible for continual monitoring security systems and networks for anomalies and tracking those activities in documents and reports. There are many pathways that people take to become a cybersecurity specialist, but they all involve some combination of education, specialized training, and experience.