Although cybersecurity used to be a career path that was only applicable to government agencies and defense contractors, there are now many businesses and corporations that hire cybersecurity experts to work on staff. Industries like healthcare, finance and retail all work with cybersecurity professionals to ensure their technology systems are safe from cyber attacks.
Cybersecurity jobs are growing rapidly. The increased demand for cybersecurity experts means the career paths they follow can be lucrative. Cybersecurity experts start out by earning a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity degree before moving into advanced coursework once they are on the job. The more formal training a cybersecurity expert has in the field, the higher the salary they can negotiate.
Let's take a look at the most lucrative cybersecurity careers in the workforce.
Chief Information Security Officer
A chief information security officer (CISO) oversees a company's IT security division. They plan and coordinate all computer, network and data security needs. One of their main functions is to hire the best cybersecurity professionals to their team. The CISO needs a strong background in IT security and strategy. They also are called upon to communicate between multiple stakeholders.
While a CISO may get hired with just a bachelor's degree in cyber or information security, they are more likely to command a strong salary if they have a Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree, or an MBA in a related field.
Forensic Computer Analyst
Forensic computer analysts act as the detectives of the cybersecurity world. They review technology for evidence following a security breach or other incident. Their jobs include handling hard drives and other storage devices and employing specialized software programs in order to identify vulnerabilities and recover data from damaged or destroyed devices.
Computer analysts usually hold a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity, or one in forensic computing. Companies may also require experience in order to fill the role.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts (ISAs) are responsible for the protection of an organization's computer systems and networks. They plan and execute programs and other measures, including installing and using software for data encryption and firewalls. Additionally, ISAs help design and execute plans and methods for the recovery of data and systems following a cyberattack. ISAs stay on top of the latest industry trends and cyber threats, which involves researching new security technologies and networking with other professionals.
Some bachelor's degrees now allow students to specialize in information security. An information security analyst generally holds a bachelor's degree, and more of them are specializing in information security at the undergraduate level.
Penetration testers exploit discovered vulnerabilities within a computer or network with permission. They aim to discover vulnerabilities in operating systems, utilities, applications, improper configurations and more. Their goal is to find and fix these cybersecurity issues before hackers have the opportunity to cause real damage.
Penetration testers often hold bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity. Because they work with sensitive material, they may also often required to be trained in advanced methodologies and techniques within the industry.
Security architects establish and maintain network security for an organization. They are found in all sectors of the economy, working for companies, government agencies and nonprofits. In addition to working on specific security systems, security architects develop and implement organization security policies and procedures for employees and others with access to computer, network and data systems.
A bachelor's degree in cybersecurity is generally required to become a security architect. In addition, because of the leadership role that comes with being a security architect, companies like to hire people with previous experience.
IT Security Engineer
IT security engineers are responsible for the design of security systems to counter potentially catastrophic issues. Security engineers are often involved in systems maintenance, performing security checks to identify potential vulnerabilities, as well as keeping logs and developing automation scripts to track security incidents.
An IT security engineer often holds degrees in either electrical engineering or computer science. However, graduating with a cybersecurity degree and holding a professional certification, or having previous work experience in the field, can help people get these types of jobs.
Security Systems Administrator
Security systems administrators are in charge of installing, administering, maintaining and troubleshooting computer, network and data security systems. The main distinction between security systems administrators and other cyber security professionals is that the security systems administrator is normally the person in charge of the daily operation of those security systems. Their responsibilities include systems monitoring and running regular backups, and setting up, deleting and maintaining individual user accounts.
Some security systems administrators can find work with an associate degree in computer science. However, most businesses are looking for job candidates who have at least a bachelor's degree with some work experience.
IT Security Consultant
IT security consultants meet with clients to advise them on how to best protect their organizations' cyber security objectives efficiently and cost effectively. As an IT Security Consultant, you may have long, flexible hours and may have a fair amount of traveling to client business locations.
There are many high-paying jobs available for cybersecurity degree holders. Join the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity degree program at Grand Canyon University to get on the career path in this rapidly growing IT field.