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Cyber Security Career: The Top Ways to Break Into the Field

Staff @InterCoast

Staff @InterCoast

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Are you interested in a career in cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity careers can be very lucrative. Plus, it can be gratifying to work in a field where you’re helping to protect both individuals’ and businesses’ privacy. But how do you get a job in cybersecurity? What kinds of careers are available?

It turns out; there are a variety of great careers in this field. 

Check out this cybersecurity career guide to discover the best ways to break into the field. 

Data Security Analyst 

One of the best careers in the cybersecurity field is that of a cybersecurity analyst. 

As a data security analyst, you’ll work to protect the sensitive data that companies store. This may include everything from credit card details to billing information to customer data. 

A big part of this career involves working with cloud servers where data is stored. In this role, you’ll determine what data should be stored in the cloud. You’ll also create protocols to secure the information that companies store in the cloud. 

To become a data security analyst, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or engineering. 

Cyber Security Engineer 

Another great career to consider in the cybersecurity field is that of a cybersecurity engineer. 

In this role, you’ll prevent data breaches and minimize the impact of breaches that have already occurred. You’ll spend your time monitoring and securing networks and systems and encrypting programs, installing firewalls, and searching for system vulnerabilities. 

Additionally, you’ll likely spend some time educating companies on how to improve their security training strategies and programs. To become a cybersecurity engineer, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in engineering. After graduating, many also choose the earn a master’s degree or graduate certificate in cybersecurity. 

Chief Information Security Officer 

Chief information security officers, like other senior-level executives, are extremely well-paid. According to Payscale, the average salary for a chief information security officer is a little over $162,000, with some CISOs making over $500,000. 

Besides possessing the right tech skills, you’ll need to be incredibly business savvy to succeed as a CISO. In this role, you’ll oversee other security professionals and manage the company’s response team. You’ll be responsible for threat prevention, regulatory compliance, data privacy, and security practices. 

Typically, CISOs work alongside other chief information officers. This is because one of your job responsibilities will be to protect the company’s revenue. 

Here are some other things you’ll likely be responsible for as head of security:

  • Hiring and leading a team of IT security professionals
  • Working with key stakeholders to create a security risk management program
  • Creating strategies to deploy information security technologies
  • Spearheading security investigations and recommending courses of action in the event of a data breach

The road to becoming a CISO is long. Typically, you’ll need at least ten years of experience in the cybersecurity field before landing this job. 

To become a CISO, you’ll first need to earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in cybersecurity or other related fields. Then, you can enter the area as either an analyst or a programmer. Your next goal should be to get promoted to a job as an engineer, analyst, or consultant. 

During this time, you should also earn more certifications in the field and undergo more training. Once you have some experience under your belt, you can apply for a management position overseeing a security team. To get a leg up on the competition, you may also want to consider earning an MBA. 

Senior Security Consultant 

Another great career to consider is that of a senior security consultant. 

In this role, you’ll work to minimize the security risks of an organization. You’ll analyze current security settings, and based on your analysis; you’ll provide recommendations for better procedures, practices, tools, and software. 

Senior security consultants can be found wearing many hats. Some find themselves leading security training sessions for employees, while others find themselves participating in meetings to create new cybersecurity policies. 

To become a senior security consultant, you’ll need to earn a degree in information security, cybersecurity, or computer science. Typically, you’ll need to work at least a few years in the cybersecurity field before taking on this role. 

Penetration Tester

Penetration testers (also known as vulnerability analysts or ethical hackers) search for vulnerabilities and weaknesses within IT systems, applications, and networks. 

Typically, they use the same knowledge and tactics that criminal hackers do. To perform your job, you’ll use a series of tools to simulate real-life cybersecurity attacks. This will help you identify weak spots and improve an organization’s overall security. 

You’ll also be responsible for:

  • Designing and implementing new penetration tests and tools
  • Researching, documenting, and discussing security-related findings with IT teams and management
  • Uncovering holes in security and pinpointing the methods attackers use to exploit weaknesses in the system

To become a penetration tester, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in information technology or a related field. It’s best to pursue an entry-level role as a network engineer, system administrator, or security administrator. Once you’ve mastered ethical hacking skills through certification and training, you can apply for a role as a penetration tester. 

Are You Ready to Launch Your Cyber Security Career? 

Now that you’ve read this guide, it’s time to pick which path is right for you to launch your cybersecurity career. Pretty soon, you’ll be enjoying a lucrative career in this field. 

If you’re interested in starting a cybersecurity career, the first place to start is with a degree. Check out this guide to learn all about our associate’s degree in cybersecurity. 



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