Are you interested in working in IT and cybersecurity and want to know where to begin? Read on for more specifics about the field of cybersecurity, how to get involved and when you can get started.
Main Takeaways: Getting a Cyber Security Job
- Cybersecurity is a very technical field. Positions vary based on duties and can range anywhere from repetitive tasks to leading an entire team.
- A degree is not always necessary for this work. However, having at least a bachelor's degree or specific certifications will help you stand out among other applicants.
- People in cybersecurity need a range of skills. These skills include intuition, communication and more.
Overview: What’s Cybersecurity?
Information technology, or IT, covers the ins and outs of computing technology. It includes the devices, their networks and the people who work with them. The beginning of the IT labor field dates back to 1945, with the first blueprint of the computer. Over time, this led to the creation of data storage and the internet.
Nearly 75 years later, as technology becomes inexplicably more complex, it also becomes more vulnerable to cyberattacks. This growing instability heightens the number of security breaches elevates the need for cybersecurity experts.
What Are People with Cybersecurity Jobs Responsible For?
IT and cybersecurity workers’ sole duty is to create, modify and secure all technologies and systems in the company. They oversee those within the IT department, the behavior of the company staff and their upkeep with security requirements.
Someone who works in IT and cybersecurity may:
- Identify, analyze and experiment with new ways to secure various computer systems
- Evaluate potential security threats
- Stay informed on international news regarding the growing IT cycle
- Write and outline technical reports
- Utilize firewalls, passwords and encryption when breaches occur
Do I Need a Computer Science Degree to Work in this Field?
A computer science degree is not necessary to work in cybersecurity and IT. You can come from any background to be eligible, whether you’re an English major or have a sociology degree.
A computer science degree does provide a solid foundation so you can succeed in the field. There are also alternate courses and programs you can take so you can understand the logistics behind cybersecurity. As long as you’re passionate about cybersecurity, you can come from any background and be eligible.
You should have one particular certification if you are seriously considering working in the field, called the Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification (CISSP). Many IT employers look for this certification to identify whether an applicant has a baseline knowledge in information technologies.
Types of Cybersecurity Jobs and Titles
IT and cybersecurity can seem broad and difficult to navigate. Here are a few different cybersecurity roles that fall under the cybersecurity umbrella.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts prepare and implement security measures in order to protect a company’s computer network and systems. These measures may include monitoring potential security breaches, installing software and creating the company’s disaster recovery plan.
Cybersecurity consultants deal with businesses and whether or not they meet their security requirements. They analyze the risk factors and potential solutions with the people in the business itself.
Since many current businesses utilize cloud computing software, it’s important for cybersecurity consultants to understand the requirements for protecting their private information.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts, also known as IT project managers, help plan and organize computer-related activities within an organization. They analyze the computer systems in the organization, work with other IT professionals to help tinker with, install and maintain the organization’s strongest and most reliable computer systems.
Database administrators store and organize data for a company and utilize unique software. They make sure that this data can only be visible to those authorized to see it and test modifications to ensure safety and security for the data. Since many databases hold a number of financial and personal information, security is extremely important for this job.
Salary for Cybersecurity Jobs
The median salary for cybersecurity jobs was $86,320 in May 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Various job salaries in the field range from $52,470 to $118,370.
Projected Growth Rate of the Cybersecurity Field
In the coming years, jobs in the cybersecurity field — specifically those from security analysts — are expected to grow 28% by 2026 and 56% within the IT field itself.
This is much faster than the average 7% in all job fields and the average 13% in the IT field. The number of company cyberattacks continues to skyrocket and the demand for employees who understand cybersecurity also increases.
Not only is cybersecurity aid needed for financial institutions and corporations, but the growing healthcare industry also needs help ensuring the privacy of medical patients in its databases.
The combination of large-scale measures for the economy, jobs in this field become an irreplaceable treasure for the safety of both individual and institutional privacy. As more companies adopt the necessary cloud services for their large amounts of stored and shared data, the demand for experienced and passionate cybersecurity workers also increases.
How to Get a Job in the Cybersecurity Field
Get a job in the IT and cybersecurity field by taking 4 key steps:
- Recognize: Identify and adapt your credentials. Do you need more baseline knowledge of CS and IT? Have you acquired your CISSP?
- Research: Look at the descriptions of different jobs in the field and identify where you personally see yourself.
- Network: Reach out to people currently working in the field, ask questions and find out how you can become successful at cybersecurity.
- Apply: Search for job offers online and apply for positions that appeal to you.
Top Skills to Be Successful in Cybersecurity
Let’s look at some specific skills that may help you achieve success in the cybersecurity field.
Not only should you be familiar with specifics within the IT field, but you should also be intuitive with how you adapt to new ideas and formulas. You will be working with different networks and software for different organizations, so it’s important to be flexible and knowledgeable so you can succeed while helping others with cybersecurity.
In order to ensure that the organization is safe and following all security regulations, it’s your duty to talk to other staff and executives to help raise awareness and prevent a cyber attack. It’s important to have strong communication skills to introduce new software and regurgitate information to your organization.
You’ll find that you’ll encounter multiple trial and errors when you work in cybersecurity. As new software and developmental programs are updated each day, you’ll need to be able to adapt to new ideas all the time.
Data breaches and cyberattacks increase dramatically and the invention of new ideas to combat these constant threats should as well. Cybersecurity workers should combine knowledge, skills and experience to formulate new and exciting solutions for the future.
The Next Step for Cybersecurity
The IT and cybersecurity field constantly changes with the development of technology and its users. You’re guaranteed to shift and adapt with the growing industry. Get educated and certified in the field so you can protect large-scale organizations and their consumers.