Cybersecurity Career Paths Guide

Top Cybersecurity Career Paths

A career in cybersecurity holds lucrative options and flexible paths, which brings about joining a booming industry where applicable jobs outnumber eligible candidates.  This is becoming one of the most sought-after career paths.

With the surge in instant data generation and exchange at high speed, the urge for data protection arises. This has led to a lot of people considering going down cybersecurity career paths.

To safeguard data, leading companies demand cybersecurity professionals who can protect computer networks and organizations’ confidential information.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the covid-19 pandemic led to a boost in cybersecurity-related jobs. 

An expected increase in cybersecurity jobs by 33% between 2020 and 2030. This is due to the rising demand for security analysts in the industry.

Cybersecurity specialized roles are slowly turning up as the career creates more relevancy.

Learn about the most popular Cybersecurity career paths within this high-demand field in this article that matches your set of interests in the world of information security.

Table of Contents

- Tips to Start a Cyber Security Career

- Levels of Cybersecurity Careers Paths

- Top 6 Cybersecurity Career Paths

- Cybersecurity Salary as per Glassdoor Report

- FAQs

- Outlook for Cybersecurity Career

Tips To Start a Cyber Security Career

Here are the essential points for individuals to build their careers in the cybersecurity field:

- Earn the basic qualifications and specialization course in cybersecurity.

- Get Certification and skills.

- Obtain employment or work experience to build a strong portfolio.

- Excel in your career and higher up to the next level.

Levels Of Cybersecurity Careers Paths

Having a degree in the required field is a bonus but necessarily not required for an applicant for a cybersecurity job applying.

For starting into a cybersecurity role at an entry level, it is relevant to acquire core IT skills in networks and systems administration, cloud computing, and programming.

Let us get some context into various Job titles at different levels of Cybersecurity career paths.

Entry Level

IT Auditor, Cyber Crime Analyst, Help Desk Technician, Network Administrator, Software Developer, Junior Information Security Analyst, and many more.

Mid Level

Cybersecurity Analyst, Cybersecurity Consultant, Penetration and Vulnerability Tester

Senior Level

Cybersecurity Architect, Cybersecurity Manager, Cybersecurity Engineer

Top 6 Cybersecurity Career Paths

Depending on your interest and goals, you can switch roles with career directions that provide you an edge over others in the same field. Your interests should be the best way to guide you down cybersecurity career paths.

There are many popular profiles like security architect, security engineer, and security analyst for aspiring professionals to choose from.

As you upgrade your career, take a glance at some of the popular cybersecurity career paths to explore and specialize in.

Security Analyst

A security analyst is proactive in digital security and installs company security measures, analyzes companies’ protocols and policies, and performs an audit to determine company digital security.

They monitor networks and devices, investigate cybersecurity incidents, perform configuration and customization of the said software, and audit the security budget with contractors for any security purposes.

According to the US Bureau of Statistics, the average salary for a security analyst is $102,600 per year and $49.33 per hour.

Skill Sets

Communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, risk management, software, data analysis, cloud computing, business software, security hacker, collaboration, analysis, and attention to detail.

Education Qualification and Requirements

The basic requirements are:

- Bachelor’s degree at minimum in computer science, information systems, or related field.

- Prior experience in Information security

- Identifying and mitigating cybersecurity problems

- Grasping solutions like anti-malware, anti-virus, firewalls, proxies, SIEM, etc.

Security Engineer

The role of a security engineer is to safeguard an organization's network and systems from cybersecurity attacks and breaches, ensure Confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA) of information, troubleshoot the network, and implement, plan, monitor, and upgrade security infrastructure.

The role of a security engineer cannot be understated in safeguarding the networks of an organization.

Apart from protecting sensitive data, creating a secure system to prevent account hack takeover and ensure reinforced network infrastructure. Security engineers also have to take care of infrastructure maintenance and upgrades.

According to PayScale, a security engineer earns an average salary of $137,000 to $96,000 a year. This makes the profile of a security engineer a lucrative profile to consider.

Skill Sets

- Understanding computer code, ability to investigate and deal with malware or virus

- Computer forensics and security breach protocols

- Risk assessment technologies

- Knowledge of antivirus software, firewall preservation, and detecting cyberattacks

- Develop and implement security policies and procedures

- Tracking the latest IT trends

Education Qualification and Requirements

The basic requirements involve:

- Bachelor's degree at minimum in computer science, systems engineering, information technology, or related field.

- Experience in cybersecurity solutions like firewalls, antivirus, anti-malware, etc.

- Proficiency in Basic programming (C++, Java, Ruby, Python, etc.).

- Resolve security-related issues and handle pressure.

Security Architect

A security architect generates, build, test, and designs the security of a system and service. The security architect is who assembles the entire system.

The roles also review and maintain the company’s security documentation along with developing architecture patterns, and cost estimates, planning timelines for upgrades, administering regular security tests, and detecting vulnerabilities.

Professionals must tackle cybersecurity breaches under attack and security approaches to new technologies.

Skill Sets

Articulate, identify, and analyze issues, security architect, research and production, design secure system, security technology knowledge, security implications with business trends, policy, and process.

Education Qualification and Requirements

The least minimum requirement for a security architect involves:

- Bachelor’s degree at minimum in computer science, systems engineering, information technology, or a related field.

- Working experience above 5 years in cybersecurity management or IT risk management.

- Leadership, interactive skills, and collaboration.

- Advance cybersecurity certifications are an advantage

Chief Information Security Officer

CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) manages information security and ensures overall IT and information assets are effectively protected by an organization's standards.

Responsibilities involve leadership, hiring, managing, and collaborating IT professionals across varying departments, evaluating software up-gradation and launches, ensuring network upgrades refraining from disabling or settling privacy, IT expertise, risk, and compliance management.

Skill Sets

Communication, budget and fiscal management, database security, application security, systems security, digital forensics, identity management, disaster recovery, data and information management, incident management, policy development and administration, political skills, planning and strategic management, regulation and stranded compliance, risk assessment and management, security architecture, supervisory and more.

Education Qualification and Requirements

The basic requirement involves:

- Bachelor’s degree at minimum in information security, information systems, or computer science.

- Get work experience above 10 years in information security or risk management

- Knowledge of security frameworks, standards, and regulations namely HIPAA, HITECH, GDPR, PCI DSS, PSQIA, SO 27001, SOC, etc.

- Experience in determining policies and protocols.

Security Administrator

A security administrator administers, installs, and troubleshoots an organization's security solutions from unauthorized access, threats, or modification of data in adherence to the policies and regulations.

Their duties go around safeguarding against cybersecurity threats, ensuring defense measurements, monitoring website traffic, preventing website scraping, practicing the latest security patches or upgrades, and consulting teams with the best methods. According to PayScale, the median salary for a security administrator is $65,700.

Skill Sets

Information security, customer service, access control, data entry, active directory, SCI, security procedures, troubleshooting, identifying, and facility.

Education Qualification and Requirements

The basic requirement involves:

- Associate’s degree in minimum in computer science, cybersecurity, information technology, or a related field.

- Training certifications in cybersecurity

- Good interpersonal and communication skills

- Analytical and problem-solving abilities

Security Software Developer

A security software developer designs prototype solutions and develop software along with integrating effective software security.

That said, security software developers document the software life cycle and involves with the software's full life cycle developments.

It tests software vulnerabilities, and verifies, detects, identifies, and examines suspicious access.

Generally, experts consult a team of developers and facilitate plans as per the client's needs. According to the US Bureau of Statistics, a security software developer's median salary is $102,280.

Skill Sets

IP Security, C, C++, C#, SQL/SQLite, HTML, TCIP/IP, Python, Cloud Computing, Javascript/Angular JS, Blackbox testing, Whitebox testing, Unit testing, understanding of  Unix/Linux, OSX operating systems.

Education Qualification and Requirements

The basic requirement involves:

- An Associate’s degree at minimum in Computer Science, IT, cybersecurity, or a related field.

- Training certifications in cybersecurity (GSSP-Java, CSSLP, CES, CISSP. CompTIA Security+)

- Understanding of cybersecurity attack vectors

- Analytical and problem-solving

Recommended course – CISSP Certification Training

Cyber Security Consultant

A cyber security consultant proposes improvements and analyzes security systems, the networking infrastructure, data, and information systems against cyber threats.

This role aims to develop marketing strategy across various platforms, intrusion detection, provide advice on cybersecurity measures for client organizations for sensitive data, and determines marketing requirements.

Skill Sets

Security incident handling and response, analytics and intelligence, Firewall/IDS/IPS, knowledge of latest vectors, threats, and encryption technologies, SIEM management, and audit & compliance, social media tools, and strategies, cloud technology, and data.

Education Qualification and Requirements

The basic requirement involves:

- A bachelor’s degree at minimum in Computer Science, cybersecurity, business advertising, or a related field.

- Training certifications in cybersecurity

- Understanding of cybersecurity attack vectors

- Analytical and problem-solving

- Leadership and Educational

Recommended course – CISA Certification Training

Cybersecurity Salary as per Glassdoor Report

According to Glassdoor, the salary for the varying job titles is tabulated below:

Role/Designation

Average Salary (USD per year)

Intrusion detection specialist

$61,053

Junior cybersecurity analyst

$67,070

IT security administrator

$75,007

Digital forensic examiner

$75,265

Incident response analyst

$75,859

IT Auditor

$79,709

Cybersecurity consultant

$93,805

Information security analyst

$99,275

Ethical hacker

$101,165

Penetration tester

$102,405

Security engineer

$111,691

Cybersecurity manager

$132,180

Security architect

$153,751

Chief information security officer

$170,928

 
FAQs on Cybersecurity Career paths

1) What career paths are in cyber security?

Some of the cybersecurity career paths involve a career as Cybersecurity Engineer, Cybersecurity Analyst, Cybersecurity Architect, Cyber Crime Analyst, Cybersecurity Specialist, Cybersecurity Manager, Incident & Intrusion Analyst, IT Auditor, Networking Software Development, Penetration & Vulnerability Tester, and more.

2) Which career is best in cyber security?

A career in cybersecurity includes potential roles as Chief Information Security Officer, Security Architect, Computer Forensics Analyst, Cybersecurity Engineer, Malware Analyst, Penetration Tester, etc.

3) Is cybersecurity a good career?

Undoubtedly, careers in cybersecurity have a booming demand and hold great career options for professionals.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the employment of information security analysts has surged by 33%. Explore cybersecurity certifications for beginners.

Outlook for Cybersecurity Career Paths

With changing advancements in the digitalization world each year, there are significant reasons why cybersecurity becomes more relevant for business.

As advanced technology progresses, more companies and consumers become more open to victims of cyber breaches, cyberattacks, and cybercrimes.

Likely, companies and organizations take forward to hiring people with a career in cybersecurity.

To break down, cybersecurity professionals are in higher demand, with the majority of the people at the high end working in cybersecurity fields as per experience count.

Based on the skills count and starting point, there are few paths to entering the field of cybersecurity.

The job levels depend on the typical number of experiences with career stages (entry to senior). Salary is impacted by the size of the company, location, and designation.

There is not one specific certification that will qualify for every role for aspirants.

But, investing in security-focused IT certifications and training programs demonstrates your commitment to sharpening your IT acumen for aspiring cybersecurity applicants.

If you need information about top cybersecurity certifications for career growth, chat with our course expert.

Recommended reads:

Top Cybersecurity Interview Questions and Answers

List of Best Cybersecurity Certifications

Nchumbeni Yanthan 

Nchumbeni Yanthan 

Nchumbeni is a content writer creating high-quality, latest, and informative content. Her works majorly focus on concepts beneficial for professionals aspiring to enhance their careers.