As more and more companies fall victim to cyber attacks, the demand for employees who can manage and prevent these digital infringements are in extremely high demand. Cisco, the worldwide leader in information technology and networking, estimated the number of cyber security job openings at one million, according to a 2015 report. Moreover, the demand for cyber security professionals is expected to climb to six million by 2019.
“Cyber security hiring challenges will be impacted by the Internet of Everything (IoE), which represents an unprecedented opportunity to connect people, processes, data, and things,” the same report explains. “While IoE will create new operating models that drive both efficiency and value, it may also become the world’s most challenging cyber security threat, because as customers embrace IoE, they must bring together IT and operational technology, giving adversaries new targets such as vehicles, buildings, and manufacturing plants.”
Cyber security is an industry in which the “good guys” must flex their cyber-muscles to keep the “bad guys” — hackers — from breaching a company’s data. No organization or individual with an online presence is immune to a cyber attack, which is why cyber security is anticipated to grow from $75 billion in 2015 to a $170 billion industry by 2020.
Companies in industries such as retail, finance, and education are searching for professionals who can design and implement practices for comprehensive information security that can cover a broad range of business security priorities.
Maryville University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security degree that can give graduates the tools they need to be workforce ready, regardless of previous experience. Equally beneficial to newcomers, career changers, and tech junkies, the BSCS program allows students to choose from three tracks: cyber security, offensive cyber security, or defensive cyber security.
Five Top Careers In Cyber Security
The typical entry-level education for a career in cyber security is a bachelor’s degree. Some of the most common job titles include:
1. Information Security Analyst
Newbies in the field usually start out as information security analysts, a job that ranked eighth in U.S. News and World Report’s list of the 100 best jobs for 2015. Also, jobs in information security analysis, in particular, are expected to grow nearly 37 percent through 2022, according to the publication.
Information security analysts plan and carry out security efforts to protect a company’s computer networks and systems. They must continually stay a step ahead of hackers, keeping up on the latest methods the cyber attackers are using to infiltrate networks. Information security analysts research new security technologies and attend cyber security conferences to hear from others in the field who have experienced the newest types of attacks.
They are also heavily involved with designing their organization’s disaster recovery plan, which can include preventive measures such as transferring data to an offsite location and restoring appropriate information technology (IT) functioning after a disaster.
The median pay for information security analysts was $92,600 in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
2. Computer and Information Systems Manager
Computer and information systems managers plan, direct, and coordinate computer-related activities within an organization. They help determine IT goals and implement computer systems to meet these aims.
Types of computer and information systems managers include chief information officers (CIOs), chief technology officers (CTOs), IT directors, and IT security managers.
The average annual salary for computer and information systems managers in 2016 was $135,800, according to the BLS. In addition, job opportunities in the field are anticipated to grow 15 percent by 2024 as more companies expand their business to digital platforms.
3. Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects, also called network engineers, create and build data communication networks, such as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets. Always keeping security in mind, they also implement security patches and other countermeasures when network vulnerabilities arise.
The median salary for computer network architects was $101,210 in 2016, according to the BLS. Employment in the field is projected to grow 9 percent by 2024 as organizations continue to expand their IT networks.
4. Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts study a company’s current computer systems and procedures and create information systems solutions for more efficient and effective operations. They bring IT and business together with the understanding of each area’s needs and limitations.
The average annual salary for computer systems analysts in 2016 was $87,220, according to the BLS. Also, job opportunities in the field are expected to grow 21 percent by 2024 due to increased cloud computing, mobile networks, and cyber security.
5. Network and Computer Systems Administrator
Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operations of an organization’s computer networks.
The median pay for network and computer systems administrators was $79,700 in 2016, according to the BLS. Employment is projected to grow 8 percent by 2024 as firms invest in newer and faster technology and mobile networks.
Job Duties Of A Cyber Security Professional
Depending on their industry and particular specialty, the job duties of cyber security professionals can vary and may include:
- Incident handling and response
- Access/identity management
- Intrusion detection
- Audit and compliance
- Security information and event management (SIEM)
- Firewall/intrusion detection system (IDS)/intrusion prevention system (IPS) skills
- Advanced malware prevention
- Application security development
- Cloud computing/virtualization
As an additional example, the Department of Homeland Security says it is currently recruiting cyber security professionals who have the following skills sets:
- Networks and systems engineering
- Vulnerability detection and assessment
- Cyber risk and strategic analysis
- Cyber incident response
- Digital forensics and forensics analysis
- Intelligence and investigation
- Software assurance
Professionals in the field of cyber security report earning an average salary of $116,000 — nearly triple the national median income of full-time wage and salaried employees, according to the BLS.
The tech job board DICE lists the top five salaries in IT security as lead software security engineer ($233,333), chief security officer ($225,000), global information security director ($200,000), chief information security officer ($192,500), and director of security ($178,333).
In addition, the top five industries for cyber security are banking/finance/insurance, information technology/management, government (defense), government (non-defense), and consulting/professional services, according to a SANS Institute Cyber Security Professional Trends survey.
Maryville University’s Online BS Degree In Cyber Security
The online bachelor’s in cyber security program at Maryville University is taught by a faculty of cyber security professionals who built the curriculum based on their experiences in the field. This direct connection to the cyber security world keeps students’ learning current and their professional network open, which can help them build the technical foundations needed for the front lines of digital defense.
Cyber security job openings, newbies, 100 best jobs
Internet of Everything
Industries searching for professionals
Five Top Careers
Department of Homeland Security skill sets
Top five salaries
Top five industries