With the job market being as volatile as it has been for the past year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are very few careers and job profiles that can be considered secure in the rapidly changing landscape. One of these sectors includes jobs that are primarily Internet and technology-based.
As individuals, companies, businesses, schools, and even whole industries continue to transition online into the digital sphere to keep themselves afloat and functioning amidst these unprecedented times, the need for robust online security has risen exponentially. In the words of Ksenia Peguero, the Senior Research Lead at Synopsys: “There always will be security vulnerabilities, and we need to embrace it. It just means we will need more security professionals in the future.” This is supported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which projects that the cybersecurity sector alone is likely to grow at a whopping rate of 37% till the year 2022, which is much higher than other conventional job sectors.
What degrees can help boost your profile in cybersecurity job applications?
There are a couple of basic and advanced courses that look great on a resume while applying for a job in the cybersecurity sector, no matter the job profile. Some of them are the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) Training Course in Security, a Python Fundamentals Training Course, and CompTIA Linux+ Training Course. Some universities, like the University of San Diego, even offer Master’s degrees in cybersecurity. Alternatively, you could also look up the top cybersecurity courses that would be perfect for your set of skills, career path, and goals.
For any potential job seeker with a background in Information Technology and focused on cybersecurity, this time is an unparalleled boon. The career opportunities for such candidates are virtually endless, so we have put together a list of the best entry-level cybersecurity jobs for those who are just embarking on what will be a long and fulfilling career.
1. Information Technology Specialist or Technician
Job Description/ Key Skills: Expectations are that you should be adept with information security, information systems, and assurance, NIST cybersecurity framework, network and security, Linux, depending on your assessment of the vulnerability of your assigned networks.
Degree(s) or Qualification(s) Required: CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), or CISSP
Average Salary (in $ USD): $ 90,000 per annum
2. Incident Analyst or Reporter
Job Description/ Key Skills: The job of an incident analyst requires knowledge of information security, information systems, project management, technical support, Linux, and security operations to detect malfunctions in the program.
Degree(s) or Qualification(s) Required: CompTIA Security+, GIAC Certified Incident Handler, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Certification, or CISSP
Average Salary (in $ USD): $ 87,00 per annum
3. Systems Administrator
Job Description/ Key Skills: The work of a system administrator entails the setting up, proper and regular maintenance, and managing the computer network system of a particular company. They are responsible for ensuring optimal performance and all-around security, troubleshooting computer hardware, software, and network problems. This career path ultimately leads to the role of a Systems Architect.
Degree(s) or Qualification(s) Required: Bachelor’s in Computer Science or Computer Engineering, CompTIA, Linux Professional Institute Certifications (LPIC)
Average Salary (in $ USD): $82,000 per annum
4. Information Technology Auditor
Job Description/ Key Skills: An applicant for an Information Technology auditor is expected to have specialized skills in information systems, network, and information security, audit planning, internal auditing, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), accounting, and risk assessment.
Degree(s) or Qualification(s) Required: Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), CISSP, ITIL, Information Systems Certification
Average Salary (in $ USD): $ 95,000 per annum
5. Cyber Crime Analyst or Investigator
Job Description/ Key Skills: Cybercrime Analysts or Investigators understand a network system can be compromised by malware and attacks through the knowledge and methodologies of digital forensics. Their job entails identifying, extricating, securely preserving, analyzing, and reporting cybercrime evidence in the occurrence of a cybercrime attack.
Degree(s) or Qualification(s) Required: CISSP, EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE), or GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH).
Average Salary (in $ USD): $ 90,000 per annum
6. Junior Penetration Tester
Job Description/ Key Skills: Usually, Penetration Tester teams are composed of Junior and Senior level Testers. A Junior Penetration Tester is employed to assist senior-level penetration testers to purposely breach their clients’ computing networks and security systems to identify network vulnerabilities and thus troubleshoot them. They analyze IT systems, create final reports, develop tools to run checks, and improve the hardware and software to amp up security. This entry-level job can put you on the path to ultimately becoming a Penetration Tester or an Ethical Hacker.
Degree(s) or Qualification(s) Required: Degrees in computer science, computing and information systems, or cybersecurity, GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN), Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), GIAC Exploit Researcher, and Advanced Penetration Tester (GXPN)
Average Salary (in $ USD): $80,000 per annum
Like with every other field, internships are the best springboard into the cybersecurity industry. They provide you with much-needed practical skills by putting your theoretical know-how to work. They teach you teamwork and how to adapt to situations. It does not hurt that they also provide a massive boost to your CV. Look for cybersecurity internship opportunities that will push you out of your comfort zone and challenge you to broaden your skills. The stipend that you might get will vary from company to company, depending on your previous experience, qualifications, and profile. Still, Cybersecurity internships can pay anywhere between $30,000 per annum to $50,000 per annum.