Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand as businesses, and government organizations strive to secure their systems and mitigate cyber-attacks.

Besides the lucrative remuneration, the industry has a Zero Percent unemployment rate. Considering the increasing demand for security experts and the many perks offered by employers, it seems now is the best time to start a career in cybersecurity.

Choose Your Career Path

When you decide to pursue a career in cybersecurity, it’s important to decide which career path is most ideal for you. Before thinking about education, you ought to consider the two primary career paths in cybersecurity. And whichever career path you choose, there are multiple job options you can choose from, based on your specific skill set and interests.

  1. Cybersecurity Operations and Leadership Route

The first option revolves around cybersecurity operations and leadership. This route requires a wide skillset and an appetite for continuous learning. To succeed in this role, you need to have a thorough understanding of IT systems and processes, strong leadership capabilities and diverse cybersecurity risk management skills.

Cybersecurity professionals with substantial specialized education and experience can pursue lucrative job options, including:

  • Information Security Analyst
  • Lead Software Security Engineer
  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Global Information Security Director
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Consultant
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Specialist
  • Cybersecurity Architect

Cybersecurity Engineering Route

The second option to consider is the cybersecurity engineering option. This career path is best suited to people with engineering education and work experience. Most importantly, you should be interested in learning about building secure systems and mitigating threats.

Information security engineers with adequate education and refined skill set for building secure systems can find various jobs, including:

  • Cybersecurity Architect
  • Lead Software Security Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Engineer

Education and Certifications

Earning a cybersecurity degree is the first step towards launching your career in the lucrative field. If you have a background in information security, the options can be diverse.

Most people aiming to climb up the cybersecurity career ladder often start with an undergraduate degree in computer science, information systems, and information technology. After gaining adequate experience in the field, you can pursue a master’s degree in IT or cybersecurity operations to expand your opportunities and improve your appeal for higher-level positions.

If you are considering the engineering route in cybersecurity, you can start with a degree in engineering before seeking specialized experience in cybersecurity. You can accomplish this either through direct work experience or through a master’s degree program in cybersecurity.

Regardless of the career path you choose, education in cybersecurity is vital. Typically, the primary reason for the burgeoning skills gap in cybersecurity is that employers have trouble finding professionals with advanced education and high-level skills needed in this field.

In order to secure a cybersecurity job quickly, you need to earn industry certifications in specific areas and subject matter that you specialize in. Some of the most sought-after certifications in the cybersecurity industry include:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Job Roles and Opportunities in Cybersecurity

While the increasing incidents of cybercrime are nothing to celebrate, it means now is the most appropriate time to jumpstart your career in cybersecurity.

Typically, cybersecurity professionals have diverse responsibilities, but their main job is to secure online data. As more and more business and personal data is stored online, it is becoming more important to beef up cybersecurity, and there is a growing number of unfilled cybersecurity positions. Notably, the jobs are projected to grow since cyber threats are getting more sophisticated and businesses struggle to recruit security experts with the right skill set and knowledge.

However, cybersecurity careers tend to be complex as many different roles can be found with banks, retailers, and government agencies. And due to the rising frequency of sophisticated cyber-attacks, career requirements may vary, but qualified professionals are always in high demand.

If you want to get into this fast-paced career, below are some of the job roles you can get as a cybersecurity professional.

  • Security Specialist -Often entry-level role with a huge potential for growth
  • Security Administrator –Ensure the smooth running of security systems
  • Security Manager –manage a team of experts keeping systems secure
  • Chief Information Security Officer –Possess diverse expertise in systems security and business acumen
  • Security Director –Design security protocols, policies, and rules and solve complex security problems
  • Security Engineer –Design and build IT security systems for organizations
  • Incident Responder – prevent cyber threats and respond after threat incidents
  • Security Architect – Design tough security systems to outsmart cybercriminals
  • Security Auditor -Find the most vulnerable spots in security systems before criminals
  • Security Consultant – Provide expert advice and implement security solutions
  • Vulnerability Assessor -Identify system vulnerabilities and design appropriate security solutions

Conclusion

We are in the digital era, and almost all businesses in every industry require a security professional with the skillset to build secure systems and prevent cyber threats. With the burgeoning shortage of qualified cybersecurity personnel, now is the most appropriate time to start a career in cybersecurity.

If you have the right education and adequate experience in information security, there are plenty of lucrative job opportunities across various sectors.

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