Careers in Cybersecurity

Careers in Cybersecurity: 6 In-Demand Opportunities

Security software developer testing new security technologies across different devices.

These days, just about everything is computerized. Businesses rely on digital tools to run day-to-day operations, and individuals utilize technology for everything from banking to tracking their personal health.

But with practically every digital interaction, there is a potential security risk. That’s why demand is so high for skilled cybersecurity professionals who can mitigate potential vulnerabilities.

If you’re drawn to the prospect of using your knowledge and skills to help to provide secure digital environments in virtually any industry, you’ll be happy to hear that cybersecurity careers are vast.

Why work in cybersecurity?

While it’s not surprising to hear that cybersecurity career opportunities have grown rapidly in recent years, the actual metrics are quite staggering. From 2013 to 2021, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs grew by an astonishing 350 percent—and that growth isn’t expected to stop anytime soon.

So long as our society continues to rely on advancements made possible by digital tools, there will always be a need for secure and reliable computer infrastructure, software, and networks. Cybersecurity professionals play an integral role in this effort. In fact, computer and information technology (IT) occupations rank among the highest-paying and most in-demand careers.

For that reason, potential cybersecurity career settings can vary widely. In addition to working for cybersecurity companies, experts in the field are needed in healthcare organizations, government agencies, banking and financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, and just about everywhere in between.

Job titles themselves will also vary, but cybersecurity professionals are generally expected to maintain expertise in the following areas:

  • Cybersecurity theory
  • Risk analysis
  • Cyber incident response
  • Digital forensics
  • Network and system engineering
  • Network security
  • Cyberlaw and policy
  • Cryptography
  • Software assurance

6 in-demand cybersecurity careers

Cybersecurity combines the fields of computer science and IT with concepts related to ethics, law, criminal justice, and human behavior. There are upwards of three dozen specialty areas within the field, leading to numerous distinct work roles.

Among the many cybersecurity careers you’ll come across, the following six are in particularly high demand:

1. Cybersecurity engineer

In this role, professionals spend time identifying threats and vulnerabilities in computer systems and software. Cybersecurity engineers are experts at designing, developing, and implementing secure network solutions to protect networks and data systems from hackers, cyberattacks, and other forms of digital crime.

2. Security software developer

Also referred to as network security engineers, these cybersecurity experts are involved in the entire lifespan of a software program. Security software developers design and test new security technologies, integrate the latest software to best meet organizational needs, and implement upgrades related to software safety and efficacy. In short, they create safe, efficient software programs and applications.

3. Information security analyst

Professionals working as information security analysts are tasked with planning and implementing security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. This includes monitoring networks for security breaches, scanning for vulnerabilities, developing security standards, recommending security enhancements, and curating a cyber incident response plan.

As such, information security analysts must stay up to date on IT security tools and the latest methods attackers are using to infiltrate computer systems.

4. Network and computer systems administrator

In this role, cybersecurity experts are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the computer networks organizations rely on. They organize, install, and support these computer systems, including local area networks, wide area networks, network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.

Administrators work to continually evaluate and optimize system performance. They may also work alongside network architects to design and analyze new network models.

5. Computer and information systems managers

Also referred to as information security managers or IT managers, these cybersecurity professionals plan, coordinate, and direct the digital activities within an organization. This involves helping to determine the IT goals, as well as implementing the computer systems needed to make those initiatives possible.

In addition to the technical skills required for this role, computer and information systems managers will need to participate in cost-benefit analyses of new and existing projects, plan and direct the work of other IT professionals, and even negotiate with vendors to acquire the highest level of service for the organization’s technology.

6. IT security consultant

Also referred to as cybersecurity consultants, these IT experts are crucial to the digital security of government and private organizations alike. IT security consultants use their extensive knowledge of databases, networks, hardware, firewalls, and encryption to assess existing infrastructures and systems for weaknesses. They then develop and implement security solutions to prevent unauthorized access, data modification, or data loss.


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