When we brought you information about how rewarding cybersecurity is as a career, we wanted to provide you an introduction to this exciting field and its available career paths. Now it’s time to take a deep dive into one of the most important components of any cybersecurity job: the salary.
Kenzie Academy wants to give you a better understanding of how much cybersecurity jobs pay according to industry trends. But, before we begin, let’s take a look at the reason why cybersecurity professionals are so important in the tech industry and why they’re compensated in such appealing ways.
The Importance of Cybersecurity
In the past, your first pet’s name and your favorite number may have been enough of a password to keep your private information safe. Now, we’re asked to secure our data with lengthy, complex, and hard-to-remember passwords. Even then, we could still be at risk! If that’s the outlook individuals have, can you imagine the steps large corporations must take to stay safe?
A cyberattack can prove to be devastating to any company, potentially putting its entire existence at risk. It can expose confidential information, disrupt the systems a company uses to function properly, and can even cause millions of dollars in losses. This is where cybersecurity professionals come in. Their job is to prevent any of these costly scenarios from happening and these are the reasons why they’re in such high demand.
As we take a closer look at these cybersecurity jobs, it’s important to keep in mind that, much like in any other industry, trends are dependent on many other factors and can change at any given time. Advancement may also require continuing education or years of experience. Remember, the goal is to fully understand this dynamic industry, especially if you’re strongly considering entering in the near future as an entry level professional. Now, let’s take a look at various roles and day-to-day responsibilities — as well as median annual salaries for each, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.¹
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Computer networks are to organizations as what the road systems we use every day are to society. They enable corporations of all sizes to communicate and function in an effective manner. As you can imagine, corporations need experts to coordinate and connect all the network’s moving parts. This is where network and computer systems administrators come in.
A network and computer systems administrator’s job is to make sure an organization’s systems, local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets, and so many other components are updated and running as they should.
Network and computer systems administrators are always on the move. On a day-to-day basis, they’ll regularly:
- Evaluate the needs of their company’s network and react accordingly
- Improve network performance by installing or updating hardware and software
- Update security measures and permissions as needed
- Solve any issues that may arise if alerted by the organization’s monitoring system
As of 2020, network and computer systems administrators had a median annual salary of $84,810.
Information Security Analysts
The threats to an organization’s computer networks and systems are plenty and they can occur when least expected. It’s the reason why information security analysts are so important to companies around the world.
Information security analysts are tasked with the important job of planning security measures around their organization’s needs and executing them in a timely and effective manner. They are lookouts who monitor and respond to attacks, and gatekeepers who put all their effort into preventing these harmful situations.
Threats to the integrity of an organization don’t stop, and neither do an information security analyst’s attempts to stop them. Their duties typically include:
- Protecting their organization’s information by installing or updating security softwares such as firewalls and other programs
- Monitoring computer and network systems for any potential weaknesses
- Logging the number of breaches or attacks they’ve been subjected to
- Using collected data to recommend security improvements to supervising staff
Information security analysts have a median pay of $103,590 per year as of 2020.
Computer Support Specialists
No matter how established an organization may be, repairs and maintenance are inevitable. When they’re needed, it’s important for them to happen as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the door to threats can potentially remain wide open. Fortunately, this is where computer support specialists shine.
Their job is to monitor an organization’s computer and network systems closely and provide minor repairs when necessary. If a major issue is found under a computer support specialist’s watch, it’s their duty to inform their team immediately.
When it comes to a computer support specialist’s day-to-day activities, they will often:
- Provide their organization’s systems with regular maintenance
- Run tests to ensure systems are working properly
- Assist customers or employees with any hardware and/or software problems
- Log any recurring or major problems to inform other team members
The annual median pay for computer support specialists was $55,510 as of 2020.
Computer Network Support Specialists
If a person ever needs help with a computer network issue, their first move is usually to call their organization’s helpdesk. In most cases, a computer network support specialist will be on the other line, ready to lend a helping hand.
These individuals are always ready to provide their support and years of experience in the face of a network issue or readily available to help keep an organization’s data secure. They will often test and evaluate systems, and have an important role in providing routine maintenance to an organization’s networks.
On the job, computer network support specialists are regularly found performing duties such as:
- Backing up the organization’s data
- Identifying and reporting potential or active security breaches
- Evaluating and granting access or permissions for individuals within their organization
Computer network support specialists had a mean annual salary of $71,350 and a median salary of $62,760 as of May 2021.
Coding can be a very valuable tool in the cybersecurity world. In fact, some professionals are tasked with reading and evaluating source code, line by line, just to ensure it’s entirely free of weak points. To put it bluntly, a computer programmer’s mission is to write code and scripts, then modify and test them to ensure they work exactly as intended.
Coding is the thing computer programmers are known for whether they’re entry level or have years of experience. However, you can also regularly find them:
- Improving and augmenting the programs already in use by an organization
- Testing programs to determine if any errors are present
- Fixing any lines of code that could potentially be causing problems
Computer programmers have a median pay of $89,190 per year as of May 2020.
Computer Network Architect
So far, we’ve spent time talking about the many ways in which an organization’s networks and systems are kept safe. Much like the name suggests, computer network architects are the ones who actually design and build these systems and networks.
In order to provide the infrastructure an organization’s network needs, computer network architects must first have a crystal clear understanding of their organization’s entire business plan and mission. It’s a very involved task, but one that’s undoubtedly vital for any enterprise.
When it comes to regular tasks, computer network architects typically:
- Design layouts and proposals for their organization’s data networks
- Provide management information about their plans
- Upgrade hardware, software, and any other components according to their network needs
As of 2020, computer networks architects have a median annual salary of $116,780.
Computer and Information Systems Manager
Cybersecurity teams are made up of members with years of experience and entry level professionals who work around the clock to ensure their organization’s safety, and computer and information systems managers are the orchestrators of it all.
They are the ones in charge of supervising vital computer-related activities by planning, arranging, and directing all the different members in their team. It’s a high-stakes position with many sizable responsibilities, which is reflected in its high average salary.
Managers in any industry have to juggle different duties at all times and things are no different for computer and information systems managers. Their duties include:
- Recommending upgrades or needs to their organization’s executives
- Organizing the installation and maintenance efforts of their departments
- Creating cost assessments for the projects under their umbrella
- Evaluating staffing needs and departmental goals
- Managing the duties of their information technology professionals
- Establishing relationships and negotiating with vendors
In May 2020, computer and information systems managers were reported to have a median pay of $151,150 per year. One of the highest when it comes to cybersecurity jobs.
Your Next Chapter Is Waiting
Kenzie Academy’s mission is to provide learners the tools they need to help them achieve their goals. Whether you’re ready for a career in cybersecurity, curious about coding, or interested in a future in web development, the Kenzie Team is ready to help you. If you’re ready to begin the next chapter in your life, fill out your application today!