So, you’re at a point in life where a new career is in order. Talk about a big decision! You probably want something that’s as challenging as it is rewarding. Something that will keep you on your toes and make you feel fulfilled. Well, how does cybersecurity sound? Maybe you’ve heard of it, but aren’t too familiar. Or perhaps you simply don’t know if the field has exactly what you’re looking for. That’s OK! Today we’re here to answer one question: is cybersecurity a good career for you?
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting sensitive information, critical networks, and devices from digital attacks against organizations, financial institutions, and governments, to name a few. Now that we know what cybersecurity is, let’s get started and learn more about what the job entails, the type of skills you’ll need, and everything else in between.
So, Why Cybersecurity?
Fully grasping what makes a certain job ideal can be difficult. After all, with so many factors related to any given job, the way you quantify your decision can be overwhelming. However, here are a few of the most important factors you should keep in mind when considering cybersecurity:
The world is constantly growing and moving at lightning speeds, especially when it comes to technologies, businesses, and policies. Unfortunately, cyber threats are never far behind. If there’s an exciting development happening, it’s always safe to assume a cyber attack is brewing close by. These cyberattacks are extremely costly and protecting against them is every institution’s priority. This need translates to high demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals ready to take on the role of protector.
Cyberattacks can have a devastating effect on organizations, governments, and even individuals. They can lead to alarming financial damage and a detrimental collapse in integrity. Without a doubt, detecting, defending against, and responding to cyber threats is an elaborate and critical job. But, for all its complexity, cybersecurity can be just as rewarding. After all, your performance and reaction can truly be the difference between crumbling and thriving.
As you can imagine, pay is perhaps the leading factor for any job. Based on the high demand for cybersecurity professionals and those in cyber-related roles, you’d be looking at a very competitive salary! In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a mid-level position such as information security analyst has a median pay of $102,600. The BLS also states computer and information systems managers have a median annual wage of $159,010, well over the $45,760 median annual wage for all workers.¹
Work From Home
Over the last few years, the working culture shifted toward wider acceptance for remote positions. Fortunately for you, this trend is prevalent in the cybersecurity field. After all, your job will have you focused on technology and helping people from across the globe, which means you may find yourself thriving from the comfort of your home.
Your Possible Career Paths
Fundamentally, cybersecurity professionals are tasked with one goal: keeping threats to online data at bay. But, while this is the general outlook of a cybersecurity position, your tasks and responsibilities will vary based on the position you have. Position categories include:
- Entry-level: Think positions such as system administrator, network engineer, security administrator, and other roles that will help you get experience.
- Mid-level: These are typically more experienced roles, including cybersecurity analyst, penetration tester, IT auditor, and security analyst.
- Advanced-level: Once you’ve gained plenty of experience, you can potentially aim for higher positions such as, cybersecurity manager, chief information security officer, and cybersecurity engineer.
Simply considering the cybersecurity path you wish to achieve can be overwhelming, which is why it’s so important you take your time to find your passion. For instance, your inclination to teach others and provide solutions to any possible issue could make you the perfect security consultant. Or maybe you’re passionate about research and love keeping up with the latest IT developments — you’re a security architect in the making! Cybersecurity is a field full of growth and opportunity, but we can’t stress this enough: taking your time to consider your options is extremely important.
What to Expect from the Day-to-Day
We’re willing to bet cybersecurity is starting to sound like a very good career. But maybe you’re still wondering what you can expect on a daily basis — well, it depends! A typical day in the life of a cybersecurity expert is anything but typical. Whether you’re a security engineer, a security analyst, or a security architect, your day will likely throw plenty of curve balls your way. It’s the reason why adaptability, fluidity, and the willingness to change pace are so important. If you’re looking for something that will keep you on your toes, cybersecurity is your best choice.
The Necessary Skills
So far we’ve covered employment outlook, salaries, and even the exciting possibility of working from the comfort of your home. Now, as we shift to the many things that make an ideal cybersecurity professional, we can take some time to understand the skills every cybersecurity professional should have. A 2020 Varonis poll asked cybersecurity experts what skills they recommend having. Here are the most common soft skills:
- Detail oriented
- Great listening and communication skills
- Humility and the willingness to continue learning
- Creative and technical problem solving
- Team-oriented mindset
And, of course, the recommended hard skills:
- Ability to simplify technical topics
- Fundamentals in computer science
- Expertise in a subfield
- Knowledge of a programming or scripting language
- Familiarity with attack tools and methods in Mitre Att&ck
- Manage intricate engagements
- Handle varying amounts of evidence
- Make the hard decisions
The Cybersecurity Personalities
One of the most important aspects of finding the career of your dreams is finding something that correlates with what makes you … well, you! Of course, doing so is easier said than done, but getting to know some of the personalities in cybersecurity may be a good starting point:
- Quick Learners: Naturally curious and effective under pressure, quick learners soak up all information that comes their way. Their adaptability and knack for anticipating dangers additionally makes them a true force against cybercriminals.
- Problem Solvers: This type of expert is all about critical thinking, a necessary tool used to sniff out weak points in security. Think of them as the brains, ready to use their analytical and perceptive skills to handle security concerns and situations.
- Protectors: A cybercriminal’s worst nightmare. Protectors love putting an end to any nefarious activities with a natural empathetic instinct and honed technical skills.
Let’s Get Started
Whether you’re ready to begin your journey into a cybersecurity career, want to learn how to code, or maybe even looking into web development as a future job, Kenzie Academy can help. Life is all about making those big decisions, but it can be so much easier with a supportive team by your side. The goal is clear, so let’s get started by applying to Kenzie Academy today!
Sources & Citations:
¹Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
(viewed November 10 2022). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.