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Home Technology Career Overview: Cyber Security Specialist

Career Overview: Cyber Security Specialist

Job prospects in the cyber security industry have never been better. That’s largely because business vulnerabilities have never been worse. In fact, one projection estimates that businesses could lose as much as $10.5 trillion annually by 2025!

In the following article, we show you what it takes to jump into this career path so you can be in-demand. Let’s begin!

What a Cyber Security Specialist Does

A cyber security specialist has a tremendous amount of responsibility within the organizations where they serve. He or she will play the key roles of monitoring systems, noticing threats, and responding as necessary. 

The role entails a deep knowledge of methods that a cyberattacker will use to gain access. The specialist must know how to determine actual threats from mere vulnerabilities. Also important is the knowledge and ability to take the appropriate actions to stop an attack once it has entered the system.

Where to Study

Before you can work at a cyber security company or start a business of your own, you’ll need to acquire the right skills and education. Many quality colleges and universities have created programs to help you get there, but not all are created equal. 

Research a program thoroughly before enrolling. The cost of college is entirely too expensive to waste it on a program that is behind the times. The University of California-Berkeley, Syracuse University, and Northwestern University are among the more well-known degree programs and boot camps.

If you’re already employed as an IT worker, you might be able to get your employer to foot the bill for your education. That’s especially true if they have a college reimbursement program in place already. If not, ask!

Skills to Have

There are four key areas where you’ll need to attain certification to be considered for a cyber security technician position. CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ are offered by the Computing Technology Industry Association.

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certificate is a third granted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium. Last but not least is the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certificate. It is issued by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants, or EC-Council. 

Salary and Job Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies cyber security specialist under the broader “Information Security Analysts” umbrella. Wherever you fall under that umbrella, expect to be well-compensated. 

The median annual pay for ISAs in 2015 was $90,120. That number rose to $103,590 in 2020. Companies are becoming more aware of the significance these professionals have on their businesses. 

As of 2019, there were just over 131,000 employees in this sector. By 2029, the number is expected to increase to nearly 172,000, a 31 percent increase, which, BLS states, is “much faster than average.”

Cyber Security Prospects Are on the Rise

Working as a cyber security specialist is on the rise because the threats businesses face are. Companies realize they are vulnerable through third-party vendors, the Internet of Things (IoT), and employee error. 

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