6 In-Demand Cybersecurity Careers & How to Get Started

5 minutes

If you’re in the market for a job in tech, there’s a good chance you’ve come across cybersecurity roles during your search. In the United States, there are an estimated 700,000 open cybersecurity positions that need to be filled.

There are a couple factors contributing to the current demand for cybersecurity professionals: The Covid pandemic accelerated the digital shift that was already taking place across industries. At the same time, organizations recognize that security breaches cost businesses millions of dollars, making cybersecurity a top priority. Companies need skilled cybersecurity pros to help organizations keep information secure and defend against constantly evolving threats.

Curious what types of careers you can have in cybersecurity? Here, we break down the cybersecurity jobs with the most demand, plus the online courses and paths that will teach you the skills you need to get hired.

Information Security Analyst

Companies today generate huge swaths of data and rely on it to drive business decisions. Naturally, organizations need cybersecurity professionals to keep that data safe.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security Analyst is one of the fastest-growing occupations, and the demand is projected to grow 35% in the next 10 years. Information Security, aka “InfoSec,” is a subset of cybersecurity that involves protecting information and information systems from attacks.

An InfoSec Analyst would be responsible for safeguarding an organization’s data (in any form) from landing in the hands of the wrong people. InfoSec Analysts use a range of methods to protect data, including installing and managing firewalls and developing security standards and best practices.

Security Engineer

There are lots of job openings for Security Engineers, which are essentially developers who build secure systems and software, says Ricki Burke, founder of CyberSec People, a global cybersecurity recruitment and staffing company. Security Engineers assess potential threats to systems, design targeted solutions, and then implement them. Since Security Engineers are developing systems and auditing code, strong coding and scripting skills are a must. Curious which programming languages you should learn if you want to work in cybersecurity? Check out this list of programming languages that cybersecurity professionals use the most.

A Security Engineer’s role tends to be collaborative, so it’s a good fit for someone who likes to work in a team environment. They also need problem-solving skills and the ability to work in high-pressure situations.

GRC Specialist

GRC is short for “governance, risk, and compliance.” GRC Specialists are the people who establish and uphold an organization’s security frameworks, policies, and guidelines that protect an environment. Companies look for GRC professionals who have knowledge of a particular sector, and can understand how international, federal, and state laws and regulations for security affect the industry at a high-level, Ricki says.

GRC Specialists might use threat intelligence techniques to continuously gather and process data that could point to possible attacks in the future. Good to know: Cybersecurity professionals who work in the GRC domain often use data science and machine learning techniques to parse through data more efficiently.

Penetration Tester

Penetration Testers, also known as “pentesters” or “ethical hackers,” help organizations identify their vulnerabilities by attempting to breach their cybersecurity defenses — in other words, they’re hackers who use their skills for good. According to survey data from CyberSeek, Penetration and Vulnerability Testers are some of the top job titles requested by employers within the cybersecurity job market.

Pentesters use various techniques that malicious hackers use during a cyber attack, like phishing and social engineering, in order to test systems and identify weaknesses. In our free course Introduction to Ethical Hacking, you’ll get to practice the hacking process as an ethical hacker, and learn about the types of careers you can have as a hacker.

Network Engineer

A network is two or more computers or devices that are linked so they can share information. Network Engineers are one of the top job titles organizations are looking for within the cybersecurity market, according to CyberSeek data.

Network Engineers figure out how to design, set up, and manage the computer networks within an organization. The daily responsibilities of a Network Engineer can include things like installing and configuring equipment like routers and switchers, troubleshooting network issues, and implementing security measures like firewalls, VPNs, and antivirus software.

Since Network Engineers have a hand in hardware and the nitty-gritty network specifics, you need programming and computer science knowledge. When you’re ready to start applying for Network Engineer positions, be sure to review these tips for creating a resume and portfolio that will stand out to recruiters, and practice these Network Engineer interview questions.

Cloud Architect

Cloud computing is an emerging (not to mention lucrative) area within cybersecurity that’s worth having on your radar. More and more organizations rely on cloud computing services — software, analytics, servers, and storage that run over the internet — because the technology enables them to scale quickly. A 2022 survey from ISACA, a professional association for IT, found that cloud computing is one of the top skills employers seek in candidates.

Our course Foundations of Cloud Computing is a platform-agnostic introduction to the foundational skills you need to work in cloud computing. You’ll receive an overview of the types of careers that you can have in cloud computing, plus get to know the drawbacks and advantages of using different deployment models and types of cloud services.

Kickstart your career in cybersecurity

It’s thrilling to think about all of the ways that cybersecurity impacts our lives. If you’re ready to start a career in cybersecurity, you got this! We have lots of cybersecurity courses and paths that will help guide your journey and ultimately land a job.

Not sure where to start? Our beginner-friendly Introduction to Cybersecurity course covers the key concepts of cybersecurity and the various methods (like cryptography, authentication, and authorization) that are used to keep our data secure online. You can also expand your understanding of cybersecurity by learning to identify common cyber attacks in the path Fundamentals of Cybersecurity.

If the idea of ethical hacking gets you excited, you should check out the course Introduction to Ethical Hacking — there are even interactive demos that will put you in the shoes of a hacker. No matter what area of cybersecurity you decide to pursue, it always helps to have programming skills. Be sure to check out our full course catalog, or take our personality quiz to find out which languages match your interests and goals.

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