7 Best Ways to Turn Your Cyber Security Skills Into a $100,000 Career

The world is in major need of more cyber security expert with relevant cyber security skills. A recent report by Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that around 3.5 million cybersecurity positions will be unfilled by 2021. Between 2017 and 2018, demand for cybersecurity professionals grew 7% according to Indeed. Unemployment rates in the industry have remained at 0% since 2016.

It is a lucrative, stable and extremely valuable career that will only grow in importance as cyber criminals use more advanced tactics to infiltrate businesses. Hackers are weaponizing AI, subsequently increasing the frequency and effectiveness of attacks and leading to a greater need for cybersecurity experts.

It should come as no surprise that companies are willing to go above and beyond to attract the right talent. Let’s take a look at 7 cybersecurity careers with relevant Cyber Security Skills that pay a median salary of over $100,000 per year.

Lead Software Security Engineer

Through the use of different testing methods and techniques, lead software security engineers plan, develop, implement and maintain a company’s software security strategy. Employers are willing to pay experts in the field well-over $110,000 per year. This is namely due to the fact that this career requires both coding knowledge and leadership skills.

As a lead software security engineer, your responsibilities will include reviewing code and debugging issues to improve software security, managing technical documentation, suggesting solutions to security issues and working with your team to achieve goals. Experience in languages such as JavaScript, .NET, Java and C/C++ is often required.

Cloud Support Engineer

A growing number of companies are beginning to understand the value of cloud technology in business. The astronomical increase in demand for cloud-based software solutions is subsequently pushing a growing demand for experts in the field, who can help businesses develop, maintain and improve their cloud infrastructure.

You’ll need to have an understanding of both technical computer programming and computer hardware with enough Cyber Security Skills. The security aspect lies in your responsibility to identify potential vulnerabilities and issues in a company’s cloud system. You’ll also need to be able to deal with emergencies when they arise, so the ability to stay calm in stressful situations is important.

Director of Information Security

Information security directors use their knowledge of enterprise architecture and technology strategy to design, implement and maintain a company’s security measures. In smaller companies, you will assume the position of an executive and in most cases report to the chief information security officer.

Responsibilities include keeping watch of vulnerabilities, implementing security procedures, deploying program enhancements, preparing technical reports for management, hiring and reviewing employees, efficiently allocating resources and providing leadership training to staff.

Indeed reports that a director of information security makes a median annual salary of $127,628. A business-oriented mind is necessary for this type of position, as you’ll not only be managing other staff members, but also a company’s security budget and other integral components of a business.

Cybersecurity Engineer

According to Mondo’s salary guide for 2019, cybersecurity engineers with Cyber Security Skills are paid on average between $95,000 and $111,000 per year. This versatile, in-demand career entails helping a company protect their database and network systems by implementing and maintaining the appropriate security measures.

Careers like this are not in short supply, but securing a well-paying position from the get-go is much more likely if you have the right education. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, studying online for an ECU masters in cyber security is your best bet. Check out the Edith Cowan University website for more information.

Penetration Tester

Also known as “ethical hackers,” penetration testers work to improve a company’s security measures by attempting to breach into their computer and network systems. This is done to ensure that nobody else can access or damage the organization’s data. The great part about becoming a penetration tester is that you have a number of work options.

Depending on where you’re located, you can choose to work directly for a company or for a consulting firm. Alternatively, you can even start your own consulting firm or simply work on a freelance basis. Knowledge of security assessment tools such as Burp Suite, SQLMap and Aircrack-ng are often required.

Additionally, you’ll need to have an understanding of programming languages including SQL, Ruby, C++ and Python. Coupled with operating system knowledge and expertise in security frameworks such as NIST, HIPPA and SOX, you can secure yourself a lucrative career as a penetration tester.

 Application Security Engineer

Glassdoor reports that application security engineers in San Francisco are paid an average of $97,000 per year. Employers typically look for cybersecurity experts who are capable of performing security code reviews, threat modeling and penetration testing.

If your coding knowledge lies more in application development, this career path is an ideal way to merge that knowledge with your cybersecurity expertise. It’s also a more lucrative way to go, as application security engineers are paid around 20% to 50% more than application engineers.

Chief Information Security Officer

Most ambitious cybersecurity experts have the role of chief information security officer in mind. This is one of the highest-level positions in cyber security with salaries easily reaching the $250,000 range.

As a chief information security officer, your responsibilities are reflective of your compensation and can include the following: planning the purchase of and maintaining security hardware and software, managing access to networks, analyzing threats, preventing misuse of data by staff members, implementing programs that mitigate risks and, above all, ensuring that initiatives run smoothly and according to the goals of the company.

Of course, becoming a chief information security officer is not as easy as most other cybersecurity careers, but it’s a worthwhile goal to keep in mind for the future. You’ll need a few years of relevant experience, extensive cybersecurity knowledge and a good education. That said, if you’ve come this far, chances are that you’re equipped for the role.

Conclusion

When it comes to salary and demand, few industries can compare to cybersecurity. Not only is it lucrative, but your actions will also go a long way in helping businesses remain safe from the growing number of security threats that we face in the digital world. You can also find some of the best cyber security universities to enhance you cyber security skills.

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