As we lower the curtain on 2022, one of the worst performing years for cybersecurity in recent memory, many signs are pointing to cybersecurity being one of the biggest growth sectors in 2023. Perhaps the best example from this past year illustrating a possible “worst case scenario” fallout from a cybersecurity failure would be the Colonial Pipeline Attack in May in which a $4.4 million ransom was paid to restore the software operating the oil pipeline system.1 The “green shoots” of the imminent economic growth of the cybersecurity sector can be seen as increased investment and stock trader interest.2,3 Accordingly, the impetus for a rising cybersecurity career salary in this sector is that 2023 is also expected to bring a rising wave of cyberattacks, just like 2022 was one year ago, and ominous signs are already foreshadowing what the next year will bring.
For instance, this November, the content delivery network provider Cloudflare thwarted one of the largest distributed denial-of-service attacks in history.4 Additionally, with the inexorable march of Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology continuing and opening up new vulnerabilities along the way,5 it looks like no part of our daily lives will not fall under the cyber threat surface area.6 Fortunately, there is also a positive side to this menacing threat — expanding career opportunities.
An already existing skills gap paired with an ever-increasing number of roles needing to be filled means that career seekers should find the whitespace of the cybersecurity field very attractive — and lucrative7. Here are three industries representing the employment whitespace where one could find a career as a cybersecurity professional.
The healthcare industry has become an in-vogue target of cyber criminals due to its extreme vulnerability. As this sector relies heavily on technology and has intrinsically high stakes, the potential fallout of a cybersecurity failure in the healthcare sector can be absolutely devastating — and could potentially result in death.8 In the first half of 2021, ransomware attacks in healthcare happened 4 times per week on average resulting in the theft of medical records, social security numbers, financial data, and other private information.8 Not surprisingly, one of the biggest obstacles facing the fortification of healthcare against cyber attacks is a shortage of qualified individuals in the labor market.8
Department of Defense
The U.S. Department of Defense has announced an initiative that aims to build up its cyber security defense team, in spite of the unfavorable labor market.9 The program’s objective is to recruit, retrain, develop, and deploy cybersecurity professionals in roles protecting U.S. infrastructure.9 Some of the roles that are actively being sought are risk analyzers, networks and systems engineers, forensics, software assurance, and more.9 Moreover, opportunities at the Department of Defense should be of particular interest to military veterans seeking to transition to civilian.10
A recent report has identified the financial sector as a particularly vulnerable target for cybercriminals given that practically all of its transactions are dependent on IT systems.11 Furthermore, due to it being a truly global market and the paradigm shift to remote work due to COVID-19, this sector represents a gold mine of opportunities for cybercriminals.11 For instance, recent data show that in the first half of 2021, the banking industry experienced a 1,318% increase in ransomware.12 Unfortunately, many are questioning whether financial institutions are falling behind in regard to,13 which most likely influenced recent policy requiring banks to meet certain standards and timeframes in reporting attacks.14
For those interested in a career in this growing field, ITU Online offers courses in cloud security, information systems security, and penetration testing, among other facets of cybersecurity.
Cyber Security Career Salary Information
Due to the increased risk from hackers, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly essential. If proper security measures are not in place, systems, devices, networks, and web-based applications can all be targeted by cybercriminals and sensitive data can be corrupted or stolen. Cybersecurity positions pay well, with Nevada ($94,512), Oregon ($101,353), and Washington ($94,427) being the highest-paying states. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of information security analysts will increase by 35% over the period from 2021 to 2031. Cybersecurity jobs have had a 0% unemployment rate since 2016.
The median annual salary for a cybersecurity technician is $99,730 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the mean salary for a cybersecurity technician is more than $100,000 per year. The five largest employers of cybersecurity technicians are Virginia, Texas, California, New York, and Florida. Cybersecurity professionals can gain new skills and advance within an organization through on-the-job training, certifications, and continuing education.
Cybersecurity Top Positions and Salaries
Cybersecurity is an increasingly important field in the modern world, and those who specialize in it can earn high salaries. Cybersecurity engineers, analysts, specialists, consultants, and architects are all highly sought after and can earn six-figure salaries. Computer network architects and computer programmers can also earn competitive salaries with median annual salaries of $109,020 and $84,280 respectively. Information security analysts with a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field can even make more than $120,000 annually.
The need for cybersecurity professionals is only increasing as cyberattacks become more frequent and costly. According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach study, a single data breach can cost up to $3.29 million. This has led to an increased demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals who can protect companies from these attacks.
The 2023 Tech Salary Guide reveals the six highest-paid cybersecurity jobs and their average salary ranges, which range from $80k to over $200k per year depending on the position. The highest-paid cybersecurity job is a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), which can earn up to $202,000 annually. Other high-paying jobs include Security Architect ($130,000), Security Engineer ($115,000), Security Analyst ($95,000), and Penetration Tester ($90,000).
Growing Your Annual Cybersecurity Salary
Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand as organizations strive to protect their data and systems from malicious hackers and attacks. To boost your cybersecurity salary, it is important to have the right qualifications and certifications. A bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science is a must, while a master’s degree in cybersecurity can be beneficial. Companies are also looking for employees with project management experience, forensics analysts, analytics and data science backgrounds, technical writing skills, and expertise in law, policy, and physical security. Leadership skills are also highly valued as organizations seek individuals who can help them “reshape” how they think about security.
In addition to having a wide range of qualifications and experience, it is important to understand the market wage rate for cybersecurity analysts. Researching the national average of salaries of similar positions an give you an idea of what you should be earning. Consider pursuing certifications and additional training to increase your value as well as networking with other professionals in the field to gain insight into potential job opportunities. With the right qualifications and experience, you can increase your cybersecurity annual wage and advance your career.
Highest-Income Potential Certifications
Certifications can be a great way to increase your income potential. Employers value additional certifications beyond basic qualifications, so having one or more of these can help you stand out from the competition and potentially earn more money. Certificates such as Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) are all highly valued by employers and can help boost income potential. Cyber security certifications are also becoming increasingly popular, as they teach you how to use specific security tools and gain key technical skills.
When choosing a certification, it is important to pick one that is relevant to your interests and career goals. There are a variety of certifications available, so take the time to research which ones will best suit your needs. Pursuing a certification can be a great way to expand your knowledge and expertise in the field of cybersecurity, while also increasing your earning potential. With the right certification, you can open up new opportunities and increase your salary.
The Most In-Demand Skills
The demand for cybersecurity professionals has been steadily increasing in recent years due to the growing number of cyber threats and attacks. As a result, there is a massive skill gap in this field, with over 1 million cybersecurity professionals in 2021 but still 715,000 unfilled positions. To become a successful cybersecurity professional, one must possess important qualities such as knowledge of network security, cryptography, malware analysis, and incident response.
In addition to these skills, aspiring cybersecurity professionals should also have knowledge of computer networking concepts and protocols, risk management processes, laws, regulations, policies and ethics related to cybersecurity and privacy. They should also be familiar with complex data structures, programming languages, system and application security threats, and vulnerabilities as well as secure configuration management techniques.
Furthermore, knowledge of software design tools and methods such as software engineering principles and web services is essential for success in this field. Cybersecurity managers should understand secure coding techniques and the software quality assurance process. Additionally, they need to be knowledgeable about network security protocols, authentication methods, and encryption algorithms.
Experience Needed For a Cybersecurity Career
Additionally, expertise in IT security and an understanding of defensive strategies such as penetration testing or vulnerability assessment is essential for success. It is also important to have a good grasp of relevant cybersecurity laws such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. With 1 million job openings expected by 2023, there are many positions available including cybersecurity professionals, analysts, engineers, and more. With the right qualifications and experience, anyone can pursue a career in cyber security.
Start Your Cybersecurity Career
Exploring a job in cybersecurity can be a thrilling and gratifying experience. Equipped with the necessary understanding and abilities, you will be able to assist businesses in keeping their data secure from security incidents and digital attacks. To get started, it’s essential to acquire cybersecurity reading materials or self-paced digital classes to remain up-to-date with current industry trends and tools. Moreover, take into consideration the budget, availability, location, and other commitments prior to picking the best way to progress professionally.
Once you have the necessary knowledge and skills, there are several ways to start a career in cybersecurity. You can look for job categories such as entry-level positions at companies that specialize in cyber security or apply for internships with government agencies or large corporations. Additionally, you can pursue certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and CompTIA Security + to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field. ITUOnline has all the coursework and support needed to prepare you for these in-demand certifications.
How High can Cybersecurity Salaries Go?
Cybersecurity is a considerably important field in the present day, and those who select it should count on being generously paid. The middle income for a cybersecurity specialist in the U.S. hovers around $103,000 each year, with top-level roles taking higher paychecks. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average remuneration for a cybersecurity technician was $99,730 yearly in 2019, and the overall salary was more than $100,000 every annum. The five chief employers of cybersecurity technicians are Virginia, Texas, California, New York, and Florida.
Those considering joining the cybersecurity field should be aware that their earnings could increase over time as they gain new skills and advance within an organization through on-the-job training and certification programs. CyberSeek.org is a useful resource for finding entry-level and more experienced cybersecurity positions. It’s important to remember that cybersecurity may only be one part of the job; tasks such as data analysis, software development, threat analysis, and network engineering may also be required.
Where to Find Cybersecurity Salary Information
Cybersecurity is an ever-growing field, and understanding the salary information associated with various roles can be a great way to determine which job is right for you. CyberSeek is a program funded by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education that provides an interactive career pathways map. This map displays entry-level jobs and salaries for various cybersecurity roles, such as security technician, incident responder, and security analyst. It also provides insight into the specific job requirements of each role, which can help individuals decide if they need to pursue a degree or certification in order to qualify for certain positions.
In addition to understanding the job requirements, it’s important to note that background checks and drug tests are usually required for security professionals regardless of the sector. Therefore, it’s best to be honest about any issues on a professional’s record before they come up during the background check process. With this information in hand, individuals can make informed decisions when searching for their ideal cybersecurity
Future Jobs in Cybersecurity
The requirement for cybersecurity experts is rising exponentially, and the job outlook for this area is very encouraging. According to Cybercrime Magazine, by 2025, there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that jobs for information security analysts will rise 33% from 2020 to 2030, and the general requirement for cybersecurity specialists is growing twelve times quicker than the mean need for other professionals in the United States. This means that those trying to enter into this field have a great occasion to do so now and reap gains from an expanding industry. Those with cybersecurity certifications are going to stand out.
The future of cybersecurity is looking bright, and those who enter the field can expect to be well-compensated for their work, as cybersecurity threats continue to grow each year, so does job security. With the right skills and experience, individuals can find a job that pays well and offers them the opportunity to make a difference in the world. Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand, and with the right qualifications, they can enjoy rewarding career with excellent pay.
Careers in Cybersecurity: Additional Benefits
The field of cybersecurity presents multiple advantages that can make it an attractive selection for people considering entering the tech sector. Cybersecurity technologists perform a critical job in defending digital support and have a chance to study new abilities. Cybersecurity is a vigorous sector with competitive payments and noteworthy advantages for those interested in following a career in this region. Moreover, cybersecurity experts can take pleasure in the gains of teleworking, immense duty gratification, and many job openings.
The cybersecurity sector is expanding swiftly, making it a wonderful opportunity for those who want to render a service while building up their talents and intelligence. Cybersecurity experts are responsible for protecting their firm’s records and data from cyber dangers, which necessitates them to be conversant with the most modern tendencies and techniques. This occupation trail presents the alternative of working remotely or on-site, according to individual inclinations. Plus, there are many chances for increasing and enhancing within this area as technology continues to advance. All these components come together to make cybersecurity a rewarding and gainful job option.
Frequently Asked Questions for Cybersecurity
What is the Average Cybersecurity Salary?
The average salary for a cybersecurity professional in the United States is over $100,000 per year. This figure can vary depending on experience, location, and other factors. According to PayScale, entry-level positions in this field have a median wage of $50,000 per year, while more experienced professionals can earn up to $150,000 per year. Additionally, many employers offer bonuses and other incentives to attract and retain talented cybersecurity professionals.
How do different cybersecurity roles compare in terms of salary?
There are various roles in the cybersecurity field and each comes with different responsibilities, skill requirements, and thus different compensation. Entry-level positions such as a cybersecurity analyst can expect a lower range, while mid-level roles like a cybersecurity engineer or consultant typically earn more. Senior positions like a cybersecurity manager or a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) are usually on the higher end of the salary scale. Furthermore, salaries also differ based on the industry, for example, financial and healthcare industries often pay more due to the sensitivity of the data they handle.
How does location impact the salary of a cybersecurity professional?
Geographic location plays a significant role in determining the salary of a cybersecurity professional. Areas with a high cost of living, like metropolitan areas or tech hubs, typically offer higher salaries. This is also influenced by the concentration of tech industries in the area, and the local demand for cybersecurity professionals. Furthermore, some countries have higher average salaries due to their strong focus on tech security and innovation. However, with the increasing acceptance of remote work, location-based discrepancies are starting to decrease.
Do certifications affect the salary of a cybersecurity professional?
Absolutely. Certifications are a great way for cybersecurity professionals to boost their earning potential. They not only validate your skills and knowledge in the eyes of employers but also often directly correlate with higher salaries. Well-recognized certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), among others, are particularly beneficial in advancing your career and increasing your salary.
How does the level of education impact a cybersecurity professional’s salary?
The level of education can have an impact on a cybersecurity professional’s salary, but it’s not the only determining factor. While having a bachelor’s degree in a related field is often a prerequisite for many roles, holding a master’s degree or a PhD can potentially lead to higher-paying positions. However, due to the rapidly changing nature of the cybersecurity field, experience, practical skills, and professional certifications are also heavily valued and can lead to competitive salaries even without advanced degrees.
Summary: Cybersecurity Career Salary
The demand for cybersecurity professionals is growing rapidly as businesses become increasingly aware of the potential costs associated with a data breach. According to IBM’s annual Cost of a Data Breach study, a single data breach can cost up to $3.29 million. As such, businesses are willing to pay top dollar for experienced and knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals who can protect their sensitive data and valuable assets. The impacts of cybersecurity lapses can be devastating to a company’s future and reputation.
The 2023 Tech Salary Guide outlines the six highest-paid cybersecurity jobs and their average salary ranges. Cybersecurity engineers, analysts, specialists, consultants, and architects are in high demand and can earn six-figure salaries. Computer network architects have a median annual salary of $109,020 while computer programmers have a median annual salary of $84,280. Information security analysts with experience in management-level jobs can earn more than $120,000 annually. With these lucrative salaries on offer, it’s no wonder that many people are considering careers in cyber security.
PS: If you’re a newcomer to the exciting world of IT and seeking a comprehensive overview, be sure to check out our post on Getting Started in IT.
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- Keithen, D. 3 Top Cybersecurity Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul. The Motley Fool. November 22, 2021. https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/11/22/3-top-cybersecurity-stocks-to-buy-for-long-haul/. Accessed 24 November 2021.
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- Palmer, Danny. This mysterious malware could threaten millions of routers and IoT devices. Zdnet.com. November 15, 2021. https://www.zdnet.com/article/this-mysterious-malware-could-threaten-millions-of-routers-and-iot-devices/. November 24, 2021. https://www.livemint.com/technology/tech-news/developers-tap-blockchain-and-nfts-to-take-gaming-to-the-next-level-11636911606005.html. Accessed 17 November 2021