How to Become a Cyber Security Specialist

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cybersecurity job
Becoming a cyber security professional

Cyber Security Specialist salaries  are on the rise.

Cyber Security is a growing field. And therefore it’s a great option for someone trying to decide what professional field they would like to enter. Because the world is increasingly becoming dependent on online networks, more and more sensitive information and intellectual property is being put out into the open.

We now need professionals out there who know what the risks are and know how to guard against them. We need professionals who can design software and programs which fight against the threats of cyber attacks, and people who can “outsmart” the hacking criminals.

If you’d like to enter the world of CyberSecurity professionalism, take a look below at some of the requirements and steps to take in order to take on this profession:

Degree: Bachelor’s

Field of Study: Computer programming, computer science, computer engineering or information science

Responsibilities: Performing security test, adding software to files, keeping systems up to date

Certification: Likely to require certification credentials

Current Job Growth (2012-2022): 37%

Median Salary: $88,890

Studies:

Typically, cybersecurity professionals study and obtain degrees in one of the following fields: computer programming, computer science, information science, computer engineering. However, in some cases, you will be able to become a professional in this field with work experience and some sort of certification.

Some universities offer specific certification programs in cyber or network security. In these cases, you may take classes such as operating systems, network defense, advanced security and biometrics concepts. If you stick with an associates degree program, you may study subjects such as computer forensics, security procedures, network security applications, encryption, operating system security and fundamentals of information security.

Along with these more specific classes, if you go for a traditional bachelor’s degree, you will probably have to take classes such as software engineering, criminal justice, mathematics, network security and technical writing.

According to Roberthalf.com, a top tierd professional staffing company, the salaries in the fields of security analyst and engineer will gain on average 6% in 2016. C# specialist can add an additional 8% to that salary rise. click on the link to see the developments in technology salaries.

 

What Will the Job Consist Of

Your career in cyber security may include any of the following, but is not limited to:

  • Adding software to files
  • Performing security test
  • Keeping virus protection up to date
  • Training other workers about the operations of security systems
  • Keeping system users informed about any changes or threats

Many times, you will be working for a company who does most of their business online and needs someone to make sure their system is protected. As such, you will likely have to work with people who may not be largely familiar with the operations of the security system, but still need to know the basics. You will also most likely be working under someone at all times and be depended upon to keep intellectual property and sensitive information safe.

What jobs will I be able to Apply for?

  • Data Security Administrator
  • Information Technology Specialist
  • Computer Specialist
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Information Security Manager

With additional training, you may also be able to apply for jobs such as computer systems analyst or as an independent consultant for companies.

Technical Skills + Soft Skills = In-Demand IT Pros

How Can I Become Certified as a CyberSecurity Specialist?

In addition to your degree, you may need to obtain certification to get the job you want.   Many companies require certification, and even if they don’t, having one may increase your opportunities and your salary.

You may be able to obtain certification by attending training institutes or through computer product vendors.   You could also use Cisco, which gives certification to anyone who completes an examination successfully.

Here are some certificates that guarantee good jobs and are in demand:

Security certifications: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Cisco certifications: Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP)

How Much Can I Expect to Make?

Cyber Security Professionals have the potential to earn a very good living. The median salary for cyber security specialists is about $88,890 (in 2014). The range is between $39,437 to $102,470.

Possible Degrees

Three of the most common degrees for Cyber Security professionals are computer forensics, information assurance and security, and information security and forensics.

 

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