As businesses and organizations continue to digitize, the demand for cybersecurity professionals has increased. The cybersecurity industry has been growing rapidly and is expected to continue in the coming years. According to Cyberseek, there were over 500,000 cybersecurity job openings in the United States alone in 2021. With so many job opportunities in the industry, it’s no surprise that many people are interested in starting a career in cybersecurity. If you are interested in a career in cybersecurity, keep reading to learn how to get hired in cybersecurity, the top entry-level jobs in the field, and salaries to expect.

Tips to Get Hired in Cybersecurity

  1. Determine Your Level of Preparation

Cybersecurity is a highly technical field that requires a deep understanding of computer systems, programming languages, and network security. Many individuals beginning their careers in cybersecurity have substantial educational experience in computer science or computer engineering, while others transition into the field from another academic or professional discipline. Your previous exposure to mathematics, coding, systems analysis, and IT all factor into how much preparation you need.

  1. Identify Your Ideal Job Role and Career Path

The cybersecurity field is vast, and there are many job roles to choose from. Before you start applying to jobs, it’s important to determine your ideal job role and career path. Some common cybersecurity roles include Information Security Analyst, Cybersecurity Consultant, Network Security Engineer, Cybersecurity Architect, and Penetration Tester. Once you have identified your ideal job role, determine the necessary qualifications and skills you will need to secure the role.

  1. Get Familiar With Cybersecurity Tools

To work in cybersecurity, you will need to be familiar with various cybersecurity tools. These tools are used to identify, prevent, and respond to cyber threats. Some of the most common cybersecurity tools include Wireshark, Nmap, Metasploit, and Nessus. You should take time to familiarize yourself with these tools and learn how to use them effectively.

  1. Pursue a Cybersecurity Course or Bootcamp

Cybersecurity courses and bootcamps can provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the industry. These courses and bootcamps are designed to be intensive and provide you with hands-on experience. Bootcamps such as Springboard’s Cybersecurity Career Track offer a job guarantee with a full refund if you graduate and don’t find a job within six months.

  1. Gain Professional Experience

Professional experience is essential in the cybersecurity industry. To gain professional experience, you can start by graduating into an entry-level general IT job. Examples of such roles include programming, technical support, and system, web, or network administration. Once you have gained some experience, target a cybersecurity role, and identify the particular cybersecurity job that interests you.

  1. Network and Collaborate with Peers

Networking and collaborating with your peers can be beneficial to your career in cybersecurity. Joining cybersecurity groups, attending industry events and conferences, and collaborating on open-source cybersecurity projects can help you build a professional network that can help you secure job opportunities.

Top Entry-Level Jobs in Cybersecurity

  1. Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts help protect an organization’s computer networks and systems by monitoring networks for security breaches. They also develop and implement security policies and procedures to ensure data protection. The average salary for this role is $89,795 per year.

  1. Network Security Engineer

Network security engineers are responsible for designing and implementing network security measures to protect an organization’s data. They configure firewalls, routers, and switches to ensure network security. The average salary for this role is $89,259 per year.

3. Cybersecurity Consultant

Cybersecurity consultants provide advice and guidance to organizations on how to improve their cybersecurity posture. They help organizations identify vulnerabilities, develop security policies, and respond to security incidents. The average salary for this role is $85,870 per year.

  1. Penetration Tester

Penetration testers, also known as ethical hackers, are responsible for testing an organization’s security measures by simulating cyber-attacks. They identify vulnerabilities in systems, applications, and networks and provide recommendations on how to fix them. The average salary for this role is $85,000 per year.

Cybersecurity Salaries

Cybersecurity salaries vary depending on the job role, experience, and location. According to Glassdoor, the average salaries for several cybersecurity jobs in the US as of October 2022 are:

  • Intrusion detection specialist: $59,450
  • Junior cybersecurity analyst: $81,170
  • Digital forensic examiner: $91,212
  • IT security administrator: $89,708

These figures are just averages, and salaries can vary widely depending on the location and the company you work for.

Expert Tips for Job Seekers

With the high demand for cybersecurity professionals, it’s essential to make yourself stand out to potential employers. Here are some expert tips for job seekers in the cybersecurity industry:

  1. Develop your soft skills – Communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills are essential in the cybersecurity industry. Make sure to develop these skills and highlight them in your resume and interviews.
  2. Stay up to date with industry trends – The cybersecurity industry is constantly evolving, and it’s essential to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies.
  3. Showcase your passion for cybersecurity – Employers want to hire individuals who are passionate about cybersecurity. Show your passion by attending industry events and conferences, contributing to open-source projects, and pursuing certifications.
  4. Be willing to learn – The cybersecurity industry requires constant learning, and it’s essential to be willing to learn and adapt to new technologies and trends.

The Takeaway

Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing industry with many job opportunities. To get hired in cybersecurity, it’s essential to have the necessary skills and qualifications, gain professional experience, and network with your peers. The cybersecurity industry offers competitive salaries, and salaries can vary widely depending on the job role and location. If you’re passionate about cybersecurity and willing to learn, there are many opportunities to start a successful career in the industry.