This article was published on March 30, 2022

So you want to get into cybersecurity? Here’s how

Shortage and high demand make it one of 2022's most lucrative careers


So you want to get into cybersecurity? Here’s how
Rebecca OKeeffe

Do you love solving puzzles, enjoy learning new things and hate doing the same thing day-in day-out? If you answered yes to the questions above, you really should consider a career in cybersecurity.

However, cybersecurity is a very broad term. We often hear it thrown about in conversation or subtly mentioned in online blog posts, but what exactly does it mean? In a nutshell, it means defending computers, servers, data, systems, and networks from various types of cyber attacks.

It’s an exciting and growing industry. Each year, organizations around the globe spend billions to protect their systems from cybercriminals. In fact, according to research by Gartner, it’s estimated that total spending on information security and risk management will exceed $172 billion in 2022.

But while this industry is thriving, there is a huge issue developing behind the scenes, a lack of available and qualified talent. According to non-profit cybersecurity networks (ISC)2’s latest report, across Europe there is an estimated cybersecurity skills shortage of more than 199,000 professionals.

There has never been a better time to think about making a move. Here’s everything that you need to know before you take the plunge.

What are the different fields you can get into?

The options really are endless when it comes to cybersecurity. But for the sake of this article, we’ve decided to focus on the two key categories that most careers fall under.

Security and risk management:

Security and risk management is basically the process of identifying and analyzing an organization’s cybersecurity threats. Depending on the organization, the team will then determine how to respond to those risks.

Of course, different organizations will have different infrastructure and therefore different risks. Finance and healthcare companies, for example, may also have compliance concerns in addition to business ones.

Key jobs in this area (plus their average salaries according to the Indeed salary calculator):

Risk and compliance investigator €40,736

These professionals work with management and team members to manage regulatory risks and make sure the organization is following the correct protocol.

Penetration tester €52,636

A penetration tester or pentester for short, is responsible for finding security issues within a company’s IT system. They are sometimes referred to as ethical hackers.

Information security specialist €73,719

IS specialists select, implement, monitor, and upgrade computer anti-virus and malware protection systems.

Cybersecurity analyst €75,600

An analyst’s main responsibility is to understand a company’s IT infrastructure and monitor potential threats and vulnerabilities.

Security Architecture:

On the other side of the coin you have security architecture, this is the term used to define the system that protects an organization’s IT infrastructure. To prevent malicious attacks from happening in the first place, cybersecurity professionals must create a strong security architecture including things like firewalls, private networks, and more.

Key jobs in this area (plus their average salaries according to the Indeed salary calculator):

Network Security Engineer €57,443

IT professionals in this role identify existing issues and build safeguards to avoid future threats.

Security architect €73,719

Security architects build IT systems that meet strict security requirements. Key duties include security, planning, and testing.

Cloud security engineer €73,608

Cloud security engineers are tasked with designing, implementing, and monitoring security measures to protect organizations.

Cryptographer €88,614

Cryptography is one of the most exciting roles in cybersecurity. They use algorithms to encrypt sensitive data and protect organizations and customers.

Necessary experience

Typically, the career path in cybersecurity can be broken down into three key steps: entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level.

Entry level roles are often listed as analyst positions, mid-level roles are architect positions and senior-level roles are engineer positions.

Cybersecurity is constantly evolving as technology advances. For example, you could now be working on things like automotive hacking or even 5G security concerns. 20 years ago, these issues were not even on the radar.

Because the sector is growing at such a fast rate, your career can easily accelerate no matter what your educational background.

For instance, many entry-level cybersecurity jobs do not require a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or even a related field.

However, more advanced jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree or a master’s in some cases. Three key traits that all cybersecurity professionals need are curiosity, analytical skills, and a passion for learning.

Top employers

According to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (Enisa), the top five sectors affected by cybersecurity threats are public administration/government, digital service providers, general public, healthcare/medical and finance/banking. Therefore the employment options for professionals are wide ranging.

Here, we take a look at the top five companies that you should keep an eye on going forward.

McAfee

The McAfee name is synonymous with cybersecurity. Based in California, the company develops digital security tools for personal computers, mobiles and server devices.

Microsoft

According to an article published on Forbes, Microsoft is one of the top rated employers in the cybersecurity field. We’re all familiar with Microsoft’s suite of products from Word to Teams, but they also have an impressive range of security and identity services too.

IBM

International Business Machines (IBM) Corporations is a well-known multinational company that specializes in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies. They score above average in both employee happiness and flexibility.

Cisco

Based in San Jose, but with almost 300 offices around the world, Cisco Systems is an IT and networking brand that specializes in switches, routers, cybersecurity, and IoT.

Oracle

We can’t talk about cybersecurity without mentioning Oracle. Oracle is another technology company best known for its software products and services like java. They’re currently hiring for over 5000 positions!

Check out the House of Talent jobs board to find current cybersecurity jobs at these companies and more.

Also tagged with