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Is Cybersecurity a Good Career? All You Need to Know

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By: Cybrary Staff

January 20, 2023

Key Takeaways:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • Challenging yet exciting and rewarding profession
  • High salary potential
  • As a relatively new and fast-paced industry, lots of growth potential
  • If you like solving puzzles, cybersecurity might be for you

The year is 2030; you’re woken up at exactly the right time to optimize for peak daily performance based on the day ahead. The room temperature has been calibrated for ideal body conditions. Your coffee machine, recognizing you have woken up immediately begins brewing a fresh pot of coffee. Your breakfast (if we are even eating in 2030) is getting prepared so you can sit down and fuel up. Life is good….maybe

Embedded content: A Long Day (with no Cybersecurity)

The future will heavily leverage technology and connectivity. For every innovation to make our lives easier, there are people looking to ensure we are doing it in a secure way and there are people looking to exploit it. If you have ever considered whether pursuing a cybersecurity career is a good idea. Let this be your sign!

Maybe we are a bit biased, but is cybersecurity a good career? Absolutely! But before jumping in, it’s good to ask yourself a few questions. The first one is why you are interested in cybersecurity as a career. Is it job security? Salary? Both are fine reasons, but we encourage you dig a bit deeper and ask yourself:

  • Do you find solving puzzles fun and engaging?
  • Do you find yourself able to put yourself in the shoes of others and think like they think?
  • Are you interested in policy and controls?
  • Does technology, its use and applications interest you?
  • Are you hungry to learn new information and stay relevant with what’s new?
  • Are you compelled by the mission to help protect the digital world from those looking to do harm?

These second order questions can decide if cybersecurity might be right for you. You’re signing up for a lifelong journey with near limitless potential. There is lots to learn, and you’ll have the opportunity to commit to a craft where you can continually build new skills over your time in the field. You’ll be solving some of the most complex problems you can come across. You’ll be joining a greater community of people protecting our digital world from those interested in creating disruption and chaos in the world.

Low unemployment rate

According to the latest data by Cyberseek, the supply-demand ratio was 65, meaning for every 100 job postings in cybersecurity there are 65 cybersecurity professionals. This would indicate there’s a significant need for talent, far outweighing what’s available in the open market. If you haven’t considered evaluating a career in cybersecurity, this statistic alone should convince you to pursue it. In the United States alone, there are more than 765,000 openings for jobs requiring cybersecurity skills. This means even if you aren’t officially a cybersecurity professional, adding additional infosec skills to your toolbelt can help you become more employable.

Challenging yet exciting and rewarding profession

If you aren’t technically inclined, or are uncomfortable with a computer, cybersecurity can feel like a daunting field to get started in. But much like any industry, if you spend the time to learn the fundamentals, it will become much easier. Learning has evolved over the last decade to provide learners with the ability not just to learn the knowledge, but it’s become easier to spin up a virtual computer in your browser and get hands-on with the IT and cybersecurity concepts you’ll face on the job. There is a lot to learn, but if you get comfortable with the fact you won’t learn it all overnight your confidence will begin to build.

Remember the work you are doing is pivotal in today’s digital world. Whether you are doing cybersecurity for a small business or a large corporation, you are helping to protect the data and information of real people. People who may or may not realize they are putting their trust and faith in you and your organization to do right by their information and digital assets.

High salary potential

Cybersecurity offers lucrative pay when compared to many professions. We don’t recommend people get into cybersecurity purely because of the high salary potential. We provide a comprehensive salary guide in a later post, but here are some relevant numbers as you evaluate whether it is a good career or not. A reminder that salary depends on years of experience, whether you are working in the public or private sector, the industry you are in, the criticality of cybersecurity for the organization and your role.

According to Payscale, a cybersecurity analyst can expect:

  • Entry Level (Less than 1 year): $63,325
  • Early Career (1 to 4 years): $71,942
  • Mid Career (5 to 9 years): $88,596
  • Experienced (10 to 19 years): $102,002
  • Late Career (20+ years): $112,984

In Mondo’s 2023 Tech Salary Guide, they summarized the highest-paid cybersecurity jobs and their average pay ranges.

Title Low High
Information Security Manager $150,000 $225,000
Cyber Security Engineer $126,000 $213,000
Application Security Engineer $130,000 $200,000
Network Security Engineer $120,000 $208,000
Cyber Security Analyst $114,000 $160,000
Penetration Tester “Ethical Hacker” $114,000 $160,000

As a relatively new and fast-paced industry, lots of growth potential

bls data

Information Security Analysts: Occupation Outlook

While there are a variety of different roles, with various responsibilities and requirements; we’d like to draw some attention to the Job Outlook (growing 35%). While the number of available jobs globally is somewhat contested in the industry, the simple fact is the industry does not have enough capable talent to go around.

A post on whether cybersecurity is a good career, wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging some of the common complaints professionals in industry have.

  • Stress: Because of the capacity problem in the industry, those who do work in the field, particularly some entry level roles, find it stressful. Cybersecurity is a 24hr/7days a week problem, and companies have to staff for such. Time to detect and time to contain are key metrics being tracked, so a sense of urgency becomes important.
  • Cybersecurity as a cost center: This is slightly more contested, but cybersecurity is seen more as a cost center vs a profit center. As a cost center, businesses look to manage and minimize costs. The complexity which goes into cybersecurity, though, requires investments in people, process and technology. This creates tension between the cybersecurity team and the business at large. There is a growing belief cybersecurity will soon earn the respect seen from profit centers. The impact of breaches and baking in security as part of the technology life cycle will build consumer confidence and lead to greater business profits.

Final Note: Companies are beginning to see security and privacy as a competitive advantage in the market. To support this, if you haven’t followed Apple's 2021-2022 “Privacy on iPhone” campaign, you can see first hand how the biggest companies are putting this front and center to create a trusted brand perception.

Embedded content: Privacy on iPhone | Data Auction | Apple

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