Top Careers in Cybersecurity and How to Get Started

With the rapid transition into a highly digitized environment, security has become a priority for governments, businesses, and every other organization, resulting in an increased demand for cybersecurity professionals.

This trend has been particularly prominent following the pandemic, where many tech businesses have gone into retrenchment mode, although the cybersecurity industry has remained unhinged. In fact, according to reports, the latter has grappled with 3.5 million unfilled jobs in 2023, which is forecasted to persist for the next two years—a testimony to a dire lack of talent in the sector.

So, if you’re considering a job in cybersecurity, there’s no better time than now to pursue opportunities. What career options does the industry hold, and how can you get started? Keep reading to learn more.

Top Careers in Cybersecurity for You to Pursue

There are many reasons to start a career in cybersecurity right now. A lucrative job market, competitive salaries, and remote working opportunities all seem undoubtedly appealing. For many people, however, the diverse range of career paths the sector offers ranks high among the factors that make cybersecurity an attractive profession.

Here are the top cybersecurity career options for you to explore:

Security Architect

This role’s primary focus is on designing airtight security infrastructure that could withstand cyberattacks and protect organizations and their data.

Security Architects research and stay up-to-date on evolving digital threats, build robust security systems, develop relevant protocols and policies for employees to follow, and create the right ecosystem to establish a resilient security architecture. They also conduct vulnerability tests, carry out drills, and continuously update the security infrastructure to ensure it remains intact when faced with new types of threats.

Security Risk Manager

These professionals are tasked with assessing and mitigating an organization’s security risks.

In a way, their role overlaps with business continuity planning as they work toward ensuring the long-term sustainability of the operations with zero or minimal downtime and disruptions due to cyber threats.

Tasks they perform include conducting periodic assessments to monitor networks and systems, documenting their findings for future reference, alerting and working together with other teams on mitigating potential threats, and reporting to the management about the organization’s state of cyber risk.

Cybersecurity Engineer

Cybersecurity engineers are responsible for devising solutions to protect networks and data from malware, hacking, insider attacks, and various other threats an organization could experience.

They’ll work with IT vendors, service providers, and internal stakeholders to identify, analyze, procure, and implement the necessary tools and resources to minimize vulnerabilities and strengthen security against data breaches. These professionals will also monitor and maintain networks and processes and ensure the existing systems can cater to changing business needs and security environments.

Security Administrator

This is a critical role for the day-to-day security health of a business. While a system administrator oversees the general IT infrastructure of an organization, a security administrator is charged with daily administrative tasks involved with the security systems, networks, and data.

For instance, they’ll observe networks for breaches, threats, and anomalies, maintain important databases, take data backups, monitor user activities, and escalate any concerns for urgent attention and action.

Cyber Forensic Analyst

Also known as digital forensic examiners and forensic technicians, these professionals have a pivotal role to play in the event of a cyberattack, such as a hacking or data breach.

They investigate security incidents to find evidence, unravel what transpired, and assess the scale of the intrusion. Their findings could allow law enforcement teams to identify the perpetrator and help in ensuing legal proceedings.

In addition, cyber forensic analysts will enable organizations to recover data following a theft, breach, or manipulation to minimize operational disruptions.

How Can You Get Started in a Career in Cybersecurity?

By taking certain steps early, you can lay a solid foundation for a successful career. Here’s what you must do to win your dream job and scale faster in a cybersecurity profession.

Understand Your Interests

As discussed above, the cybersecurity sector presents various job paths. By knowing where your interests and aspirations lie, you can select a path that best matches your needs to secure a rewarding and fulfilling long-term career.

Research the Job Market

Once you identify a few cybersecurity career paths you want to pursue, conduct exhaustive research to understand what each entails.

Consider the job roles, requirements, and work conditions. Would you need to work long hours? Can you perform your duties remotely? Which entry-level positions are available? What is the average salary scale?

In addition to exploring these areas, identify what type of organizations offer jobs related to the career paths you’ve shortlisted. What opportunities do they currently offer? How fast can you progress in your career with them?

The answers to these questions will further enable you to select the career option that best aligns with your interests and ambitions. 

Upgrade Your Skills

Cybersecurity professionals require specific technical skills. You can often acquire them through a formal degree in the respective field. Certifications, such as CISSP and CISA, are also popular.

Remember to focus on soft skills, too. Communication, leadership, and similar skills will be invaluable when you’re working with teams and cross-functional departments.

Build Connections

By building connections with like-minded individuals and cybersecurity professionals, you can gain insights into certain career paths, learn about industry trends, and find work opportunities.

Here are a few tips for effective networking:

  • Attend cybersecurity events, workshops, and conferences.
  • Create a profile on LinkedIn showcasing your skills, experiences, certifications, and training.
  • Search for local cybersecurity professionals on Leadar and connect with them offline.
  • Get active on social media to network, demonstrate your knowledge, and share ideas, suggestions, and advice.
  • Join online cybersecurity forums and interact with other users regularly.

To Summarize

The cybersecurity industry is booming, making it a lucrative market to pursue a career. If you’re interested in this field, security architect, security risk manager, cybersecurity engineer, security administrator, and cyber forensic analyst are the top career paths for you to explore.

However, to get started, identify your interests and research the job market to determine opportunities that make a better fit. Don’t forget to develop your technical and soft skills and expand your network within the cybersecurity field.