BY Lake SydneySeptember 26, 2022, 1:59 p.m.
Graduates await commencement of commencement ceremonies at California State University, Los Angeles, as seen in May 2022. (Photo by Brittany Murray—MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram/Getty Images)
Cyberattacks and data breaches are increasingly prevalent, and large companies are not immune. Transportation tech giant Uber recently suffered a massive cyberattack, which shut down many of its internal communications systems and posted obscene messages and photos, according to precedents. Fortune reports.
As the threat of cyberattacks becomes a more pressing issue, C-suite executives are compelled to take a look at their bottom line and take these challenges more seriously. In fact, the focus on cybersecurity has to start in the boardroom, says Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures. CEO at each Fortune 500 mid-to-large companies and organizations should include members with cybersecurity experience on their boards, he says.
“It could be the [chief information security officer (CISO)] or an outside executive with actual cybersecurity experience,” he previously said. Fortune. “Do it now to protect your organization, not after a breach or hack to protect your reputation.”
However, cybersecurity talent extends beyond the boardroom. Companies need more cybersecurity talent for entry-level and mid-level jobs, which can land six-figure salaries. While more experienced professionals are likely to earn higher salaries, many cybersecurity roles pay more than other tech jobs. An information security analyst (usually an entry-level cybersecurity position) earned a median salary of $102,600 in 2021, according to figures from the US Department of Labor Statistics.
And professionals in the field will likely continue to bring home oversized checks. Between 2020 and 2021, some cybersecurity salaries jumped more than 16%, well above the six-figure mark, according to a 2021 report from Dice, a tech recruiting platform.
For professionals who have obtained their master’s degree in cybersecurity, taken online courses or recently completed advanced training in their company, Fortune has compiled a list of some of the highest paying cybersecurity related roles. While CISOs can take home paychecks of almost a million dollars, this list will give you a good idea of what kind of baseline you can have for your income in the cybersecurity industry.
Average salary: $151,902, according to Glassdoor
Job description: Cybersecurity managers oversee the channels that “enter and exit an organization’s information network,” according to Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement. They also oversee security systems and teams and monitor potential network vulnerabilities that would help prevent attacks.
Education: According to Indeed, many cybersecurity leaders have earned a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, computer science, computer engineering, information assurance, or another technology-related field. Some of these professionals also earn additional certifications.
Average salary: $100,303, according to Glassdoor
Job description: A cybersecurity engineer is responsible for preventing database and network attacks, according to ZipRecruiter, which means these professionals are responsible for using hardware, firewalls, and encryption to protect data. They both build security systems and protect a company’s IT infrastructure.
Education: Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field is often necessary for this position. Some cybersecurity engineers also choose to earn a master’s or doctoral degree. in the field if they are interested in middle to senior management roles.
Average salary: $121,378, according to Indeed
Job description: More commonly known as “pen testers” or “ethical hackers,” penetration testers essentially simulate cyberattacks against corporate computer systems to scan for vulnerabilities. They often try to break into large computer systems and research and experiment with different types of attacks.
Education: Penetration testers typically work at least on developing technical skills and then earn a degree in cybersecurity, information assurance, or a related field. They also often obtain cybersecurity certifications, including PenTest+.
Cyber Security Analyst
Average salary: $113,270, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job description: Cybersecurity analysts work to protect company hardware, software, and networks from cyberattacks. These professionals must understand the technological infrastructure of the organization to be successful in their jobs. They also need to anticipate when cyberattacks might occur.
Education: Cybersecurity analysts often have a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field. They will also earn certifications including CISSP, which is one of the most coveted credentials in cybersecurity.
Find out how the schools you’re considering fared in Fortune’s rankings of the best master’s programs in data science (in-person and online), nursing, computer science, cybersecurity, psychology, public health, and analytics commercial, as well as the Ph.D. in education programs MBA programs (part-time, executive, full-time, and online).