What you need to know to find a job in cybersecurity

For job seekers, the cybersecurity field can seem like a goldmine. It has more than 750,000 job postings and the salary can range from around $86,000 for an entry-level position to over $160,000 for a senior position, according to an analysis of job postings.

But the field is so new that many job seekers don’t know what kinds of skills or credentials are required or what kinds of jobs exist.

To learn more, The Wall Street Journal interviewed Sandra Blanke, associate professor and director of cybersecurity education and cyberintelligence at the University of Dallas’ Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business. The edited excerpts follow:

where are the jobs

WSJ: How can people find out what types of cyber jobs are available and how much they pay?

TEACHER. WHITE PERSON: CyberSeek [a website supported by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education] shows the total number of job openings in the United States and how much cyber jobs pay. It also shows which skills and degrees are needed for certain jobs, and which institutions issue e-certifications and degrees.

WSJ: Do you need a bachelor’s degree to work in cybersecurity?

TEACHER. WHITE PERSON: Smaller companies with fewer resources may hire someone without a two- or four-year degree, but the candidate would likely still need to have some sort of training or certifications and hands-on experience. Big companies will be looking for someone with a two- or four-year degree, as well as hands-on experience and certifications.

WSJ: Anything inexperienced cybersecurity job seekers should know?

TEACHER. WHITE PERSON: When employers write job postings for entry-level positions, they often ask for advanced certifications designed for more experienced professionals. They may also require a few years of relevant work experience. But inexperienced job seekers shouldn’t be intimidated.

Cyber ​​competitions, internships and volunteer positions can be considered hands-on experience.

WSJ: Should undergraduates major in cybersecurity if they want to work in the field?

TEACHER. WHITE PERSON: If students know they are interested in cybersecurity, they should get a cybersecurity degree. A cyber degree should cover these specific areas: information and operations security, vulnerability assessment, digital forensics, penetration testing, risk management, network security, data analytics, cybersecurity analysis and compliance . It is also important to have practical experience in the laboratory or with an employer.

Undergraduates should also hold cyber contests to get an idea of ​​how their knowledge compares to that of their peers.

Centers of Excellence

WSJ: How does someone find the best school when it comes to e-degrees and degrees?

TEACHER. WHITE PERSON: The National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have designated several hundred colleges and universities as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. The agencies audit them every five years, so their program stays up to date.

WSJ: What about professionals looking to enter or advance in the field?

TEACHER. WHITE PERSON: There are cybersecurity certifications that allow professionals with a background in IT or cybersecurity to retool their skills and apply for high-level jobs within or outside their organization. Boot camps can help professionals review material for the certification exam and help them find additional work experience if needed. Many companies are willing to pay for boot camps and certifications because it’s hard to find qualified cyber professionals.

Other professionals looking to change careers may want to explore certifications such as CompTIA Security+, or even a graduate degree.

WSJ: Is technical expertise necessary to work in cybersecurity?

TEACHER. WHITE PERSON: Not necessarily. Professionals are needed to keep up with the latest cybersecurity and cybercrime trends, ensure company procedures are up to date, and educate employees on the latest threats. For these types of positions, hiring managers may seek professionals with a background in business, marketing, or human resources, or even a background in education. Written and oral communication and research skills are essential.

Leave a Reply