Gone are the days when a security guard, a card key, and your dog’s name as your password kept an airtight seal around you and your company’s private information. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and with it has come a barrage of cybercrime. As a result, cybersecurity professionals with expertise in protecting digital information are in high demand.
“The collective impact is staggering. Billions of dollars are lost every year repairing systems hit by such attacks. Some take down vital systems, disrupting and sometimes disabling the work of hospitals, banks, and 911 services around the country, ” according to the FBI website.
Cybersecurity engineers, analysts, specialists, consultants, and architects are among the jobs that organizations are looking to fill. Senior leadership in cybersecurity, especially those who work in major cities or specialty fields such as the military , can pull in annual earnings in the six-figure range; this is particularly the case for chief information security officers (CISOs)1 , which are typically the highest-ranking cybersecurity employees in a company. Every state now has a CISO or the equivalent to make sure that statewide security management programs are keeping government information protected.
CISO is not the only position in the field pulling in a competitive wage, though. Other cybersecurity jobs that offer competitive salaries include the following:
Cybersecurity is a relatively new profession, and those in the field have varied school and professional backgrounds. A bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science is often a requirement (but not always), and a master’s degree in cybersecurity can boost a job applicant’s appeal factor. Classes cover topics such as cybersecurity leadership, cryptology, government and national security, network security, privacy engineering, and problem-solving skills.
Companies are also looking for employees with project management experience; analytics and data science backgrounds; technical writing skills; and expertise in law, policy, and physical security such as law enforcement and military experience, says Pete Metzger, a recruiter of C-suite cybersecurity professionals with consulting firm DHR International, to CNBC.com . Metzger started his career in the Marine Corps and later served as a Central Intelligence Agency foreign intelligence officer. Organizations are seeking people with leadership skills who can problem solve and help them “reshape” how they think about security, he said. And even if you don’t have a cybersecurity degree, it’s never too late to advance your education so you gain a competitive edge in the job market.
Cybersecurity Salary by State
Cybersecurity salaries by state are listed below for three job categories in the profession; all are mean salaries based on BLS data.1 Some state data was unavailable.