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How to Get Ahead in Cybersecurity

Posted in October 2018

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A career in cybersecurity is one of the most sought after in the tech field and can be a fulfilling and lucrative option for talented and ambitious professionals. Cybersecurity experts play a vital role in keeping their employers and their customers safe while online. But to succeed requires specific qualifications and experience.

Here we take a look at how to get ahead in this rewarding field.

Where are the jobs?

In short, everywhere.

From American universities to British Airways and Facebook, hackers have caused havoc for employers throughout 2018. No sector or organization is immune. By 2021 it’s predicted that at current levels of rising demand versus expected candidate availability, there could be a staggering 3.5 million open jobs in cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity talent is sought after around the globe but in particular:

  • In the UK and Europe, the introduction of the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) more than tripled demand for cybersecurity professionals in 2018. The GDPR is also expected to be one of the top cybersecurity concerns for employers in 2019.

  • Australian and Canadian employers are experiencing serious national skills shortages in the sector.

  • A 28% growth in cybersecurity jobs is predicted from 2016 to 2026 in the US.

What about the gender gap?

The gender gap is real and not predicted to close any time soon.  

Females are underrepresented in the cybersecurity sector. It is estimated that around 20% of cybersecurity professionals are women but some studies suggest a much lower figure. Deloitte’s global Women in Cyber initiative launched in July 2018 to address this issue and encourage more females to explore a career in the sector. If you’re considering that option, this initiative offers real-life insight from women working in the sector, including advice on how to build a career in cyber, the potential challenges and the skills needed to succeed.

A lucrative career

Demand is pushing up average salaries for cybersecurity professionals, which stands at around c$117,000. Pay for entry level jobs is also soaring. Graduate roles in the US now attract salaries of close to $100,000 per annum, more than in any other sector. Your salary will depend on your level of expertise and experience – and the specific requirements of a prospective employer. Speak to your recruiter for more detailed advice.

A career with security

Like most of the tech sector, cybersecurity is one of the most reliable professions for long-term job security. The role of Cybersecurity Engineer is predicted to become the most in-demand tech job in 2019 but opportunities are varied and numerous. Other roles include security engineer, security analyst, penetration tester, and cryptographer. The emerging role of Chief Cybercrime Officer may also become critical to larger organizations in 2019 as data hacks are expected to rise.

The key to success is to stay on top of current trends and develop the skillsets that make you more valuable to employers.  As well as the GDPR, research suggests that the top cybersecurity concerns for businesses in 2019 including phishing, ransomware, the cloud and cryptocurrency mining.

Have you got what it takes to succeed?

If you’re considering a career in this specialist sector, or seeking your next career move, here’s our advice:

  • A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or another field of computer science is essential for most employers. Many cybersecurity professionals move from traditional tech roles, such as systems administrator into more specialized positions through additional training.

  • For entry level candidates, deciding on your specialization can help to make you more attractive to businesses.

  • Ensure you constantly refresh your skills and invest in your future. Tech is rapidly changing and new skillsets are required constantly.

  • For professionals looking for a leadership role, the same advice applies. Stay ahead of trends in the sector and work on the skills that are needed for your next career move. Acquire the most relevant certifications and training, through online courses or a master’s degree for example.

  • Networking should be an ongoing strategy to help you to fulfill your long-term career goals. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and build professional relationships with people in your field.

  • Speak to a specialist recruiter who knows your sector inside out and is ideally positioned to advise on your next career move.

Working with a specialist recruiter like those at Glocomms, can help understand your career options within cybersecurity and make sure you secure a job that is a perfect fit for you. To learn more, get in touch with Glocomms today.