Cybersecurity is a fast-growing field in business, with job growth that has ballooned in recent years. As our world becomes more digitally reliant, our online privacy and digital identities become more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Protecting all digital assets, from personally identifiable data to sensitive business information, is more urgent than ever. There is a dire need in all industries for cybersecurity professionals equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to defend organizations’ cyber systems and critical infrastructure. With these factors in mind, here are ten of the best cybersecurity jobs available today.
Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Today, one of the essential operational aspects of any large organization is its ability to build, maintain, and upgrade its information technology framework. This work accounts for a significant expense and typically requires teams of skilled professionals to work together. In large enough enterprises, these information systems operations are managed by high-level executive officers called chief information officers (CIOs). At the top of this organizational pyramid, a chief information officer is responsible for making significant decisions regarding her organization’s information framework. The CIO’s job is to make the final decision regarding the selection and procurement of IT equipment. CIOs also decide how to install equipment, upgrade and improve systems, and integrate all of this into a company’s pre-existing operations. The successful CIO is a technologically adept business professional with a thorough and continually growing understanding of communications and information systems. Beyond the merely technical, a CIO also needs to possess the knowledge necessary to make intelligent and responsible purchasing decisions.
Average Annual Salary: $166,771
Chief Information Security Officer
One of the best cybersecurity jobs is CISO. A chief information security officer oversees information systems and organization security for their company. This professional is expected to evaluate, report on, and recommend new directions related to any security threats her organization currently faces, helping protect critical information and strategies. Chief information security officers typically work with a team appointed to effectively develop the steps needed to protect the firm’s interests. Additionally, this person provides leadership and advice related to existing administrative security policies. Duties may include auditing the current systems in place and directing and implementing additional standards. Employers for this position require or prefer at least an undergraduate degree in computer science, information security, or a comparable field. Many chief information security officers have a graduate degree in their field of business. Seven to ten years of information technology (IT) security experience is a significant plus for this job. Additionally, employers require solid communication and organizational skills and a willingness to work through a flexible schedule, as security threats often arise 24/7.
Average Annual Salary: $166,265
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Chief technology officers are essential parts of an executive team within an organization. These professionals lead the efforts of technology development within a firm. This is usually the highest leadership role related to technology within an organization. Leadership skills are essential, as CTOs will often lead teams of employees in the information technology department. Astute CTOs will decide when technologies need to be upgraded, so it is vital to stay updated with developments in the field. It is also essential to keep an eye on the competition to keep a step ahead. The CTO performs an abundance of research, and reports are often generated to higher leadership. Decisions are usually made by the executive team based on these reports. Chief technology officers are responsible for developing a vision for their organization and a plan by which it will achieve it in the future. These professionals need to harness the best technologies available for the end-user to have a good experience and make employees’ work more efficient.
Average Annual Salary: $163,440
Information Technology (IT) Director
Information technology (IT) directors manage and direct IT operations for their organizations as they provide leadership and technical advice that influence their departments. They are also responsible for developing effective strategies for deploying software and technology, testing hardware applications and devices before releasing them to management, and overseeing schedules and deployment contracts. These business leaders develop robust business relationships with vendors and customers to obtain better pricing and steward a firm’s resources and must function well in a team setting with other supervisors and managers to reach goals within predetermined timeframes. Their secondary duties may include distributing budgets and reporting progress to supervisors or vice presidents in their organizations. These business professionals must have proven interpersonal abilities to communicate information concepts, explain technology processes, and direct IT professionals, staff, vendors, and clients.
Average Annual Salary: $121,970
Information Security Manager
Information security managers oversee maintaining security protocols throughout their companies. They are responsible for designing strategies that increase network and internet security related to various projects. They support IT professionals to ensure easy access to data while guaranteeing high standards of confidentiality and general data security. They will often work to find and prevent problems and inefficiencies related to hardware and software equipment used by various teams within a company. Information security managers review current security policies and procedures while updating requirements in accordance with the sensitivity of the data. They may also implement checks to avoid data corruption and identity theft by coordinating privacy rules. Information security managers deploy operating system updates to ensure reliable working equipment. They will oversee regular maintenance checks for all servers, routers, switches, and other connectivity devices. Typically, information security managers run programs across networks that verify the status of running applications. These business professionals usually have a regular nine-to-five weekday schedule, but their work can be varied depending on their organization’s needs. Information security managers need to have trusted verbal and written abilities as they communicate with other teams. They also must present new ideas to executives in their organization. These professionals will have an undergraduate degree and sometimes an advanced degree like an MBA.
Average Annual Salary: $117,792
Senior Systems Engineer (Computer Networking / IT)
Senior systems engineers focused on computer networking/IT are generally responsible for maintaining and managing computer systems and tools, finding and fixing problems within systems, and monitoring, building, and implementing tools that automate repetitive tasks to prevent downtime and minimize errors. These professionals develop automation frameworks utilizing tools like Chef and Puppet. They must be comfortable with version control systems like git, relational databases like MySQL and Oracle, web servers like NGINX and Apache, and CMS applications like WordPress and Drupal. Knowledge of Solaris and Linux is necessary. They must also be proficient in a programming language like Python, Perl, Ruby, or PHP. Senior systems engineers must know how to use Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and must be capable at a command line using vi. A senior systems engineer works within a team environment has proven time management and communication skills should be highly focused and disciplined, and willing to take ownership of and oversee deliverables on a timely schedule.
Average Annual Salary: $102,151
Security Consultant, (Computing / Networking / Information Technology)
Security consultants for computing/networking/information technology work in larger organizations and educational institutions that maintain substantial digitized databases. A successful security consultant will be adaptable to each industry she may specifically cater to. These professionals must have good communication and organization skills to design and improve systems that protect their company against internal and external theft of data. Protecting big data from terrorist organizations is a concern for some who work in this field. Security consultants are also called on to conceive emergency plans for their clients. When initiating a program, they begin by assessing potential threats and developing a process the company will implement throughout specific emergencies and natural disasters. Most firms expect security consultants to hold at least an undergraduate degree and have three to five years of professional experience. A bachelor’s in computer science is particularly preferred in the networking, information technology, or computing field. Engineering degrees are also helpful, such as an MBA with a technical focus and CAD experience.
Average Annual Salary: $88,040
Vice President (VP), Information Technology
Vice presidents of information technology (IT) hold high-level positions as they oversee an organization’s technology initiatives and IT changes and updates to all projects. The vice president evaluates IT systems and makes decisions on the implementation of future technology and investments. To be successful, they must satisfy IT department goals within the context of an organization’s values and vision. They also help create objectives, policies, and standards and coordinate training sessions and support new talent joining the company. One of the most vital functions of this position is to help authorize purchases and design budgets with help from other managers and executives. Most vice presidents of IT work in office settings during regular business hours, although overtime is often required, particularly in seasons of project deadlines. Because this is an executive position, it requires advanced interpersonal skills and the ability to lead teams in a way that sustains high-quality, efficient work. Vice presidents of information technology develop sustainable business relationships with other brands and vendors. They typically hold an MBA and must be attentive to detail while handling stress well.
Average Annual Salary: $152,336
Information Technology (IT) Manager
Information technology (IT) managers supervise their organization’s computer infrastructure and related sectors. They may oversee the software platforms utilized by the company, teams that manage network technology, and IT security. IT managers may help design and implement a data storage infrastructure and access rules and protocols within a company. The primary focus of IT managers’ roles will depend on their employer; for instance, organizations with a customer-facing online presence may need the IT manager to maintain their web space’s efficient operation and security of customer data. In most scenarios, however, the IT manager’s position includes overseeing how a company’s employees access and utilize data and interact with each other online. IT managers typically help design access procedures and rules for company data, including tablets, computers, and mobile phones, allowing access to the organization’s databases and networks. These well-trained professionals also help choose and sustain antivirus software solutions and set up systems that restrict browser activity across company-owned networks and hardware.
Average Annual Salary: $88,947
Project Manager, Information Technology (IT)
A project manager in information technology (IT) is tasked with planning particular types of projects within an organization and ensuring they are applied on time and on track through every stage of the process. This position may require daily employee evaluations and leadership and motivation opportunities to achieve predetermined goals. IT project managers must ensure that employees share an identical shared vision and goals for projects while being responsible for specific duties. Problem-solving and decision-making are necessary when projects are not meeting planned levels of expectation. These professionals are usually given budgets for projects and must ensure all parties involved adhere to financial parameters. Project managers oversee projects until they are completed. They evaluate them to determine whether follow-up projects are needed and what changes are expected in the future. This position may also involve maintaining various personnel and departments to ensure their seamless collaboration. IT project managers will often have an advanced degree like an MBA in a technical field.
Average Annual Salary: $88,888
You’ve read about the best cybersecurity jobs in the nation. Now it’s time to take the first steps in a satisfying career in the field. Here are three valuable moves you can make toward the job of your dreams:
Step One: Get Trained in General IT
Many experts recommend that you begin with an internship, apprenticeship, or entry-level job in IT. This will introduce you to fundamentals like networks, administering and configuring systems, coding, and database management. You will also get a sense of real-world business operations and IT procedures.
Step Two: Dial in Your Interests
Since it’s impossible to become an expert in all fields, employers suggest you focus on one area of IT, like cybersecurity, and do it well. Think about your ultimate security career in five or ten years and begin looking for introductory IT positions that will equip you with the right skills.
Step Three: Get Educated
There are numerous undergraduate degrees and advanced programs like online MBA degrees in cybersecurity that can get you the accredited training you need for a career in IT and cybersecurity management. These programs will build your resume, arm you with knowledge and skills in business and technical leadership, and grow your network in many ways. You can’t go wrong by investing in a high-quality education.