Pursuing a degree in cybersecurity can lead you to a booming field where job opportunities abound.
In the United States, there are almost 600,000 vacancies in cybersecurity, and the supply of skilled workers lags far behind the demand. This means that with a cybersecurity degree, you have a wide range of options for your job with high earning potential.
Although you can find cybersecurity internships in almost any industry, you can have the greatest impact by protecting sensitive data from those who need cybersecurity professionals the most, such as financial services, healthcare , government agencies and retail.
If you are planning to join the growing field of cybersecurity and start a rewarding career, here are some of the high-paying entry-level positions you can find after earning a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.
Information Security Analyst
Annual Salary Potential: $103,590
Information security analysts play a critical role in planning and executing cybersecurity measures to protect organizations’ computer networks from cyberattacks and data breaches. They monitor network infrastructure and detect and resolve vulnerabilities to improve security.
Penetration Tester / Ethical Hacker
Annual Salary Potential: $114,902
Penetration testers, sometimes also called ethical hackers, are cybersecurity professionals hired to attempt to break into their employers’ IT infrastructures such as web servers, applications, and databases. Through their hacking attempts, penetration testers reveal and measure flaws and vulnerabilities that malicious hackers can exploit to endanger a computer system.
Network Security Engineer
Annual Salary Potential: $113,918
As builders and maintainers of an organization’s security systems, network security engineers design, implement, and maintain tools and applications in an organization’s network. With in-depth knowledge of security products, latest technologies and security protocols, they are also experts in network-based security risk assessments.
Digital forensics specialist
Annual Salary Potential: $78,994
When data breaches occur, digital forensics specialists use recovery techniques to analyze physical and digital evidence such as log files, hard drives, and data sources and reconstruct the sequence of malicious activity. After the investigation, they write technical reports to detail the findings of their case and give recommendations to improve safety. Digital forensics specialists often work with legal teams, so knowledge of law enforcement and cybersecurity compliance is necessary for the job.
Responding to incidents
Annual Salary Potential: $74,138
Supporting forensic investigation efforts, incident responders provide immediate front-line responses to intrusions or exploits as soon as they occur. Compared to digital forensics specialists who primarily conduct investigations, incident responders focus more on the technical side of security auditing, monitoring, and intrusion detection.
Beyond the entry-level roles mentioned above, as you develop your abilities and experience, you will have the opportunity to progress your career to mid-level or higher positions such as Senior Cybersecurity Analyst, Cybersecurity Manager, Cybersecurity Architect and Chief Information Security. Officer.
Build your qualifications for a cybersecurity career
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity can help open the door to the rewarding career prospects above. However, in addition to a college degree, employers are looking for candidates who have relevant skills and practical experience. Some cybersecurity positions may also require professional certifications demonstrating your skills.
To increase your marketability while studying cybersecurity, be sure to focus on developing the following essential skills that employers value in their candidates:
- In-depth knowledge of database security and operating systems, including Windows, UNIX, and Linux
- A fundamental understanding of computer networks and cloud computing
- Expertise with standard programming languages such as Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, C++, C# and .Net
- Knowledge of threat prevention and antivirus principles such as VPNs and firewalls
- Proficiency in symmetric and public key cryptography algorithms, key distribution and authentication, wireless network security, email security using protocols such as PGP, S/MIME , intrusion detection, IP security, firewall and web security approaches
- Strong analytical thinking, problem solving, communication and leadership skills
Relevant internship experience
In addition to your degree, hiring managers expect you to have relevant work experience in cybersecurity or IT. Therefore, when preparing for your bachelor’s degree, remember to use your institution’s career resources to help you initiate internships or apprenticeships in cybersecurity-related fields.
The University of Michigan-Flint’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program, for example, incorporates an internship course into the robust curriculum. This setting allows you to build work experience and earn college credit at the same time.
Hands-on work experience lets you apply your knowledge to solve security problems and build your resume with tangible accomplishments.
Cybersecurity certifications can help you stand out from other job applicants. Although optional, employers often prefer to hire candidates who can validate their skills and expertise through professional certifications. Some of the most popular cybersecurity certifications include:
The CompTIA Security+ certification is open to all levels of cybersecurity professionals. Certification demonstrates your mastery of IT and security best practices.
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
The CEH certificate validates your skills in penetration testing, detection and prevention of cyberattacks. The certificate exam accepts entry-level professionals who have at least two years of information security experience. However, you can still take the certification exam without work experience, as long as you have completed the official EC-Council training.
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
Designed for entry-level to intermediate-level IT professionals with two to five years of experience, the CISA certification showcases your skills in assessing, auditing, and controlling security vulnerabilities.
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Created by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC), the CISSP certification is for professionals who have more than five years of experience and are looking to advance their role in cybersecurity.
Kick-start your career with UM-Flint’s BS in Cybersecurity program
In response to job demands and market needs, the University of Michigan-Flint created the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program to help you gain the most sought-after skills and hands-on experience in this emerging field.
Do you want to embark on a successful career in cybersecurity and achieve your professional ambitions? contact us to get more information about the cybersecurity program!