IN THIS ARTICLE
- Is Cybersecurity Still a Good Career Choice?
- Cybersecurity Job Market and Demand
- A Career in Cybersecurity: Evaluating the Advantages and Drawbacks
- Cybersecurity Career Overview
- A Cybersecurity Career Amidst AI and Tech Layoffs: FAQs
- Pursuing a Career in Cybersecurity: Real-Life Examples To Inspire You
- Cybersecurity Career FAQs
Get expert insights straight to your inbox.
If you’re currently on the job hunt or are contemplating your career path, it’s understandable that you’d want to avoid watching the news. With recent tech layoffs and pressing questions about how AI will disrupt a variety of industries, the job landscape can seem a bit scary at the moment, especially in tech.
Within tech, a career in cybersecurity has historically been considered a pretty safe bet, at least in terms of job security. Given that the demand for cybersecurity professionals reached an all-time high in 2023, you may be wondering if that’s going to continue and if cybersecurity is still a good career choice.
If you’ve been asking yourself that question, then you’re in the right place. Below, we’ll tell you all about the outlook for cybersecurity careers, and whether or not it’s still a safe bet.
Is Cybersecurity Still a Good Career Choice?
Cybersecurity offers job security and high pay for those who constantly upskill. Almost all industries require cybersecurity, especially health, government, education, law, financial services, and manufacturing. Cybersecurity roles aren’t going anywhere, and neither are the industry’s lucrative salaries.
Cybersecurity Job Market and Demand
Cybersecurity is part of the larger tech industry, and given the recent tech layoffs we’ve seen, it’s prudent to consider the overall demand for cybersecurity experts.
Cybersecurity Job Market
The cybersecurity market in 2023 is thriving, and that’s not expected to slow down anytime soon. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 35% increase in information security analyst jobs between 2021 and 2031.
Another thing to consider is the current cybersecurity talent shortage. The cybersecurity skills gap, the nuanced nature of some positions, and the sheer increase in cybersecurity crime provide the perfect opportunity for professionals to transition to this industry.
How Is the Cybersecurity Industry Impacted by AI and Tech Layoffs?
Tech layoffs have not really impacted the cybersecurity field overall. According to a comprehensive study of the tech workforce by CompTIA in 2023, the number of cybersecurity job postings has increased by 3% over the course of 2023.
Are Cybersecurity Professionals Still in Demand?
Yes, cybersecurity professionals are still in demand. As Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures, put it, “Our industry has hung out an enormous ‘Help Wanted’ sign. We expect brisk hiring in the cybersecurity space for the rest of this year and through 2025.”
What Is the Scope of Cybersecurity?
The scope of cybersecurity is broad, with many specializations. Cybersecurity encompasses any role that lends to an organization’s cyber-defense decisions and digital security.
Some of the areas that cybersecurity experts are involved in include:
- Cloud security
- Network security
- Penetration testing
- Internet of Things (IoT) security
- Data loss mitigation
- Incident response
- Endpoint protection
- Forensic analysis
- Threat analysis
A Career in Cybersecurity: Evaluating the Advantages and Drawbacks
Let’s look at some specific advantages and disadvantages that cybersecurity professionals have often spoken about.
Cybersecurity is a vast field. There’s a lot to learn, so it’s an ideal field for a lifelong learner.
- Plenty of career opportunities that prioritize experimentation
- Diverse projects and low chances of boredom
- More problem-solving and fewer mechanical processes
- Chance to play around with expensive tech
- Real-world consequences that can change lives
There are multiple drawbacks cybersecurity teams face across businesses. C-suite executives are often reluctant to prioritize cybersecurity, as it’s not a revenue-generating field. This is why, when potential cybersecurity concerns are identified, they’re sometimes ignored.
- Low organizational support and funding
- First to help but first to receive blame in times of breach
- High-pressure environment
- The learning curve is steep
- Sense of disillusionment
Cybersecurity Career Overview
If you’re going to pursue a career in cybersecurity, you should have a general sense of the field’s overall landscape.
Roles To Explore
There are over 50+ job titles in the cybersecurity industry. Here are the most popular ones:
- Cloud security architects ensure that apps and data stored in the cloud are secure.
- Cryptographers are responsible for creating encryption systems for sensitive information.
- Cyber intelligence specialists study cybersecurity challenges.
- Security Operations Center (SOC) Analysts draft reports on cybersecurity risks and coordinate mitigation.
- Penetration testers perform simulations of cyberattacks to detect vulnerabilities.
Other roles include cybersecurity engineers, network administrators, security consultants, malware analysts, and cybersecurity managers.
General Prerequisites for a Cybersecurity Career
Specific requirements will differ based on the particular role and organization. You are likely to find the following prerequisites in any entry-level cybersecurity job postings:
The most popular degree choice for the cybersecurity field is a computer science degree, though universities have also started offering cybersecurity degree programs. If you don’t want to go down the traditional degree route, you can also enroll in a cybersecurity bootcamp that get you job-ready in under a year. These cybersecurity programs are more intensive and less expensive than a university degree. Some bootcamps, such as Springboard’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp, include a money-return guarantee if you don’t land a job in cybersecurity within six months of graduation.
To become a successful cybersecurity specialist, you need a combination of hard skills and soft skills. These include:
- Sysadmin Skills
- Troubleshooting Skills
- Coding Skills
- Knowledge of Operating Systems
- Cross-Functional Communication
- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Active Listening Skills
If you don’t yet have any cybersecurity experience to speak of, consider an internship. This will help you build a portfolio of projects that you can show to employers to demonstrate your skills. You can also show experience through project components of various certifications like CompTIA Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker. With an intense curriculum and real-world projects, cybersecurity certifications validate your hands-on experience.
You should be proficient with cybersecurity tools relevant to the role you are applying for, such as Security Onion, CyberChef, Kape, Wireshark, BurpSuite, Nmap, Qualys, Nessus Tenable, and Microsoft Sentinel.
Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field, so staying up-to-date with cybersecurity trends is a vital requirement. You can stay up-to-date with cybersecurity podcasts, blogs, newsletters, and news sources. Check out the following list:
What Is the Average Salary of a Cybersecurity Professional?
The average cybersecurity salary in the United States is $128,870.
Cybersecurity architect roles and cybersecurity strategist positions receive the highest-paying salaries in cybersecurity. For both these roles, the average salary is around $135-$140K.
Is Cybersecurity the Right Career for Me?
Cybersecurity is right for you if you want to combine a high-paying career with the ability to help people while tinkering with technology. You don’t need a degree or prior cybersecurity experience, just the willingness to learn.
Get To Know Other Cybersecurity Students
A Cybersecurity Career Amidst AI and Tech Layoffs: FAQs
Tech layoffs preventing you from taking the plunge? Here are some answers to pressing questions related to AI that might ease some fears:
Will AI Take Over Cybersecurity Jobs?
No, AI will not take over cybersecurity jobs. But it will facilitate the performance of those in cybersecurity roles. Cybersecurity professionals can become more efficient at threat detection and response with AI tools. Automating peripheral mechanical tasks will allow them to focus on other vital aspects, such as ethical decision-making and intuitive cybersecurity architecture and policy.
How Can Cybersecurity Professionals Stand Out in the Age of AI?
Cybersecurity professionals can stand out by understanding how exactly a particular AI tool can contribute to their tasks. AI is reshaping cybersecurity, and knowing how to use it to your advantage rather than ignoring it will make you a valuable candidate for jobs.
Is Cybersecurity a Good Career for the Future?
Yes, the demand for candidates for cybersecurity jobs is growing at a fast pace. In the first quarter of 2023 alone, six million data records were breached. Businesses are recognizing that their security systems are vulnerable to breaches and leaks, making cybersecurity a lucrative career that will be in high demand.
Pursuing a Career in Cybersecurity: Real-Life Examples To Inspire You
Here are some examples of how a career in cybersecurity can be diverse and rewarding:
Rebecca Richard worked as a Digital Experience architect at Cyber Collective, which focused on data and consumer privacy. Before she jumped into cybersecurity, she didn’t give herself time to play around with the different cybersecurity tools organizations use. So that’s her main advice. Download virtual machines and get comfortable as you explore their functionalities using YouTube tutorials.
Rebecca has some cybersecurity book suggestions to get you started. The Security+ textbook breaks down critical concepts related to cybersecurity in a digestible manner. It can give you the foundation you need to explore other learning avenues. You don’t need formal education in cybersecurity to start your learning journey.
Finally, Rebecca recommends having digital planners and “study sprints” to accompany you on your learning path so that you can systematically tackle all that you need to study.
Sandra Liu had a long journey to her current job as a cybersecurity analyst. She recommends getting a cybersecurity certification, such as a COMPTIA+, SEC+, or GSEC, as the first step towards landing a job or soon after.
Once you get your certification and have an elementary background in the field, complete a few cybersecurity projects. Try getting inspiration from the numerous cybersecurity project ideas online. Your project should highlight the wealth of knowledge you have gathered and a deep understanding of tools. Sandra suggests Capture The Flag challenges as potential additions to your portfolio.
Instead of looking for jobs on sites like Indeed, Sandra targeted specific companies she wanted to work at. It’s a longer process to go on the company’s website and look for open roles, but she found it to be worth it.
Cybersecurity is a vast field, and generic roles require broader knowledge, so try to cover as many concepts as possible. One way to do this, according to her, is a bootcamp. She recommends the Springboard bootcamp as it will help you train for the COMPTIA+ certification. Once you complete the bootcamp and pass the exam, you will be COMPTIA+ certified.
Cybersecurity Career FAQs
Here are some more questions you may have and our take on it:
Is Cybersecurity a Stressful Job?
It depends on what stresses you out. Cybersecurity roles are inherently stressful to a certain extent, as there’s much time spent putting out fires.
Is Cybersecurity Math Heavy?
No, you don’t need a high-level grasp of mathematical concepts to excel in cybersecurity positions. Your IT skills and programming knowledge will be more critical than any calculations that may come up.
Which Pays More: Cybersecurity or Coding?
Coding jobs and cybersecurity roles pay around the same at the entry-level. Once you start specializing in cybersecurity, your pay will increase at a faster pace than it will for a coder.
What Is the Easiest Subset of Cybersecurity?
It depends on your skill set and aptitude. What comes naturally for some is more difficult for others. What’s important is that you pick a subset of cybersecurity that you’re deeply passionate about so that you can push through any challenges.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Cybersecurity?
You can learn cybersecurity concepts in under a year. Enroll in a bootcamp that equips you with job-ready skills. If you go down the self-learning approach to cybersecurity, it can take 2-3 years to have enough knowledge to apply for jobs.
Since you’re here…
Interested in a career in cybersecurity? With or Cybersecurity Bootcamp, you’ll get a job in the industry, or we’ll return your tuition money. Test your skills with our free cybersecurity course, and check out our student reviews. We’re a safe bet. 🔒😉