As you might expect, IT security specialists require extensive technical skills and knowledge to effectively do their jobs. According to Payscale, security specialists with 10 or more years of experience earned an average annual salary of $98,389 as of September 2021. As of 2021, the U.S. had over 1 million cybersecurity experts, yet 715,000 open jobs remained. As of April 2022, this skills gap hadn’t closed much, according to Cyberseek. The high demand for skilled professionals in this industry points to strong employment prospects for new cybersecurity specialists. All of the salary averages in the list above should be taken with a grain of salt.

It’s worth the effort, though, because you’ll be in demand and well-compensated as a cyber security professional. Another upside to cybersecurity bootcamps is the availability of personalized programs. You can choose a bootcamp based on your current skill level and availability.

Cybersecurity jobs pay well.

Certifications like CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+), PenTest+ and Project+ can prove you have the skills to take your cybersecurity career to the next level. Pay attention to the most significant factors that determine how much you will be earning in a particular position. The good news is that IT professionals, in general, earn twice as much as the national median wage in the US.

what degree do i need to be a cyber security specialist

GIAC offers 40 cybersecurity certifications in areas such as offensive operations, cyberdefense, cloud security, industrial control systems, and digital forensics and incident response. CompTIA’s cybersecurity analyst certificate validates professionals’ ability to apply behavioral analytics to devices and networks. CySA+ holders should be able to detect and prevent cybersecurity threats using continuous monitoring.

Commonly Required Skills

Job opportunities for cybersecurity specialists can be found in both the public and private sectors. Potential employers include government agencies, military contractors, IT services companies, the armed forces, professional services firms, financial institutions and cybersecurity consulting firms. They then make recommendations how to become a security specialist for solutions, including hardware and software programs that can help mitigate risk. These professionals typically design firewalls, monitor use of data files, and regulate access to safeguard information and protect the network. The growing demand for cybersecurity specialists can be seen in national employment projections.

Since most employers expect certification, the first step involves experience. Some positions may accept bootcamp graduates or self-taught workers with drive and certifications. According to a 2021 CompTIA job report, information security analyst positions were in the top ten for the most remote job listings — with about 4,400 postings. This could refer to experience in a related occupation, such as a network administrator or a systems administrator. For example, if you are searching for a job in database security, you could benefit from database administration experience.

CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)

You can also pursue any number of certifications to increase your knowledge and demonstrate your areas of expertise. You can then apply for paid or unpaid internship positions to gain practical knowledge from senior cybersecurity specialists. Some organizations require a master’s degree to become a cybersecurity specialist, but not all. Hiring businesses are looking for a mix of education, certifications and hands-on industry experience.