Want to go beyond software development jobs with an IT or computer science degree?
Kick starting your career in the cyber security sector might just be the option for you.
Due to the fast-paced increase in the need for cyber security in the tech industry, the demand for cyber security professionals has seen tremendous growth over the years.
So much so that job vacancies for this position take 20% longer to fill than other IT roles.
And of course, owing to this increasing demand for potential candidates, cybersecurity jobs pay 16% more than the average salary of IT professionals.
Pretty amazing, right?
If you have top-notch programming skills, coupled with great cognitive and problem-solving skills, you can bag entry-level cyber security jobs.
Read on to learn more about entry-level cyber security jobs and the following related FAQs:
- What is an entry-level position in cyber security?
- What are the best entry-level cyber security jobs?
- How to get a job in cyber security?
- What are some entry-level cyber security job requirements?
- What are the best certifications for cyber security jobs?
- How much do entry level cyber security jobs pay?
- What are some of the common FAQs related to entry-level cyber security jobs?
What is an Entry-level Cyber Security Job?
Cyber security is an umbrella term that defines different procedures, technologies, and the workforce that secures corporations' online transaction and activities.
And entry-level cyber security roles are a part of this industry.
In a broad context, the responsibilities of a cyber security professional include installing and maintaining elaborate security systems that identify loopholes in the organization’s digital space.
They create standard operating procedures to protect sensitive information from potential online threats and risks.
By the US’s National Security Agency (NSA) standards, an entry-level cyber security role requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field with at least 2-3 years of relevant experience.
However, depending on the particular role, you can compensate for the lack of experience with higher-level degrees and certifications.
Top 5 Entry-level Jobs for Cyber Security Roles
Given below are the top 5 entry-level cybersecurity jobs that you can consider applying for:
Cyber Forensic Investigator
Also known as Digital Forensic Investigators, these professionals are responsible for retrieving critical information from digital sources to determine how a hacker got access to a closed system.
In other words, they investigate illegal digital breaches to gather data and evidence for legal action.
A cybersecurity analyst is a great position to kick start your career in the cybersecurity industry, as having prior work experience is not a mandatory requirement for this position.
The common duties of a cybersecurity analyst include:
- Securing a company’s digital network and systems from cyberattacks
- Keeping up-to-date with the latest IT trends in the industry to formulate effective contingency plans
- Monitoring company’s systems and software to identify potential threats and suspicious activities
Also known as IT auditors, security auditors oversee the crucial task of authenticating various security processes of the company.
Aspiring candidates for this position must have an eye for detail to streamline the task of identifying vulnerabilities of the company’s digital security system.
General duties include auditing, testing, reporting, and communicating audit findings to higher management and respective professionals.
Security specialists maintain a company’s automated security systems and staff databases.
They are responsible for securing company data, firewalls, and assisting senior professionals in onboarding new recruits.
Most of the security specialist professionals work in the aerospace, financial, government, and utility industries.
The role of a cryptographer is an interesting one as these professionals use unique algorithms and ciphers to encode crucial data and formulate security systems.
They are in charge of protecting such data from being compromised or destroyed by unauthorized sources.
The majority of candidates who aspire to work as a cryptographer have an educational background in mathematics or statistics as their duties involve developing mathematical models for determining potential security and privacy threats.
How to Get Entry-level Jobs in Cybersecurity?
As stated earlier, most entry-level cybersecurity jobs require you to have at least 2-3 years of relevant experience in the industry, depending on your level of education.
If you have a master’s degree, you’ll only need a year of work experience to qualify, while candidates with a doctorate degree do not require any work experience.
With that being said, given below are some tips to help you bag entry-level cybersecurity jobs:
Do Your Research
Before you start sending out your applications for entry-level cybersecurity jobs, you need to have in-depth knowledge about the industry.
Research about the various cybersecurity job positions, their duties and requirements to know which position best suits your qualifications and skills.
Get accustomed to using industry acronyms and technical terms so that if you get shortlisted for an interview, you know what the recruiters are talking about.
Meet the Cyber Security Job Requirements
Once you decide on the exact job position you want to apply for in the cybersecurity industry, you must ensure that you meet the requirements of the particular position.
Here are some of the general cyber security requirements you must meet:
- A Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field
- Proficiency in using various operating systems like Linux, Unix, and Windows
- Knowledge of cloud computing and familiarity with forensic tools
- Programming skills like Java, C, C++, etc.
- Attention to detail, along with strong communication and analytical skills
- Extra certifications to show proficiency in specialized skills
Get Certified and Polish Your Skills
Even if you have the required degree for cybersecurity jobs, consider enrolling in industry-recognized certificate courses that will help you become job-ready.
This is will not only help you polish or acquire new skills but will also give you an edge over other candidates when you apply for jobs.
Here’s a list of the best cyber security certifications for entry-level cybersecurity jobs:
- CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)
- CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
- CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
- GSEC: GIAC Security Essentials
- ECSA: EC-Council Certified Security Analyst
- Global Information Assurance Certification GPEN (Certified Penetration Tester)
- MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) Security Fundamentals
- Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate (ISACA CSX)
- CompTIA Security+
- GISF (GIAC Information Security Fundamentals)
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
Apply for Apprenticeships
The best way to get hands-on experience for entry-level cybersecurity jobs is by applying for apprenticeships and internships.
This is especially helpful for candidates who have a master’s degree and just require a year of work experience to start their career as cybersecurity professionals.
You can use sites like Apprenticeship.gov to find apprenticeship opportunities that will boost your candidacy.
Make a Compelling Entry-level Cyber Security Resume
Now, to showcase your qualifications and skills, you need to build an entry-level cyber security resume that will surely get you shortlisted.
Since the majority of recruiters now use the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to select the most qualified candidates for job vacancies, you must ensure that your resume is ATS-friendly.
You can do so by tailoring your resume according to the requirements given in the job listing and by including plenty of industry-related keywords in your resume.
Become a Member of Professional Associations and Groups
Even before you become a cybersecurity professional, you can become a part of associations like IISP (Institute of Information Security Professionals) that will give you invaluable insight into the industry.
When you join such professional associations, you become knowledgeable and up to date with the latest trends in the cybersecurity industry.
You can learn from the experts, attend workshops, and even get access to their job boards.
You can also join similar LinkedIn groups to learn more about the industry and become a great candidate for entry-level cyber security jobs.
Prepare for Interviews
Once you get shortlisted for an interview, you must begin your interview preparations right away.
One of the common reasons why candidates fail interviews is due to their lack of knowledge about the company and lack of confidence.
Thus, when you prepare well for an interview, you naturally become more confident and perform better.
Do a quick Google search about the company you're interviewing with. Learn about their products or services, recent milestones, company vision, etc.
Cyber Security Entry-level Jobs Salary
The average salary for entry-level cyber security jobs in the US is $72,018 per annum.
However, your salary as a cybersecurity professional will always be subjected to the level of experience you have, your skills, job title, industry, and location.
Take a look at the different salary figures for cybersecurity professionals with varying levels of experience:
|Level of Experience||Average Salary|
|Entry-level (less than 1 year)||$63,235|
|Early career (1 to 4 years)||$71,942|
|Mid career (5 to 9 years)||$88,596|
|Experienced (10 to 19 years)||$102,002|
|Late career (20+ years)||$112,984|
As for the average salaries based on the job titles under cybersecurity, here are the figures:
|Job Title||Average Salary|
|Information security analyst||$99,275|
|Digital forensic examiner||$75,265|
|Security systems administrator||$75,703|
Meanwhile, Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Arlington are amongst the top paying US cities for entry-level cybersecurity jobs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Network Security Jobs
What are some of the high-paying entry-level cyber security jobs?
Some of the highest paying jobs in cybersecurity include:
Ethical Hacker: Also known as bug bounty hunters, ethical hackers are some of the highest-paid positions in cybersecurity. The national average salary in the US for ethical hackers is $119,289 per annum.
Information Security Engineer: The median salary of an entry-level information security engineer is $89,791 a year.
Security Sales Engineer: Entry-level security sales engineers in the US can make an average salary of $70,500 per annum.
Is it hard to get a job in cyber security with no experience?
No, it is not hard to get a job in cybersecurity. Studies show that the cybersecurity industry is projected to grow by more than 30% over the next decade. And if you have the right skills, degree, and certifications, you can get hired with no experience.
How can I start my cyber security job?
The best way to kick-start your career in cyber security is by getting a degree in computer science or any related field. In addition to that, pursuing cybersecurity certificate programs can help you make up for the lack of experience as an entry-level candidate.
Below are the key takeaways from the blog:
- Job vacancies for cyber security roles take 20% longer to fill than other IT jobs which shows that there is no shortage of job opportunities in the cyber security industry.
- Cyber security is an umbrella term that defines different procedures, technologies, and the workforce that secures the online transaction and activities of corporations.
- The primary responsibility of a cyber security professional is to protect an organization’s digital data, systems, and software from hackers.
- Cyber forensic investigator, security auditor, cryptographer, and cyber security analyst are some of the top entry-level cybersecurity jobs.
- To bag entry-level cyber security jobs, you must do thorough research about the industry, get certified, and build a compelling resume.
- The basic requiremnt for entry-level cyber security jobs include a bachelor’s degree in computer science or any related field, along with 2-3 years of relevant work experience.
- The average salary for entry-level cyber security jobs in the US is $72,018 per annum.