Conventional jobs such as financing, manufacturing, and other industries are still in demand, but more cyber security careers are needed in any industry. In fact, there is a large number of career opportunities in Seattle – from startups up to well established tech companies – that are in need of candidates with a degree in information technology and has excellent tech skills. So when you’re a cyber security or information security degree holder, you have the following career paths to choose from:
- Information Security Analyst
Becoming an information security analyst requires a degree program related to computer science or information security specialization. If you want to land a job with big corporations, graduating from an MBA program or prestigious and reputable academic institutions such as Norwich University can give you an edge. Often, employers prefer a graduate with an excellent background in information systems. Therefore, you should wisely choose a degree or enroll in a known university to achieve such an aspiration.
An information security analyst or ISA’s main task is to keep the computer networks and systems of a company well-secured and protected. Additionally, if you’re an ISA, you are also responsible for installing firewalls and data encryption using software that you plan and execute. During worst-case scenarios like cyber attacks, you must have designed plans that will recover systems and data of the company. To stay professionally aware of cyber threats and industry trends, you must continuously network with professionals in your industry, and research on security technologies.
Here are the two topmost benefits of being an information security analyst:
- High pays. Although an inexperienced information security analyst doesn’t earn as much as an experienced ISA does, they still earn way above other traditional jobs. The annual median salary for entry-level ISAs is USD 64,000, while not less than USD 94,800 for experienced ISAs. Aside from experience, the industry, location, and level of education affect the salary of an ISA.
- Work location. For an ISA, you can work anywhere as long as an industry or company needs protection for their data and computer system. The flexibility of location you can work is varied. You can even choose areas that are considered top-paying, such as the metropolitan areas.
- Penetration Tester
Also known as ethical hackers, penetration testers must have a degree in cyber security, information technology or other courses related to it. For more job opportunities, you must have relevant professional certifications that encompass systems analysis to forensics due to the range of experience and skills needed. An excellent coding skill is also required by most employers to become a successful penetration tester.
Penetration testing is to hack into the system of a company, not to create havoc or steal data, but to test its security level. Also, as part of your responsibility, you must be well-adept in writing reports to illustrate the results from the tests you have conducted.
If you plan to become a penetration tester, you can have the following benefits:
- Financially rewarding. Since top-notch companies value security, they’re willing to pay a reasonable sum to hire the best penetration testers. Depending on your experience, training, and location, you can have an average pay of USD 44,000 to USD 124,000 annually.
- Flexible working hours. If you want to work outside the typical 9am-5pm work pattern, penetration testing is a good choice. Although there’s a standard of 37 hours per week, a freelancer can have flexible working time.
- Work remotely. Aside from being employed for a full-time position in a company, you can choose to work remotely and in the comfort of your own home.
- Network Administrator
A career path that a computer and information security graduate can trek is to be a network administrator. You should be prepared to perform network support since the degree includes network design and security. If you’re a network administrator, you’ll maximize network uptime by implementing and supporting secure and resilient networks. In the passing years, more network administrators are required to run a company’s system orderly.
Included in the responsibilities of a network administrator is to monitor the operations and functions of a company’s network, keeping it operational to avoid impeding the company’s productivity. Moreover, to run a computer network—internet and intranets, wide area network, or local area network—you’re required to upgrade, maintain, and install software or hardware.
When you’re a network administrator, the following benefits are included:
- Job satisfaction. Because your employers value you due to your strong skill set as compared to regular employees, you will feel fulfilled.
- High pay. Since your skills are technical and must always be up-to-date, you’re within the top-paying jobs with an annual average of USD 90,000.
- Range of opportunities. Just like any other information security career, you can choose to work in government or the private sector, as well as medium to large corporations, until you get the right fit.
When you’re choosing a degree, you must consider the job trends so you can be readily employed upon graduation. Since technology is always developing, the need for more information security degree holders is continuously increasing. Aside from the benefits you’ll get, you have a lot of choices when it comes to careers you can trek.