Over the last year, the demand for cyber security professionals skyrocketed by 60% and it’s not stopping there.
With technology advancing rapidly and more of us working in agile ways, businesses are investing in effective measures that protect our digital systems and data from harmful threats. That’s where cyber security comes in.
Cyber security safeguards our digital networks, software, and devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, and computers) against malicious attacks from cybercriminals.
Once someone has unauthorised access to a system or data they can leak, damage, or delete sensitive information and prevent others from accessing this. This could have a widespread, catastrophic impact – which is why cyber security is a top priority for many leaders in government, private business, etc.
Cyber security is a dynamic and lucrative field. To help you navigate through the different career options we’ve pulled together some of the most sought-after roles available today.
Forensic Computer Analysts (FCAs) investigate cybercrime and cover anything from hacking, online scams and fraud to political, industrial and commercial espionage.
A background in IT or a similar field is an excellent foundation to build upon. Some employers look for industry-related awards and certifications. To specialise in cyber security, Forensic Computer Analysts often need to have:
Salaries vary depending on your level of experience and seniority. Entry-level roles often start from £20,000 – £25,000 per annum, increasing to £60,000+ for advanced positions. Both private and public companies hire Forensic Computer Analysts, including:
As an Ethical Hacker, you’d use your cyber security expertise to expose and find solutions to any vulnerabilities in a business’ website, network or systems.
You need a degree in cyber security or Information Systems to become an ethical hacker. A Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification would also put your CV at an advantage. Alongside your qualifications, employers usually look for professionals who:
Depending on what kind of experience you already have, salaries for Ethical Hackers typically start at £30,000 – £40,000 with a median salary of £50,000 – £65,000. At a senior level, you could earn £70,000+.
Ethical Hackers play a central role in lots of different industries – and once qualified you can work for companies such as:
Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) tend to have the highest-paid jobs in the Information Security sector. That’s because they direct strategy, operations and budgets to ensure that their company’s information assets and technologies are protected from any threats.
A degree in cyber security, Information Systems or an equivalent field of study would be a great advantage if you’re interested in specialising in this field. As a CISO, you’ll need to be confident with:
A base salary for a CISO is often £130,000+ but this depends on your experience and the sector you work in. For example, you can expect these ranges in the following industries:
Barclays, Natwest, Google, Microsoft, and MI5 are some of the biggest names employing CISO specialists today.
As more business leaders focus on fortifying their cyber security, it’s a uniquely exciting time to get into the field. Start your journey with a part-time postgraduate degree in MSc Cyber Security at Northumbria University.
Certified by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), you’ll gain the knowledge and practical skills needed to succeed across various industries. You’ll be able to study while working, and sharpen your expertise in:
For personalised advice and information about the course, entry requirements and our next intakes get in touch with our friendly team.
Editor’s note: This blog was republished with revisions in March 2023 for transparency.