Between 2019 and 2029, the cybersecurity industry is expected to see a 29% increase in job growth. This massive growth is, in part, a direct result of the rapid advancements in technology. Therefore, there is a critical need for cybersecurity professionals with competent skills to secure emerging technologies. Furthermore, as job functions for cybersecurity experts continue to expand, the industry will offer a broad array of diverse roles covering intricate responsibilities that will determine the future of business in the 21st century.
In addition, the demand for cybersecurity experts is thriving because companies are now more careful with their security infrastructure to protect against potential threats. As such, prospective cybersecurity professionals will never experience a dull moment. Thus, cybersecurity is one of the most lucrative jobs within the Information Technology (IT) space.
This blog will explain factors that influence pay rates and the level of experience needed to secure high-paying positions in the cybersecurity industry. But first, let’s begin by dissecting the cybersecurity job landscape today.
Dissecting the cybersecurity job landscape
With many companies shifting towards the remote work culture, computing infrastructures are no longer 100% hosted on-premise. In some cases, mobile devices facilitate critical business operations via cloud-based infrastructures or a hybrid environment. Therefore, cybersecurity job functions are evolving to align with the evolving cyber-threat landscape to ensure a robust security posture.
The market is ripe for new cybersecurity recruits to maneuver emerging technologies, such as cloud computing, machine learning, blockchain, etc., within a flexible work environment. The general cybersecurity job market is still developing, and new roles are being introduced. So, the scramble to capture first-round picks is happening within government agencies and corporation organizations across every industry today. Therefore, it is safe to say that having the knowledge and skills to assure the confidentiality, integrity, availability, and privacy of critical systems are among the most lucrative assets in the information age.
Cybersecurity roles and their salary trajectories
The roles are pretty diversified when it comes to cybersecurity. However, the hierarchy of roles within the cybersecurity sector is similar to other traditional industries, often defined in three tiers. For a better understanding of cybersecurity roles and their salary trajectories, we shall discuss those three tiers of job roles in greater detail:
● Entry-level roles: These roles are usually the starting points for new graduates and individuals interested in making a career transition into the cybersecurity industry. Therefore, entry-level cybersecurity roles require foundational knowledge and technical skills to perform corporate tasks. Here are examples of entry-level positions in cybersecurity:
➢ Penetration Tester
➢ Security Analyst
➢ Incident Responder
➢ Security Engineer
➢ Vulnerability Assessor
● Mid-level roles: These roles focus on developing the entire security infrastructure where everybody can work collaboratively while staying within the policies. These roles include:
➢ Security Architect
➢ Security Auditor
➢ Security Policy Consultant
● Senior-level roles: These roles mostly require years of leadership and management experience, alongside deep technical insight into different facets of cybersecurity. They lead the teams to get the work done:
➢ Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
➢ Security Manager
➢ Global Security Director
Required skills and experience
Most freshly-minted cybersecurity professionals begin their careers in entry-level roles. The entry-level positions help new professionals grasp a real-world understanding of what it takes to secure critical systems with multiple goals. The table below gives an overview of the required skills and years of experience for each role level:
|Role Level||Skills||Years of Experience|
|Entry-level roles||Strong technical skills; Forensic approach to security challenges; Interpersonal skills; ethical integrity; Security assessment.||< 1-2 Years|
|Mid-level roles||Strong IT risk management skills; Security controls development; IT governance protocols; Security engineering skills; and Leadership skills.||> 2-3 Years|
|Senior roles||Communication and presentation skills; Business management skills; Policy development and strategy planning; Security incident management skills.||> 5-7 Years|
The current median cybersecurity career salary for cybersecurity professionals is roughly $103,590 per year. At the same time, cybersecurity salaries vary from country to country and are based on expertise levels. Hence, it is difficult to provide precise salary projections for every role in the cybersecurity industry.
Although entry-level roles earn the least, they take home higher salaries than other jobs in the market. Typically, cybersecurity professionals make much greater than the national salary average. In addition, the mid-level positions make enough to afford an excellent lifestyle with their average annual pay of over $100,000.
Senior-level roles, such as the CISO, make the most salaries in cybersecurity. However, key factors such as job location, company size, and actual job function account for the many determinants governing how much an individual can make in cybersecurity. Nonetheless, with a median salary of $224,758, CISOs in the United States make the most.