Cybersecurity is a fresh and rapidly evolving field. A career started today literally has no limits. When deciding to switch careers to cybersecurity jobs or to begin your professional life in this field, you need to understand the different careers pathways. You want to match different career tracks to your interests, skills and goals in order to get the right training, gain the most knowledge and experience and develop the appropriate and critical professional networks.
At CyberWarrior Academy we want to help you understand the options you have in the field. For those entering the field there are typically three common entry-level jobs in cybersecurity, their daily tasks, estimated salaries, the skills needed to be successful, and which states have the most job openings.
Most Common Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs
Junior Penetration Tester
Average salary in the US $67,550
Also known as a “white hat hacker” or a “good hacker”, the goal of this role is to help improve the security of a computer network. A penetration tester is constantly trying to defeat their company’s security control to test how effective their defense systems are, and find out their weak spots.
Some of the most common tasks performed by this role are:
- Conduct IT/Cybersecurity assessments and penetration tests.
- Document findings for management and technical staff and recommend actions to mitigate the risks found.
- Search for vulnerabilities in network devices, applications, and operating systems.
As a Penetration Tester you need to master different skills that will help you perform and deliver better results. On the technical side you should have a deep knowledge of exploits and vulnerabilities, understand scripting and coding, have advanced knowledge of the operating system you will be working with, and understand networking and network protocols such as TCP/IP, UDP, ARP, DNS, and DHCP.
In the soft skills side you need to have a great desire to learn, master working as part of a team, be able to communicate to non–technical people and have strong writing skills to present easy to understand reports and recommendations to mitigate risks. You will also need strong customer interfacing skills.
If you are on the look for jobs in this area, you might want to consider the top paying cities: Washington DC, Seattle WA, Chicago IL, and Atlanta GA.
Information Security Analyst
Average salary in the US $59,668
A security analyst’s main goals are to identify weaknesses in a network’s security systems, to patch and respond to issues, and to prevent future incidents from happening. A person in this role helps their organization to have better systems to protect their customers data, their assets and their reputation.
The most common tasks you could perform when working as entry-level information security analyst handles are:
- To document, prioritize and analyze security threats and incidents.
- Review data on a daily basis to identify, report, and remediate any possible vulnerability.
- Configure security tools and software.
- To be the link between IT and end users to guarantee best practices are taking place and minimize disruptions.
There are certain skills that can ease the work for a security analyst. The technical skills that will help the most are to be able to gain knowledge and experience in different systems and networks, to be able to understand and work with computer scripts, to understand how to prevent and block cyberattacks, and to be able to work with any operating system. While on the soft skills side we highlight that a great candidate must have a strong critical thinking, be able to work with a team, have great verbal and written communications, and have the willingness to be constantly learning.
When considering this job for you make sure you take a look at options in the cities that offer the top paying salaries: Washington DC, New York NY, Dallas TX, Boston MA, and Atlanta GA.
Network and Computer System Administrator
Average salary in the US $50,593
A person in this job is responsible for maintaining the technological systems of an organization. He/she will be the one in charge of installing, configuring and maintaining the operating system in place, any applications, and any other system, as well as troubleshooting problems that could happen with hardware and software.
On a regular basis, a network and computer system admin, will:
- Supervise the correctly functioning of networks and computers in the organization they work.
- Organize, install and support an organization’s computer system.
- Support any data communication systems such as LANs, WLANs, intranets, network segments.
- Quickly arrange or repair hardware in case of a failure.
- Evaluate and optimize network or systems performance.
- Train users in best practices for the use of hardware and software.
Anyone looking to get a job as a system administrator should be flexible in their routine, work schedule and way of work, must be able to manage multiple tasks at the same time, have amazing troubleshooting skills, as well as to be able to communicate (verbal and written) technical matters to non-technical people.
San Jose CA, Baltimore MD, San Francisco CA, Bridgeport-CT are the top cities for this role.
And remember, your career pathway will be determined by every action, certification and training you get.