In this role, you get to practice cybersecurity offense and defense by testing systems for vulnerabilities and making recommendations on how to strengthen those systems. This list of the top 50 cybersecurity networking groups and professional organizations from Digital Guardian is a good place to start. It makes sense to start thinking about what kinds of certifications are required by an employer, or what kinds of certifications make job applicants competitive within the field.

  • When looking at job opportunities in the cybersecurity industry, it’s a good idea to keep notes about what kinds of certifications employers are looking for.
  • A notch above security engineers, security architects are in charge of overseeing the general security work.
  • Here are the number of US job listings across three job sites that require these cybersecurity certifications.
  • Check to see whether most courses are asynchronous and are staffed by faculty with experience leading online courses.
  • First, you should seek entry-level cybersecurity jobs to help you gain experience and build your skills.
  • It also shields organizational assets from different internal and external threats when done correctly.

That often means that continuing education is required — both in the form of formal, industry-recognized certifications —  and in the form of informal learning and tracking industry developments. The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification is also considered a more advanced cert because it generally requires that applicants have multiple years of work experience. The goal of an ethical hacker certification is to be able to understand how cyber attacks unfold in order to improve threat assessment and mitigation skills. In addition to these, knowing the fundamentals of data loss prevention, anti-virus, and anti-malware will make you stand out. After all, everything relies on the fundamentals, so don’t neglect the fundamentals.


Though there are many cybersecurity positions where a master’s degree is not required, it is increasingly common to see an advanced degree listed as “required” or “preferred” in listings for top jobs. According to CyberSeek’s breakdown of the cybersecurity specialist position, 63% of employers require a bachelor’s degree and 20% require a master’s degree. If you’re new to cybersecurity, you may start out in an entry-level IT role, such as a help desk technician, network administrator, or software developer. Many cybersecurity professionals enter the field as a junior information security analyst after gaining some experience in IT. As a cybersecurity specialist, you will help to increase and provide security for networks, software systems, and data centers. This is a challenging field and you’ll need to search for risks and vulnerabilities in a company’s software and hardware.

The ability to analyze data in great detail without bypassing any significant information is probably the most important trait a cybersecurity professional can have. With over half of the world now connected to the internet in some way, cybercriminals must be rubbing their hands with glee as their list of potential targets grows by the hour. It’s no surprise then that industry experts predict that between 2017 and 2021 spending on cybersecurity services will exceed $1 trillion as companies struggle to stay one step ahead of hackers. For maximum flexibility, consider a program that allows part- and full-time students to complete all coursework online. Many institutions have adopted online learning in the wake of COVID-19, but not all have perfected this teaching method. Check to see whether most courses are asynchronous and are staffed by faculty with experience leading online courses.

Key Soft Skills for Security Specialists

You’ll do this by playing the part of the intruder, trying to find vulnerabilities before the bad guys do. Cyber security is a wide field that includes dozens of different job titles. CISA is a national organization that seeks to understand, manage, and reduce risk to cyber and physical infrastructure. They offer industry resources, how to become a security specialist analyses, and tools to help build cyber communications. is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable. To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers.