As technology continues to shape the modern world, cyber security has become crucial in safeguarding sensitive information and preventing cyber attacks. In today’s interconnected digital landscape, cybersecurity professionals are in high demand as individuals, businesses, and governments strive to protect themselves from online threats.
Determining the salary of a cybersecurity engineer may not be a straightforward task, as some employers choose not to disclose such information publicly.
This blog will closely examine the industry and explore the factors influencing cyber security salaries.
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Cybersecurity Jobs and Salary Data
According to data released by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS), the demand for cybersecurity specialists is increasing twelve times faster than that of other professionals in the United States.
Companies require more cybersecurity talent for entry- and mid-level jobs that pay six figures. While more experienced professionals are likely to earn more, many cybersecurity positions offer more competitive salaries than other tech jobs. The average cyber security engineer salary is dependent on the company’s location.
Here are the highest-paying states for cybersecurity jobs (according to the average salaries per year)
|State||Mean Annual wage|
|District of Columbia||$118,728|
If you ever had any doubts about the future of the cybersecurity industry, here are a few cybersecurity salary statistics to consider:
- Information security analysts are expected to have a 35% increase in employment between 2021 and 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
- The cyber security unemployment rate dropped to 0% in 2016 and has been there ever since.
Cybersecurity Careers with the Best Income
Information security professionals help protect devices, networks, and data from malicious activity or cyberattacks.
Here’s a look at the highest-paying cyber security jobs and their corresponding salaries:
|Cybersecurity Jobs||Annual Salary|
|Director of information security||$129,083|
|Application security engineer||$128,765|
|Network security engineer||$110,713|
|Senior security consultant||$108,427|
|Chief information officer||$108,126|
How Much Do Cyber Security Jobs Pay, and How Can You Boost Your Salary?
While most of these roles have overlapping elements, you may find people who only specialize in one niche. To land a job as a CIO or CISO, you must have advanced qualifications (a master’s degree) and the experience required to stay on top of wide-scale company operations.
For an entry-level position as an information security analyst, malware analyst, cybersecurity consultant, etc., you need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in cyber security. Having a background in analytics and data science can aid cyber security engineers in progressing to more advanced positions.
Given the increasing popularity and demand for cyber security professionals, many colleges and universities have started offering focused degree programs.
Companies prefer hiring candidates with a recognized degree. You can earn these credentials by completing programs similar to those offered by the New England Institute of Technology, including:
An associate’s degree sets a solid foundation in cyber security and its peripheral topics to prepare you for a degree or any other certification. You can also take Microsoft MCP, Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Security Fundamentals, CCNA Cyber Ops, and the CompTIA A+ exams and apply for entry-level positions in the security industry.
Learn about systems, mobile and network forensics, Windows and Linux security, incident response, evolving threats, and the use of security tools with a degree at NEIT. Upon graduation, you can take internationally recognized exams like the CompTIA Security +, CCNA, and MCSA.
Our master’s degree is a great place to begin if you want to pursue leadership positions in cybersecurity. The online/hybrid program combines core subjects like penetration testing and digital forensics with project management, leadership, and risk assessment. According to Payscale, the average salary for those with a master’s degree is $91,000.
Additional degree programs offered at different colleges across Rhode Island are as follows:
Apart from the fundamental prerequisite (an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in the subject), you can increase your income potential by specializing in a specific niche. Certification is a great way to ensure higher pay (scroll down to learn more).
As is the case with any profession, your work experience directly correlates to how much you stand to earn. For instance, if you have a master’s degree in cyber security, the proper certifications and skills, and sufficient experience in the industry, you can demand a higher salary than someone new to the field.
Below, we have listed the top skills, the best certifications, and the most sought-after employers for cyber security professionals.
Certifications With the Highest Income Potential
Even without a degree in cybersecurity, there are opportunities to enhance your skill set and pursue courses that can give you a competitive advantage in the job market. It’s never too late to explore these options.
Most employers value additional certifications (over and above your basic qualifications) and are willing to pay you more for them. Here are a few certificates that could help you boost your income potential:
This certification is a must if you seek an entry-level cyber security job. It validates baseline skills that are necessary for core security functions. The certification exam tests your ability to identify and respond to cyber security threats.
GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
The GIAC Security Essentials Certification is an entry-level credential and will help showcase your cyber security know-how. You don’t need any job experience to pursue this certification, making it perfect for recent graduates.
With 180 questions you must answer within five hours, the certification costs $1249 and requires you to achieve 74% to pass.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
This is an intermediate-level credential offered by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council). You must pass one exam to obtain a CEH (ANSI) certification.
You must have at least two years of work experience in information security (along with employer verification) to apply for this certification.
CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
This certification is for those who already have at least five years of experience in the field. This certification involves passing a rigorous exam that validates your ability to develop, implement, and manage highly advanced cyber security programs.
Remember that these certifications enable you to earn better salaries and equip you with the essential knowledge to thrive in the industry.
The Most In-Demand Skills
Unscrupulous individuals and groups keep finding novel ways of breaching systems and networks, so you must always be one step ahead of them. Unfortunately, there is a massive skill gap at the moment. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, it’s important to be aware of the most in-demand skills for this field.
As an aspiring cyber security professional, you should use these skills before entering the field. This section will explore the top skills employers seek in cybersecurity professionals and offer tips on developing these skills to enhance career prospects. Here are some of the most important qualities to possess:
Today’s issues revolve around technology, business strategy, and people. Cybersecurity leaders must be technically knowledgeable about information security issues, understand how to integrate security planning into larger business objectives and be able to establish a long-term security and risk-based culture.
Cryptography professionals must be well-versed in mathematical principles such as linear algebra, number theory, and combinatorics. These principles are used by professionals when designing and deciphering robust encryption systems.
Knowledge of government and national security
Cyberspace security is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges confronting the United States in the twenty-first century. Almost every day, our IT specialists discover new threats and attacks against our nation’s networks, whether in the public or private sectors. Knowledge of government and national security is a very sought-after skill.
Privacy engineering is a new field that aims to provide methodologies, tools, and techniques to ensure that systems provide acceptable levels of privacy. Privacy engineering aims to establish reliable procedures and offerings for data-centric enterprises by bridging the gap between legal and engineering teams.
Technical writing skills
Technical writers in cybersecurity are in charge of developing strategic plans, security policies, manuals, etc. For both internal and external audiences, these plans must translate and convey the complicated idea of cybersecurity in straightforward terms.
Expertise in law
Cyberlaw, also known as cybercrime law, is a body of legislation that governs the acceptable use of technology, such as computer hardware and software, the internet, and networks. Cyberlaw protects users by allowing for the inquiry and prosecution of online criminal activity. It applies to the actions of individuals, groups, the public, government, and private sectors.
Systems and companies are increasingly moving to the cloud. This calls for an in-depth understanding of cloud security to protect the data.
Computer Forensics Skills
They focus on protecting digital assets and intelligence after the cyberattack and work with cybersecurity professionals focusing on preventing attacks.
Blockchain will likely become the security foundation in mobile, IoT, supply chain, network control, and identity solutions. The complexity of this technology makes it extremely difficult for a hacker to penetrate the network and cause harm.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI helps security professionals understand the network and identify abnormal activity. It provides automated techniques to detect and handle threats.
It safeguards devices connected to the internet and ensures the well-being of the ecosystem. By learning this skill, cybersecurity professionals can deal with security and privacy concerns in the IoT domain.
Cybersecurity professionals need skills in programming languages such as Java, C, C++, or PHP to detect attacks and develop counter plans.
A cyber security analyst must be able to study computer systems and networks to assess key risks and gauge how they can improve policies and protocols.
Hackers make attacks extremely difficult to detect, so a software security engineer must pay close attention to data and systems to identify any such incidents.
A preemptive approach is invaluable for a network security engineer or security consultant, so they can anticipate risks and successfully deploy measures to safeguard systems and networks.
Quickly responding to security breach alerts with apt solutions is imperative in this field.
That’s right; hacking is a skill! You need to know how others operate to anticipate and prevent attacks.
Soft skills are essential in any industry sector. They can give you an upper hand when you are competing for a job with someone who might have the same credentials as you.
You also need to be adept at risk management, incident response, threat intelligence, security strategy, and technology access management.
The Top 10 Employers
Cybercrime is an ever-growing threat to private businesses, public organizations, government agencies, and departments.
The increasing number of security incidents means that qualified information security analysts and cyber security employees with quality experience are in demand across industries.
And as with any highly specialized role or job position, the supply of cyber security professionals must catch up to the current demand.
Apart from the usual suspects (Google, Deloitte, PwC, Apple, GM, Cisco, Boeing, Intel, Honeywell, and HCL Technologies), here are some of the best companies for cyber security jobs:
- Palo Alto Networks
As might be evident from this list, IT, Government (Defense), Government (Nondefense), and consulting are the big employers of cyber security professionals because they deal with sensitive data that hackers might attack.
How to Start a Career in Cybersecurity
Be it an associate’s or bachelor’s, a degree should help you get into the cyber security field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that most cyber security positions require aspirants to have a bachelor’s degree in the discipline. Employers also tend to prefer employees with some experience in the field.
Whether you come from a technical or non-technical background, there’s room for everyone in the dynamic field of cyber security. Of course, programmers, web developers, software engineers, or those with a computer science background will find that most of their technical knowledge is easily transferable to this domain.
What Experience Do You Need for a Career in Cyber Security?
While the job involves understanding and working with new technology and applications, not having technical know-how may not necessarily be a disadvantage. All you need to do is target the correct positions. There is ample scope for non-technical folk to make it big in this domain.
The common thread (and the secret to a successful career) is having the desire and willingness to learn, evolve, and adapt. Getting the proper education is the first step to understanding the ropes.
Designated by the Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE), NEIT is ideal for learning the nuances of cyber security.
With three comprehensive degree programs that offer an in-depth understanding of cybercrime and cyber security, our technical institute is an excellent springboard for a long-term career in this field.
The Additional Perks of a Career in Cyber Security
Because of the scarcity of trained professionals, those interested in a cybersecurity career can expect many opportunities, high-paying salaries, and excellent benefits. A cybersecurity job comes with several advantages in addition to a competitive income.
- Work from home: 2020 saw a revolution in employment being performed outside of offices all over the U.S. However, cybersecurity specialists have long benefited from working remotely.
- Higher job satisfaction: According to a study, 71% of all cybersecurity technicians are satisfied with their jobs, with 36% very satisfied. Cybersecurity technicians play an important role, and their work directly contributes to the safety of an organization’s digital infrastructure.
- Variety of job opportunities: Repeated tasks can quickly become monotonous and unsatisfying. Fortunately, no two days are alike for a cybersecurity technician. There are always new threats to defend against and new skills to learn. Cybersecurity is a fast-paced industry, and cybersecurity technicians are constantly on the go.
Future Cybersecurity Job Projections
According to Cybercrime Magazine, there will be 3.5 million job openings in the cybersecurity field by 2025.
Many other professions do not provide as much job security as the cybersecurity industry. According to the BLS, jobs for information security analysts will increase by 33% between 2020 and 2030. This rate is four times faster than the national average employment growth rate across all occupations.
The bottom line is that a career in cyber security is gratifying, with lucrative salaries, unparalleled job security, ample scope for personal and professional growth, and several job opportunities.
Suppose you think you have what it takes to improve the mainline of defense of a company and create world-class security strategies. In that case, you can streamline your way into the field by earning a degree from the New England Institute of Technology.
START YOUR CYBER SECURITY CAREER
Earn your degree in Cyber Security from NEIT and begin your new career path today!
Is cyber security in demand?
Yes. And this demand is on the rise. According to the BLS, the industry will register a job growth of 31% between 2019 and 2029 (faster than most other industries). The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows job postings have grown by 94% in the last six years.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021, the median annual wage for information security analysts was $102,600. The bottom 10 percent of earners made less than $61,520, while the top 10 percent made more than $165,920.
What Are the Requirements for a Network Security Engineer?
It would be best if you had a network engineer’s degree, telecom engineer degree, or BS/BE degree in computer science, cybersecurity, or related IT fields to become a network security engineer. Proven work experience as a network security engineer, information security engineer, or information security analyst, as well as knowledge of developing and maintaining security systems, would be advantageous.
Do I Need a Degree for a Career in Cyber Security?
Many employers prefer candidates with a college education. Earning a cybersecurity degree can prepare you for high-paying jobs in a rapidly growing field. Applicants without a bachelor’s degree may have fewer career options. A bachelor’s degree is required for 88% of cybersecurity job requirements.
Earning a cybersecurity degree can also impact pay and job security. Bachelor’s degree holders made approximately 65% more than workers with only a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
What Is the Average Salary for a Cyber Security Professional?
The average salary for a cyber security professional can vary depending on various factors such as location, years of experience, education, and industry. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021, the median annual wage for information security analysts was $102,600.
The bottom 10 percent of earners made less than $61,520, while the top 10 percent made more than $165,920. However, this is just a general overview, and the salary range can be broad.
Which Cyber Security Jobs Pay the Highest Salary?
The highest-paying job in cybersecurity is that of a Software Architect, with a national average salary of $135,511 per year.
How Does Geographic Location Affect Cyber Security Salary?
Geographic location can have a significant impact on cyber security salary. Generally, areas with a higher cost of living tend to offer higher wages to attract and retain skilled professionals. Additionally, areas with a high demand for cybersecurity talent may offer higher salaries due to competition for top talent.
For example, cities like San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C. tend to have higher salaries for cybersecurity professionals due to the high demand for talent in these areas. However, even within a particular city, salaries vary depending on the industry, company, and role.