All digital businesses need to ensure their databases, networks, applications, and devices are secure by hiring a cyber security analyst. Cyber security experts can have a positive impact on businesses worldwide by keeping sensitive data safe.
This guide includes detailed information on the top cyber security positions, job outlook, the median salary you can expect, and essential skills you will need. Read below to learn how to become a cyber security analyst in 2021.
Cyber security analysts are tech professionals who create IT infrastructures to protect a company's hardware, software, data, and networks from cyber threats. Professionals use cyber security technologies to identify potential threats and implement security measures to prevent them.
A cyber security analyst and their team play a vital role in every tech company. These professionals use analytical skills, ethical hacking, penetration testing, and cyber security operations to fulfill their job duties. Without cyber security analysts, companies wouldn't have a strategy to protect sensitive data.
The job description of analysts in the cyber security field entails understanding a company's current network infrastructure, monitoring it, and determining potential vulnerabilities in the network. They protect every kind of system from malicious intent.
If a cyber security analyst notices a breach in the network security systems, they must report it and initiate a predetermined disaster recovery strategy. You will also have to generate security reports for stakeholders, evaluate security measures, maintain network security infrastructures, and stay ahead of industry trends.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't store data on cyber security analysts, we can refer to its report on information security analysts, because the jobs are very similar. The BLS indicates a 33 percent job growth for information security analysts between 2020 and 2030. This means there will be around 47,100 new jobs in that time.
The same data from the BLS confirms that information security analysts earn around $103,590 per year, which is $49.80 per hour. A cyber security analyst has an unusually high job demand and earning potential, which makes it a great career option.
You should become a cyber security analyst because this job is in-demand, the pay is generous, and you'll be helping people by preventing cyber crimes from occurring. Additionally, these professionals can often work from home.
If you want to work as a cyber security analyst, it's crucial to have data analysis, artificial intelligence, and information technology management expertise. The cyber security skills you need may also include ethical hacking. These skills are requirements for cyber security analyst jobs.
You can choose what cyber security role is right for you depending on your passions and career goals. There are a wide array of possibilities, including cyber security consultant, security administrator, or security architect. Below is a breakdown of each of these cyber security analyst careers.
A cyber security consultant will implement a vulnerability assessment to find system weaknesses, then voice suggestions to improve network security. You will also work to strengthen a company’s security by determining its cyber security policy. Many consultants first become cyber security engineers and work their way up.
As a security administrator, you will help minimize threats by administering and troubleshooting a network infrastructure. Security administrators will also execute a security assessment and monitor web traffic for unusual activity.
A security architect's role entails designing, building, and monitoring an organization's network infrastructure. This job forces the professional to think from the perspective of a hacker to identify system weaknesses. Learning computer architecture is an important step for any cyber security job, but especially this one.
Cyber security analysts have to stay updated on industry trends and technologies while monitoring websites. Professionals should be able to evaluate current systems and build new and improved ones. Below are descriptions of the standard duties of cyber security professionals.
When new trends or technology occur in the cyber security industry, cyber security analysts must be a few steps ahead. This enables the network infrastructure to remain protected against hackers because professionals can use the latest technology or create strategies around the latest hacking trends.
After conducting a security assessment, a cyber security expert may suggest improvements or create a whole new system. Professionals take this course of action so companies can have adequate security measures.
For risk management, cyber security analysts must monitor web traffic to identify and act on malicious activity. Without doing this, cyber security professionals wouldn't know when cyber attacks occur.
The skills needed by cyber security analysts include incident management expertise, understanding of computer networks, and strong communication and documentation abilities. Let's take a closer look at these skills to help you become a cyber security analyst.
If a threat turns into a successful cyber attack, cyber security analysts must know how to handle this incident. Professionals should know the disaster recovery procedure and help the organization recover from the cyber attack and minimize the fallout. They should also analyze the issue to prevent it from happening again.
Cyber security professionals regularly have to rely on computer networks, so these networks must be closely monitored. This requires technical skills in networking, such as knowing the IOS network model and basic cyber security network protocols.
When a breach or threat occurs, cyber security analysts must document it and communicate the situation to stakeholders. Whether you're in an entry-level role or senior position, effective communication is critical. In this case, soft skills are just as important as technical skills.
Without technical or cyber security experience, it can take up to four years to become a cyber security analyst. However, this can be shorter for professionals who have some preexisting experience or qualifications in cyber security.
How long it takes you to become a cyber security analyst also depends on your learning pathway. You can opt for a four-year degree, a two-year degree, online courses that last a few months, or a cyber security bootcamp program.
Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you land an entry-level position in cyber security. You can gain practical experience at a coding bootcamp and hone your soft skills while learning the skills it takes to become a cyber security professional. Besides hands-on training, coding bootcamps also help students find a job after graduation with their career services teams.
Yes, there are many online degrees and online coding bootcamps that can help you become a cyber security analyst from home. You can also work from home as a cyber security analyst as long as you have a computer and an Internet connection. There are opportunities to work for yourself as a freelancer, or you can join a company remotely.
To break into the cyber security industry, you need to start by learning all the relevant skills. You can then proceed to put your skills to the test through hands-on projects or an apprenticeship. Finally, you might want to get certified so you can prove your skills to potential employers.
Whether you attend online courses, a degree program, vocational school, or a coding bootcamp, you need to learn cyber security fundamentals. You can also find online resources that offer a series of courses for free, guides, and tutorials to help you self-study cyber security. Attending one of the best free cyber security bootcamps is an ideal way of learning the fundamentals without making a financial investment.
Before you gain job experience, you will need to practice your cyber security skills. You can do this by collaborating with fellow cyber security professionals, joining an apprenticeship program, and adding more projects to your portfolio. Having practical experience will maximize your employment chances.
If you chose a formal education path that offers an accredited degree or certificate, you might not have to worry about this step. Otherwise, you should gain cyber security certification to prove you can protect digital assets, configure defense systems, run vulnerability assessments, and conduct ethical hacking.
Mastering cyber security takes a lot of work and commitment. You can choose to study at a bootcamp, vocational school, community college, or university. Below are explanations of the best learning pathways for a cyber security analyst career.
The best cyber security bootcamps are ideal for students who want to learn cyber security skills in a short time. These bootcamps won't teach you general tech skills but rather the expertise you need for cyber security. You can also expect to gain soft skills, practical experience, and valuable career guidance.
Vocational school combines cyber security theory and practice. These schools offer programs ranging from a few months to two years and primarily provide job training. You can quickly land entry-level job titles after graduating from these programs. These programs are more affordable and accessible than degrees.
A community college program focuses on a wide variety of cyber security practices while preparing you for a four-year degree. Community colleges are cheaper than four-year institutions, and they allow anybody with a high school diploma or equivalent to study. These learning facilities also provide career support and plenty of online studying options.
Cyber security analyst bachelor's degree programs take four years to complete. After graduation, you will be able to secure an in-demand role and a high annual salary. Completing a bachelor's degree will also set you up to gain your master's degree, which will help you land senior roles. These degree programs include a string of advanced cyber security courses.
If you want to become a cyber security analyst with many job opportunities, you will want to strongly consider earning a professional certification. These are the top three certifications for experienced and entry-level cyber security analysts.
If you want to know the basics of a cyber security role, this certification is for you. You don't need qualifications to write this exam, but you should have experience working with network security for at least a few months. A few skills this certification evaluates are network operations, network infrastructures, and troubleshooting within a network.
This certification teaches cyber security analysts everything they need to think like a hacker. It covers information security laws, system vulnerabilities, and hacking technologies. Upon completion, you will know how to implement hacking techniques and protect the network. To gain this certification, you need prior qualifications and extensive experience in ethical hacking.
This certification provides foundational knowledge in cyber security and evaluates your skills in risk management, conducting vulnerability assessments, and cryptography. Students gain the relevant expertise to secure devices, networks, and applications. While there are no prerequisites, you should have at least two years of experience in network security.
You will want to prepare for a cyber security analyst job interview by making sure you have the relevant skills and work experience for the position. Below are a few commonly asked cyber security interview questions for you to practice with so you can feel more confident.
Yes, if you're passionate about making a positive impact in the digital world, you should become a cyber security analyst. These professionals have pivotal roles in the cyber security field, their employment growth is high, and you'll be protecting millions of clients’ data. It is a great career choice if you want to learn more than just basic security for networks.