4 of the most in-demand jobs in cyber security - and what you need for them

Cyber security careers offer professionals great opportunities for interesting, varied job paths with plenty of potential for high earnings and promotions. Indeed, skilled specialists in this area are more in-demand than ever, due to a shortage of skills and the growing threat posed by criminals.

Yet cyber security is often used as a catch-all term for a wide range of unique roles, each with their own requirements. Some jobs are in especially high demand and the skills and qualifications that will be well-suited for one may not necessarily transfer to another. 

So what are some of the most sought-after jobs in cyber security right now and what qualifications will you need to be considered for them?

1. Penetration tester

This role essentially has you playing the part of a hacker trying to break into your own company's systems. It involves approaching your network as an outsider looking for vulnerabilities to understand how they might be exploited, then making recommendations to fix issues.

These positions are often conflated with ethical hacker jobs, but there are a few key differences - penetration testing is a more focused term where you'll be looking at specific systems. However, a Certified Ethical Hacking qualification is a hugely beneficial asset to have for these jobs, as it will highlight all the key information you need to know.

2. Security analyst

Information security analyst roles are ideal for people who like to keep on top of the latest trends and emerging threats. Their job is to monitor systems and networks to assess potential risks and formulate plans to deal with them. 

You'll need a broad range of knowledge to be successful in these roles, so a bachelor's level degree in IT or network security is often required for these jobs. Industry qualifications and experience with key standards such as ISO 27001 are also useful, as you'll need to make sure policies and best practices are being followed by your company.

3. Security engineer

If you've got a passion for building things and a clear, analytical mind, a security engineer position could be the role for you. These are the technical experts responsible for creating secure solutions. Within this, you may well specialise in areas such as software or networking, as these will each have their own unique demands. Network security engineers, for example, will have a hands-on role in developing, deploying and maintaining all parts of their company's infrastructure, from firewalls and routers to VPNs. 

One of the most useful assets you can have for this role is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) qualification. You'll need at least five years of experience in key areas before even taking the exam, so these are roles for more mid-level professionals.

4. Chief information security officer

Perhaps one of the most in-demand of all roles are the senior executives who oversee enterprises' cyber security efforts. The chief information security officer, or CISO, is responsible for everything from overall strategy and design to ensuring budgets and regulations are being adhered to.

These executives will usually need to possess at least a bachelor's degree, but a master's in cyber security is more advantageous. As a high-level role, you'll need to prove your experience across several fields, so advanced professional qualifications such as CCISO (Certified Chief Information Security Officer), CISSP and OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional) are also highly sought after. Leadership, communication and management skills are also must-haves, as these roles demand much more than just technical knowledge.

Looking for a new position in any of these roles? Then browse our range of cyber security training courses today to give you a head-start.