The Benefits of Working in Cyber Security (Plus Key Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Careers in cyber security offer data protection as technological advancements change the way individuals communicate and complete their daily working routines. Those who work in cyber security can seek employment across a range of industries, as employers value the safeguarding of their information technology (IT) networks. Before committing to a career in cyber security, it might be helpful for you to understand the main benefits of the industry. In this article, we explain what cyber security work entails, detail the primary benefits of working in cyber security, list possible careers and describe the most desirable skills for professionals in this field.

What does working in cyber security mean?

The primary function of most roles while working in cyber security is to keep a client's or a company's data private by using advanced computer software. There are various roles across sectors that can contribute to cyber security and data protection, from engineers to analysts. These professionals may work individually or as part of an IT team to develop a cohesive, up-to-date security network that prevents breaches from outbound networks. If an attack occurs, professionals in cyber security are largely responsible for troubleshooting issues and finding solutions.

The benefits of working in cyber security

Working in cyber security can be an enriching job for those passionate about computers and cyber crime. Here are some of the main benefits you may experience:

Diverse career options

An advantage of working in cyber security is the wide range of career options and specialisations available. This job variety may help you expand your professional skill set, with many of these jobs providing opportunities for career advancement. There are also new opportunities and careers opening up as new technology and software emerge, making it easier to switch to other careers within the cyber security field. This can increase job satisfaction within the industry and keep you motivated. Cyber security also offers a variety of specialties, from software architects to analysts. Specialists may earn a higher salary and enjoy more job security.

Possibility of remote working

In the cyber security industry, working from home is possible depending on the position and the hiring company. As most employees in cyber security perform their jobs online using a computer, it's likely that you can perform these roles from the comfort of your own home, too. Working remotely can be more comfortable and productive for some professionals, which may make a job in cyber security more attractive. To look for employment opportunities in cyber security that are available remotely, you can search online job boards.

Options to be self-employed

Cyber security offers many self-employment opportunities, which can allow you to manage your own schedule and expenses. For example, you can draw on any entrepreneurial experience you have, alongside your technical skill set, to develop your own IT firm or cyber security organisation. You can also work as a freelancer or subcontractor to build networks and design security software architecture on behalf of others. This can give you more financial freedom, as you can charge a fee that fairly reflects your level of skill and experience.

Desirable skills for cyber security professionals

Obtaining a position in cyber security requires a diverse range of hard and soft skills that may benefit how well you perform your daily tasks. Technical skills are fundamental for finding initial employment. Meanwhile, transferable skills, such as communication, can optimise how you build professional relationships in the workplace.

You can develop these skills by applying for short online courses, taking part in certifications, attending education programs and self-study. Consider working on the following skills for a successful career in the cyber security industry:

  • problem-solving

  • attention to detail

  • communication and interpersonal

  • knowledge of security software

  • technical skills for hardware and software devices

  • organisation online and offline

  • time management

  • delegating and prioritising tasks

  • coding

  • programming

  • creative thinking

Is cyber security a good job?

A job working within the cyber security industry currently has a great level of job prospects, which you can find on online job boards. Jobs in cyber security are in demand across a wide range of industries, from entry-level internships to positions within government organisations. There's also likely to be strong job security and growth opportunities within this industry. Research by the Institute of Data predicts that Australia's demand for cyber security and related skills may increase by approximately 17,600 positions over the next five years.

7 career paths in cyber security

If you're interested in gaining employment within the cyber security industry, it may be beneficial to know the types of careers you can apply for. Listed below are seven possible career paths you can follow as you develop your cyber security skills:

1. Cyber security analyst

National average salary: $113,413 per year

Primary duties: Cyber security analysts are primarily responsible for protecting organisations from cyber attacks, detecting data breaches and responding quickly to restore protection. To maintain a high level of data protection, a cyber security analyst may test the computer network infrastructure weekly to identify potential weaknesses. Professionals in this field are also responsible for recording any attempted cyber attacks and noting if any were successful. They can then present this information to other IT professionals to help develop an innovative security system that prevents such cyber attacks from re-occurring.

Related: What Is a Cyber Security Analyst? (With Job Duties and Salary)

2. Software security developer

National average salary: $97,457 per year

Primary duties: A software security developer uses coding to administer improvements to existing security software programs. They may also create their own security software suited to the sensitivity of the data handled by a specific organisation. Software security developers test and evaluate different systems as part of this development process to optimise their software to secure data and prevent unauthorised access.

Related: How to Become a Software Developer

3. Cyber security specialist

National average salary: $105,044 per year

Primary duties: Professionals in this role routinely observe the security system currently in place at their company to ensure that all data is secure. They may also test for vulnerabilities in the system and practise troubleshooting data breaches. Cyber security specialists typically converse regularly with their company's senior manager to report issues and updates or actions, especially if they're working for an organisation that handles sensitive data. Using their technical expertise in security software, along with their up-to-date knowledge of cyber crime trends, a cyber security specialist may plan effectively for potential cyber attacks and prevent them from occurring.

4. Cryptographer

National average salary: $161,818 per year

Primary duties: Cryptographers are typically responsible for protecting a company's online data, particularly information sent between different networks. This transmitted data is vulnerable to theft by cyber criminals. Cryptographers can prevent interception between networks by implementing encoding devices into an organisation's cyber security system and ensuring the secure transmission of data. They may create their own secure network on behalf of a specific company or implement changes to an existing one. A cryptographer can also find employment in a police or military force to decode encrypted messages from criminals to help solve crimes.

Related: How to Become a Cryptographer in 4 Steps (With FAQs)

5. Information security analyst

National average salary: $100,238 per year

Primary duties: An information security analyst maintains the safety of an organisation's computer systems. Individuals in this profession routinely test security software, check for information breaches and advise staff on the latest safety protocols. An analyst may also examine trends in hacking, phishing and data security schemes to implement essential changes that can reduce the likelihood of a successful attack. If there's a data breach, an information security analyst can identify the root of the problem and troubleshoot it effectively.

6. Cyber security system architect

National average salary: $166,272 per year

Primary duties: A cyber security architect plans, creates, implements, tests and maintains a company's computer security systems. They may advise an organisation on how to secure their current network and present relevant improvements that the business could implement using the architect's knowledge of new hardware and software security standards. While a company may hire a cyber security architect to advise on all of its IT requirements, individuals in this profession are typically experts at designing security systems that adhere to the latest industry standards. They may troubleshoot any security issues throughout all the company's departments.

Related: What Does a System Architect Do? (Plus Skills and Qualifications)

7. Cyber security technician

National average salary: $73,215 per year

Primary duties: A cyber security technician's responsibilities may extend beyond security-related issues to encompass all aspects of the IT environment, depending on the organisation that they work for. The daily tasks of individuals in this position include planning and implementing upgrades to the existing internal computer networks. Troubleshooting is another significant aspect of the role, as they're often the first point of contact for other departments and employees when experiencing IT security issues.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries and the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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