5 High-Paying Cybersecurity Jobs That Are Great for a Career Change
You’re done with your job. What now? If you’re one of the 70% of disengaged American workers, you likely dread another day of doing something you have no passion or purpose for. This is your gut telling you it’s time to make a change. You might have thought about finding another job, but perhaps a career change is really what you need.
If you’re unsure about changing careers, think about your string of jobs up to this point. Do you end up with the same empty pit in your stomach after a few months? Would you enjoy this type of work if it were with a different team? Chances are, if you are reading this, it’s because the thought has crossed your mind.
A career change is not impossible, but that does not mean it won’t happen without hurdles. The effort you put into carving your path results in a rewarding and even lucrative trajectory, and luckily for you, there’s an industry that’s roaring with opportunity for growth.
Why Cybersecurity Should be Your New Career
Part of being connected to the internet is the exposure to potential hackers; however, you can take part in securing others against these malicious actors. Here are a few reasons to join the growing field of cybersecurity.
Demand is high
There are currently almost 3 million unfilled jobs in the cybersecurity field. Business professionals and government entities are continuously on the hunt for qualified and passionate candidates as cyberattacks increase every year.
You don’t need a special degree
While it does take some knowledge of computer systems and networks, cybersecurity jobs don’t require advanced degrees or formal education. In fact, even with no experience or background in cybersecurity or IT, you can still find success within this field.
You already have some of the skills you need
Cybersecurity is a wide-ranging field that welcomes creatives, analysts, coders, engineers, managers, and non-technical individuals. This means that many of the skills you’ve already cultivated can transfer to your new cybersecurity career. If you have strong research and writing skills, have a knack for problem-solving, or can quickly adapt in moments of change, you have some of the necessary soft skills to begin your cybersecurity career. Switching careers does not mean wasted years; instead, it means that you honed your skills in preparation for the next step.
As long as you’re committed to the change and put in the effort, you’ll be able to switch careers faster than you ever thought possible.
5 Entry-Level Cybersecurity Roles
If you’re already considering a career change towards cybersecurity, these entry-level and mid-level positions are a feasible starting point.
Security Analyst – $65,000*
If you work best under pressure, starting your cyber career as a Security Analyst may be right for you. These professionals are tasked with installing software, performing security audits, analyzing breaches, and monitoring security access. An entry-level position starts with an average salary of $65,000.
IT Manager – $61,000**
This professional oversees activities related to computers and works closely with company leaders to continuously improve current IT processes. With an entry-level salary of $61,000, it’s a great starting point for managers and natural leaders who want to segway into more cybersecurity roles.
Network Administrator – $51,000*
This role requires strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills, which will help you identify network issues and determine the best solutions for those problems. Communication and reading comprehension is just as crucial. The average salary is $51,000 for this entry-level position
Network Engineer – $50,000**
Different from an Administer, a Network Engineer designs and develops a network by building connections and maintaining it with regular troubleshooting and upgrades, resulting in a secure network. An entry-level Network Engineer can expect an average salary of $50,000.
IT Security Auditor – $50,000**
If you have experience with audits, accounting, business processes, or risk assessments, this may be a good starting point. The average salary for this entry-level position is $50,000 and can eventually lead to becoming a cybersecurity consultant or penetration tester.
Entry-level positions indiscriminately pay less, but even in cybersecurity, an entry-level position can start you off at an above-average salary while you work your way up. Switching careers to start a mid-level cybersecurity position is more difficult but certainly not impossible. With tenacity and few tips under your belt, you can confidently begin your journey into cybersecurity.
*Salary information based on Salary.com for the Miami, FL area as of July 2020. Numbers are subject to change.
**Salary information based on Payscale.com for the Miami, FL area as of July 2020. Numbers are subject to change.
Quick Tips Before Switching Careers
Starting as a beginner doesn’t necessarily mean your salary has to be bottom of the barrel. Certifications get you in the door and in front of hiring managers, but they can also help you land the job you’re looking for without much professional experience.
The CompTIA Security+ Certification is the best certification to aim for as your first because of its comprehensive coverage of information security basics. From tools to threats, this certification will lay a stable foundation for your growth in cybersecurity.
Learn from experts
Unlike four years of traditional course work, bootcamps are a fast-track to your new career without compromising a quality education that prepares you for the modern workforce. With flexible hours, you can work an entry-level position while you build your knowledge and skill sets.
The best thing about a bootcamp is that it will help build your hands-on experience which will translate to real-world abilities. Instead of hypothetical scenarios, you will encounter and work through the same issues that current cyber professionals face every day.
Build your network
Sometimes, it’s not what you know but who you know. Cybersecurity is no different. Knowing professionals in this industry is more than getting an “in” at a company. It’s about extracting valuable information about how you can streamline your path and the necessary steps to take to land your first role.
Know the industry
While you research cybersecurity jobs, you will likely stumble upon thought leaders and outlets that can provide a better understanding of what the industry is like and an ideal career trajectory. Cybersecurityventures.com is a great resource to stay on top of what’s new in the field. Threatpost is another news source that focuses on breaking security news from around the world.
Gain Experience in Less than One Year
A career change can feel unsettling at first, unless there’s a sure opportunity for high earnings even after your career pivot. That’s what makes cybersecurity a no-brainer. With the right training, easily transferable skills, and the desire to learn, anyone can break into this high-earning field with little to no background experience.
It may seem like jumping into a cybersecurity career is impossible without an advanced degree but the University of Miami Cybersecurity Professional Bootcamp gives you the training and experience you need to make the career switch in less than a year. Our networking opportunities and comprehensive career services help open the door to the same businesses and government entities struggling to fill the necessary cybersecurity roles.