What Qualifications do I need to Work in Cyber Security?


A career in cyber security could be the change in pace you need. Here’s what you need to know to begin.

The world of online security is a fast paced, fast growing environment. Positions in this field could prove lucrative in the coming years, as increasing numbers of businesses realise the cost-effectiveness of hiring their own specialist. Securing your network and consumer data protects your reputation for the long term. So a growing number of high-end businesses who handle sensitive information are hiring cyber security experts to work exclusively for them.

Should you wish to re-train in cyber security, here are some of the skills and qualifications you might need.

What Qualifications do Cyber Security Agents Have?

The basic qualifications for a career in cyber security are similar to those we summarised in our article on JavaScript Developers. Roles in tech tend to start with a base degree in computing, and then add on software languages, programs, and components relevant to your career from there.

Start with a degree in either cyber security, computing, IT, a STEM subject, or computer science. Next, choose an internship or entry level position in IT to get to know systems and programs businesses work with daily. While working, gather as many secondary certificates as you can. Incident detection, response to threats, and forensic examination of past incidents, will all help bolster your skills.

On average, companies look for two years of experience in and around IT departments before they will hire you as a cyber security engineer if you don’t already have a cyber security degree. This shift will happen faster if you learn new programs in your spare time.

What industries are hiring cyber security professionals?

Once you have a little experience and the correct qualifications, its time to review which industries might give you work. There are countless big name brands hiring cyber security professionals right now. Some of those names include Apple, Capital One, and General Motors. The industries you can expect to find work in include:

  • Healthcare – which manages sensitive patient records
  • Technology – any new tech and data handling companies need to keep information secure
  • Finance – any online money handling needs security
  • Manufacturing – especially for new products
  • Retail – where hackers could defraud online sales
  • Government contractors – any role which handles government contracts requires security

What is the Salary for a Cyber Security Professional?

If you want to work in this area of computing, you can expect your worth to grow alongside both your experience and the skills you acquire. The salary you get from a position in cyber security in the UK changes depending on where you live. Inside London, expect to earn more than a professional in the same role in Wales or Scotland.

If you live in the UK, the average take home pay of a cyber security engineer is £50,000 per year. Entry level positions can start as high as £40,000. If you live in the USA, an experienced cyber security engineer can earn £101,500 per year.

Trey Rory
the authorTrey Rory