/ How To Become a Cybersecurity Professional: Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education
If you are fascinated by the latest news and trends in technology, are naturally inquisitive and enjoy putting your critical thinking skills to good use, then a career as a Cybersecurity Professional could be perfect for you.
The cybersecurity industry is currently enjoying 0% unemployment rate.¹ There is a large skill shortage right, and more and more companies are recognising the importance of a strong, secure network.
This means that if you begin studying a cybersecurity course now, you will be able to enter a reliable industry that can offer you growth and stability.
Cybersecurity is all about protecting systems, networks, programs and individual devices from various cyber-threats. As businesses begin to rely more heavily on technology, the need for stringent security protocols is evident.
As a Cybersecurity Professional, it will be your responsibility to create and enforce security policies for various organisations, configure wired and wireless networks, identify and neutralise different types of cyber-threats, and perform penetration testing, among a variety of other things. One thing’s for sure – your day will always offer variety and plenty of challenges to test your skills against!
You can learn all these skills and more as part of Open Colleges’ partnership online Certified Cybersecurity Professional course.
According to the government’s job outlook website, the Cybersecurity industry is expected to increase to 47,300 employed workers by 2023.
This is a huge industry which continues to see steady growth as the increasing demand for trained, qualified Cybersecurity professionals continues to surge.
Currently, the industry is facing a skills shortage and a 0% unemployment rate.¹ This means that there are plenty of job opportunities for qualified, trained professionals with the right technical and soft skills.
Cybersecurity Professionals can expect to earn approximately $1932 per week, which is higher than the national average.
It’s expected that when you first start out in this industry, your earnings will be less; but they will steadily increase along with your experience.
Most Cybersecurity Professionals work full time; however, they also tend to work around 41 hours a week, which is less than the national average (44 hours).
Source: Job Outlook government website. Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Cybersecurity professionals find themselves employed across a wide range of industries.
While most (25.6%) are employed in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector, 16.9% are employed in Administration and Public Safety, while 9.5% are employed in Financial and Insurance Services, 9.3% in Education and Training, and the remaining 38.7% are employed across a diverse range of other sectors.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
This data shows the age profiles of workers in the cybersecurity industry compared to other occupations.
The average age of a cybersecurity professional is 40 – which is the exact same as the national average.
33.8% of workers are in the 35-44 age bracket, followed by 27.4% of workers in the 25-34 age bracket
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Most people who currently work in Cybersecurity hold an Advanced Diploma or higher qualification. However, there are other pathways into the Cybersecurity industry.
Open Colleges’ partnership Certified Cybersecurity Professional course encompasses three CompTIA certifications. These certifications are accredited by International Organisation for Standardisation and the American National Standards Institute (ISO/ANSI). CompTIA stands for Computing Technology Industry Association, and it is the world’s leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications.
You will be required to complete four exams before earning these certifications. The certifications included in the course are:
This is the preferred qualifying credential for IT operational and technical support roles.
This is the leading vendor-neutral certification for network professionals. It will help you develop your career in IT infrastructure.
This certification will help you establish foundational knowledge required for any Cybersecurity role.
Please note, the CompTIA certifications are recognised globally, but are not accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework.
Where can a career in Cybersecurity take you?
There are plenty of different roles that you could pursue throughout your career in Cybersecurity. This is a continuously growing industry, and there are plenty of opportunities for trained professionals with the right kind of attitude.
One thing’s for sure: a role in the Cybersecurity industry will be one that offers constant variation, challenges and plenty of room for growth.
What jobs are out there waiting for you?
• Identify, investigate and prevent cyber-attacks
• Implement threat prevention protocols
• Develop a secure and resilient network that can withstand cyber-attacks
Ethical Hacker or Penetration Tester
• Scan for system weaknesses (could also involve social engineering)
• Perform penetration testing to identify possible threats and vulnerabilities
• Make improvements to networks
• Evaluate cybersecurity threats
• Advise companies/organisations on potential risks
• Implement efficient solutions to mitigate risk
Security Software Developer
• Research systems weaknesses
• Engineer security software tools and systems
• Implement and test security software
Computer Forensics Analyst
• Collaborate with law enforcement
• Interpret data linked to criminal activity
• Track data trails
• Recover deleted files
These are just three examples of where your Cybersecurity career path could take you, but after you continue to gain experience and knowledge, you will find more and more doors opening for you.
Another thing to consider is that Cybersecurity is a global industry. If you’ve ever dreamed of working overseas, a career in Cybersecurity could take you across Australia and the world, depending on your qualifications.
As with all jobs, it is not just about your qualifications and technical skills. You will also need to have the right kind of personality traits and soft skills to forge a successful career in the Cybersecurity industry.
Working in Cybersecurity means that you will constantly be working to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals. This means that you will not only have to have a strong analytical mindset, but that you will have to think outside the box, too.
You will also need to be a good communicator and be able to work as part of a collaborative team.
Most of all, you will need a strong work ethic. This is because you will be handling sensitive information as well as critical infrastructure. You need to ensure that you maintain a high level of integrity when working with confidential information.
If you’re ready to begin an exciting career in Cybersecurity but lack a qualification or experience, you can undertake high education to help you reach your goals.
Open Colleges has partnered with AIICT to bring you the Certified Cybersecurity Professional course, which focuses on teaching you the skills and knowledge employees are looking for today.
While this is an online Cybersecurity course, there are set start dates. This is because you will be studying alongside a cohort of other students. You can track your progress compared to your cohort, and discuss ideas and challenges with them as you progress through the course.
Make sure you don’t miss out on our next intake date!
1. Source: Steve Morgan, "Cybersecurity unemployment rate drops to zero percent", cybersecurityventures.com
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