Best IT Security Careers

Best IT Security Careers

Interested in IT security, but don’t know where to begin? We outline the best IT security career opportunities and how you can get started on the path to a top internet security position. Job opportunities exist at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels of education. Learn more about the best IT security careers.

IT security is one of the fastest growing information technology employment fields today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for Information Security Analysts will grow at a rate of 33% over the next decade. With a median pay of $103,590 in 2020, cybersecurity professionals have access to many well-paying job opportunities.

It’s up to you to decide what kind of job you want in IT. There are actually many different ways to apply your degree in cybersecurity. Fortunately, there are also excellent online cybersecurity degrees at every level, and and in every area of specialization.

But what are the best IT security career opportunities for you? And how can you get started on your way to a top internet security job?

Let’s take a look at the job opportunities for cybersecurity at each level of education:

Associate Degree in Cybersecurity

The Associate Degree in Cybersecurity is a two-year degree program, typically earned through a community college or online professional training school. This degree is a great way to start building some basic skills and knowledge in cybersecurity. But you should know that the associate degree only fulfills part of the cybersecurity education needed for many of the top IT security jobs. Many students will go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.

But an associate degree in cybersecurity can qualify you for several entry-level roles. With an associate degree in cybersecurity, you can gain valuable experience in any of the following areas.

  • Computer Support Specialists (2020 Median Pay—$55,510) provide contact between computer users and organizations, and can provide technical support as well as customer service in data, web, and network security contexts.
  • Computer Programmers (2020 Median Pay—$89,190) write code, develop software, create new computer applications, and test existing code, all skills which are important building blocks for a career in data security.

While many associates in cybersecurity will continue into bachelor’s degree programs in related subject areas, these entry-level jobs can help you gain valuable real-world experiences. To learn more, check out the Best Online Associate in Cybersecurity.

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Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity

The bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is a four-year degree and is the basic degree needed for many cybersecurity jobs. For example, Information Security Analysts can earn a strong salary but must first earn a bachelor’s degree. Fortunately, a growing number of schools now offer the bachelor’s in cybersecurity online. This means that you could earn a degree and get one of the following bachelor’s in cybersecurity jobs while still working in your current job:

  • Database Administrators and Architects (2020 Median Pay—$98,860) are responsible for creating the systems that store data as well as the strategies used to keep this data safe and secure.
  • Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers (2020 Median Pay—$110,140) perform a wide range of functions in computing including the testing and analysis of programs, systems, and applications in order to identify flaws and vulnerabilities. This is an important part of testing the effectiveness of data security strategies.
  • Computer Network Architects (2020 Median Pay—$116,780) oversee the design and construction of data communication networks such as “local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Intranets.” Security is an important part of network design, construction, and maintenance.

The bachelor’s degree is a basic requirement for any of these well-paying cybersecurity opportunities. To learn more, take a look at the Best Online Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity.

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Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity

An advanced degree in cybersecurity is not technically required for a good job in data security, but it can improve your job prospects in a competitive field. This degree can be earned in two to three years. The master’s in cyberseucrity can help you become a leader in the field and earn a higher salary.

  • Computer and Information Research Scientists (2020 Median Pay—$126,830) contribute their research, findings, and ideas to the advancement of computing technology, and have an important role in innovating and enhancing data security strategies. Most professional researchers must have an advanced degree.
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers (2020 Median Pay—$151,150) serve in leadership roles relating to the computing, technology, and IT security of their organizations. While it is possible to get this role with a bachelor’s degree, many good organizational leadership candidates will have an advanced degree.

To improve your career prospects and salary potential without taking time away from your job, check out the Best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity.

Did you know that your employer may be willing to invest in your future by paying for online grad school? Find out more in our article How to Get Your Employer to Pay For Online Grad School.

And for some amazing insights from a true innovator in the field of cybersecurity, check out our illuminating interview with Israeli Space Agency Chair Dr. Isaac Ben-Israel—The New Industry of Cybersecurity

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