Different Options For Starting a Career in Cyber Security

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Sep 2, 2020

Sep 2, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

We live in a digital world where we heavily rely on our devices to live our daily lives, almost everything is electronically driven. These gadgets and devices through their advancements know us more than we even know ourselves, they gather a lot of sensitive data in the bid to serve us better.

However, this put us at a disadvantage in the hands of those who wish to abuse that information. The rate at which cyber attacks have been happening is alarming and dangerous, so many mishaps and damage has been done due to the vulnerability of our confidential data.

This has birthed the need of cyber security, there's a shortage of professionals in this field and a high demand for them. As a result, approximately $6 trillion is expected to be spent globally on cybersecurity by 2021.


Therefore, this has generated several opportunities for career changes into the world of cyber security. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide will reach 3.5 million by 2021.

With its diverse career options, there's a chance for anybody regardless of previous technical background. In this post, we will explore the different career options available in cybersecurity, why now is a great time to get into the field and how to get started.

What is Cyber Security?

Cybersecurity is the science of protecting electronic devices, networks, confidential information and sensitive data from cyber criminals.

Cybersecurity professionals protect business and personal data from thefts, cyber threats, infiltration, damage and illegal usage.

They try their best to prevent confidential information from falling prone or vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Why is The Demand for Cybersecurity on The Rise?

There's a hacker attack every 39 seconds on the average affecting one in three Americans, now that's alarming.

Businesses are experiencing cyber attacks on a consistent basis. Since they generate vast amounts of data and make use of electronic devices to run business activities, this gives cyber criminals the window to attack.

Our world is in an AI and IoT influenced era, these technologies make it extra difficult to stay safe and protected from potential attacks.


Unfortunately, there are just not enough specialists in the cybersecurity field, the demand for cybersecurity education and experts is simply off the roof. Cyber attacks are dangerous, they destroy businesses and endanger personal lives.

A study revealed that the global average cost of a data breach is $3.9 million across SMBs. This has led corporations to prioritize cybersecurity and allocate hefty amounts of investment for protection.

In fact, according to Gartner, enterprises are expected to spend upwards of $1.7 billion globally on cybersecurity in 2020.

So, yes diving into the cyber security career is not only promising but also impactful, because these professionals are needed to literally save lives.

Cybersecurity Career Options

The beauty of the cybersecurity career field is its diversity in roles, it is an extensive industry with several offers and opportunities. So, when you think of the cybersecurity profession it's not just limited to the engineers or software experts.

The following are Cybersecurity career options/roles available to consider:

  • Security Engineer: Develops, creates and activates measures for protection against cyber attacks and data breaches. They also discover new technologies and solutions for upgraded security response.

  • Security Software Developer:Just as the title implies, they develop security software and packages for all forms of cyber protection. Security software developers develop anti virus software, system monitors, tools for malware or virus detection and more.

  • Cryptographer/Cryptologist:Uses encryption to guard data and information and also develop security software. Furthermore, they work on coming up with advanced encryption algorithms.

  • Incident Response Analyst: Initial responders to security related emergencies and data breaches to curtail damages and investigate sources.

  • Security Analyst: Examines and assesses weaknesses and vulnerabilities in networks and systems. Security Analysts research on the best measures, tools and solutions to remedy the discovered faults. They also analyze the damage caused by cyber attacks and explore the best mechanisms to restore lost data.

  • Chief Information Security Officer: A top level management role that is in charge of all security divisions. Also supervises the entire activities in the security department.

  • Cloud Security Engineer: Caretaker of all cloud based security issues. 

  • Penetration Tester: Referred to as ethical hackers because they are compensated to legally hack into systems to detect security vulnerabilities.

  • Application Security: Skilled in protecting applications from cyber threats through both soft and hard techniques. The roles mentioned above are just a few from cybersecurity career options, there are more.

  • Malware Analyst:Analyses detected malware to discover its source, damage, and how to eliminate it.

Getting Started with Cybersecurity

So you have decided to make a career transition into cybersecurity and how do you get started? First off, let's bust some myths. No! You don't need a college degree to establish a career in cybersecurity. Helpful? Yes, necessary? No.

There's just too much shortage of skills for businesses to emphasize on a traditional path, they are more interested in your competencies over your college degrees.

Secondly, you don't need to have a technical background. There's more to cybersecurity than the technical aspects of it, it's a mix of different specialities. And you can always acquire the skills you are lacking, so never let your technical background limit or define your cybersecurity career.

So, the first step is look at your background and current specialty, how can that serve into cybersecurity solutions? Is any of your previous experience or certifications related to IT or cyber security? 

Then make in-depth research on the available roles, what it entails and which of them matches your interests? After making your choice on your aspired role, step into full research and learning mode. Get your hands on all the available resources related to your chosen career path.

Also, try connecting with people that are in the industry, get online degrees, take certification programs and enroll in online courses. E-learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera and Pluralsight have abundant and specific courses on cybersecurity to learn from.


Cybersecurity is in massive demand that will continue to grow, so now more than ever is the best time to get into the industry. You can always advance on this career path regardless of your previous technical background, as long as you are willing to learn and put in the hard work.

Finally, there are a lot of unique career options to explore that are unconventional but in demand and give room for creativity. So, what are you waiting for? Use this opportunity to get started with this heroic career path.