The cybersecurity field is growing fast. Experts maintain the field will have 6 million jobs globally available by 2019.
With a wide array of hackers and identity thieves, many of whom are armed with a dangerous cocktail of viruses, organizations place a high demand on sharp, competent cybersecurity professionals — men and women capable of protecting valuable assets and networks, playing defense against a dirty offense ready to cheat and do whatever it takes to win.
In short, professionals in this field are the watchmen on an exciting, expanding digital frontier.
Here are some of the best jobs for the next generations of digital defenders.
1. Vulnerability Evaluator
A fort is only as safe as its weakest wall. The same principle applies to digital entities. A professional in this field would ask “What would a hacker do?” and attempt to hack a system or network.
It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s key in creating effective and secure strategies and structures for systems and software.
An evaluator would also examine the digital habits and mannerisms of an organization’s employees. If they find something that could endanger the organization, they call it out.
It’s a lot of probing and creative thinking, but any organization wanting to keep its information safe would be foolish not to take stock in the insights these professionals provide.
Average salary: $79,000
2. Systems Defense Analyst
These professionals are watchdogs for organizations. They know their networks and systems in and out and keep tabs on possible threats and attacks. They watch, wait, and when necessary, jump into action and plug security breaches. There are plenty of employment opportunities, and just about every company and organization up to modern standards, from startups to the federal government, are looking to hire them.
Average salary: $66,000
3. Digital Forensic Investigator
Cybercrime has become a prevalent issue. A need has arisen, particularly in law enforcement, for individuals who can perform a variety of tasks; anything from combating identity theft to collecting digital evidence.
Like a vulnerability evaluator, a professional in this position needs the capacity to think like a criminal — not always easy, but quite necessary — and the patience and endurance to dig through files and the internet for possible leads, clues, and perpetrators. They are also likely to deal with cases ranging from financial fraud to human trafficking. It’s not a career path for the fainthearted. It requires an eye for detail, meticulous observation, and dogged determination.
Average salary: $80,000