The Top 9 Cybersecurity Jobs and What You Need to Get One

by Eileen Ristau Tauchman | Aug 10, 2018
The top nine jobs in cybersecurity and what you need to get one

Updated with new data from CyberSeek in November 2018.

Interested in a career in cybersecurity? With more than 300,000 open cybersecurity jobs in the United States, you chose a great time to join a booming industry – but where to start? To help close the cybersecurity skills gap, CyberSeek provides detailed, actionable data about supply and demand in the cybersecurity job market, which helps job seekers identify what they need to transition between cybersecurity roles and advance in their careers.

In this blog post, we will share the top nine cybersecurity job titles requested by employers within the U.S. cybersecurity job market and the education requirements, certifications and skills needed to find a job in one of these roles.

To begin, here are the top nine cybersecurity job titles, according to CyberSeek:

  1. Cybersecurity Engineer
  2. Cybersecurity Analyst
  3. Network Engineer/Architect
  4. Cybersecurity Manager/Administrator
  5. Systems Engineer
  6. Software Developer/Engineer
  7. Systems Administrator
  8. Vulnerability Analyst/Penetration Tester
  9. Cybersecurity Consultant

Education Requirements for Cybersecurity Jobs

CyberSeek breaks down education requirements and shows the percentage of online job listings requiring either less than a bachelor's degree, a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree.

For example, a systems administrator is considered an entry-level job. The job postings for this role don’t require as much education as others – 23 percent of systems administrator postings require less than a bachelor’s degree, which is higher than more advanced job titles.

In contrast, a cybersecurity engineer is on the advanced-level career track, so if you’re interested in a career as such, you should know that 89 percent of job openings require higher education. In fact, 67 percent of cybersecurity engineer postings require a bachelor’s degree and 23 percent require a graduate degree. You can dig deep into CyberSeek’s data for any of the top nine job titles and discover what education level is most common for your dream job.

IT Certifications in Cybersecurity

Fast track your career. Click here to subscribe today and save 10 percent on CompTIA products. If you’ve done any research on the topic, you know that the choices in IT certifications are endless! We’ve combed through the recommendations for these top nine cybersecurity job titles and identified the certifications requested most.

  • The CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway: With CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+), CompTIA PenTest+ and CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP), the CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway helps technical specialists achieve cybersecurity mastery, from beginning to end.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): CISSP is an advanced-level cybersecurity certification put out by (ISC)2. It focuses on cybersecurity management skills.
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): At the associate level is where Cisco certifications begin to specialize, and some of the most common ones include CCNA Routing and Switching, CCNA Security, CCNA Cyber Ops and CCNA Data Center.  
  • GIAC:GIAC certifications cover topics including cyber defense, penetration testing, digital forensics and incident response, developer, and information security management.

Skills Needed for Cybersecurity Jobs

It’s easy to assume that one of the top skills recommended for any of these job titles would contain the word “security.” But what about the less obvious skills? As with IT certifications, we’ve filtered through the most popular skills on the job postings.

  • Linux: If you have an Android phone or a security system running at your house, they very well could be running on Linux. Because of its versatility and broad use, it can only help you in a cybersecurity career. CompTIA Linux+ will validate your Linux skills, showing employers that you have what it takes to work on a wide variety of operating systems and devices.
  • Project Management: IT professionals need to manage many projects at once, and strengthening this soft skill can give you a leg up. Consider CompTIA’s project management certification, CompTIA Project+. CompTIA Project+ goes beyond one specific methodology or framework, covering essential project management concepts. Added bonus: CompTIA Project+ is one of the top-paying IT certifications, according to Global Knowledge.
  • Information Systems: An information system is an organized system for the collection, organization and storage of data. Having a knowledge of information systems is essential to a successful career in cybersecurity.

Get into Cybersecurity from ​Other Roles

CyberSeek identified five feeder roles that often serve as stepping stones into a cybersecurity career because of the similarities in skill requirements and significant skill overlap with multiple core cybersecurity roles. Click below to learn more about what those career paths look like:

Now that you know more about what education, certifications and skills are recommended for these particular cybersecurity job titles, you can plan your career journey accordingly. CyberSeek data is constantly updated, so come back often to find new skills or certifications you can add to your repertoire to make yourself a more attractive job candidate. If you are currently in an entry-level role and looking to get ahead, hone in on the items needed for that dream job, and you will be better prepared to join one of the hottest sectors of IT.

Check out the CompTIA Cybersecurity Career Pathway to see how CompTIA certifications can help you get into cybersecurity and advance your cybersecurity career.

15 Comments

  • Julius Cort

    Monday, August 20, 2018

    Still considering my career path I may need some guidance.

  • Nagaraj

    Saturday, August 25, 2018

    Hello Team, kindly let me know where I can take Pentest+ training online or in classroom in Chennai 0r Bangalore in India.

  • Samuel Chidiebube Jackson

    Sunday, August 26, 2018

    When you subscribe to write the A+, N+ and Security + together, Do You get any discounts? Secondly, I can't seem to find your prometric center in Nigeria

  • Monday, August 27, 2018

    H, Nagaraj! Check out our page on scheduling your exam to find a location near you: https://certification.comptia.org/testing/schedule-exam Good luck!

  • Monday, August 27, 2018

    Hi, Samuel! Thanks for your question. We do not offer discounts for getting multiple certifications at this time. However, by taking Network+, you'll renew your A+, and by taking Security+, you'll renew both Network+ and A+. Having all three also gives you the CompTIA Stackable Certification CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist. Good luck!

  • Jamal

    Sunday, December 23, 2018

    Hello, I am studying for the CompTIA A+ and Network+ courses. I am learning plenty and was wondering if these two certificates are needed for a career in Cyber Security? My plan was to earn the following three certificates: Security+, Ethical Hacker and Cyber Security Analyst. I figure these certificates are enough to begin a career in Cyber Security, correct?

  • Wednesday, January 2, 2019

    Hi, Jamal! Thanks for your question. CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ will all help you understand the fundamentals of networking and security, which are critical to a career in cybersecurity. Getting cybersecurity certs will also go more in-depth with what you need to know for a cybersecurity career, but remember that hands-on experience - gained both on the job and on your own - are also important. Be sure to check the recommended experience or prerequisites to make sure you're ready to get certified. CompTIA PenTest+ may be a better option for you than CEH. Check out our comparison: https://certification.comptia.org/it-career-news/post/view/2018/08/08/how-does-comptia-pentest-compare-to-ceh

  • Hamza

    Sunday, March 3, 2019

    Hello, i wich that you are all good I love cybersecurity and i can take many certs like comptiaA+, network+ ...and Cissp cert but i am confused about experience,, is it very important to get a job ? Thanks

  • Monday, March 4, 2019

    Hi, Hamza! Thanks for your question. Yes, employers look for a mix of credentials (like certifications) and experience. Check out this article about the importance of backing up your certifications with skills development: https://certification.comptia.org/it-career-news/post/view/2019/02/18/should-i-get-an-it-certification-10-questions-to-ask-yourself Good luck!

  • Jake

    Friday, May 24, 2019

    Recent Cyber Security Degree Graduate and finding it nearly impossible just to find a Cyber Security job that doesn't require 3+ years of experience. It makes me sick for years a I heard we need more security people there is a shortage, companies create the shortage themselves by their unwillingness to train people who starting their careers.

  • Friday, May 24, 2019

    Hi, Jake! Thanks for your question. I know it can be frustrating to job hunt. When it comes to landing a cybersecurity job, it helps to have IT experience first. Working in tech support or system or network administration for a couple of years can give you the experience you need for a cybersecurity role. Check out this article and be sure to read the comments for some advice on how to stand out to employers when applying for cybersecurity jobs: https://certification.comptia.org/it-career-news/post/view/2019/04/08/how-cybersecurity-analysts-can-stand-out-to-potential-employers Good luck!

  • big chungus

    Tuesday, June 4, 2019

    this is some great info!!! much love homie

  • Sufii

    Thursday, June 13, 2019

    For getting cyber security jobs is there necessary to learn programming languages??

  • Friday, June 14, 2019

    Hi, Sufii! Thanks for your question. While it may not be necessary, it certainly is helpful. In order to configure and run many cybersecurity tools, you'll want to have some programming knowledge. Linux can be a great option. Read more about the Linux skills cybersecurity professionals should know: https://certification.comptia.org/it-career-news/post/view/2018/08/20/5-linux-skills-for-cybersecurity-professionals

  • JimmyUso

    Tuesday, June 18, 2019

    Well I'd like to get a CyberSecurity job but there is no such thing as an "entry level" as even an L1 has requirements. I worked as an sys admin for 10 years, have a BS in Comp Sci and got Security+ and I have yet to land an L1 SOC Analyst type of job. Once of the first things HR or management will ask on the interview is if you have experience with SIEMs and the such. Well, if it's an L1 role you are applying to, I would expect some sort of training for it. I'm thinking to study and take the next cert up, CySA+, but I am also frustrated from companies who are not willing to give folks an opportunity to gain that experience. Here I thought NYC, of all places, would be ripe for CyberSec jobs.

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