Technology has encapsulated nearly every aspect of our lives, from home security to space exploration and data management. Consequently, the growing reliance on it has led to increased cyber-attacks.
So it’s natural that industries are willing to pay top dollar to mitigate these risks. And it is causing a dramatic rise in cybersecurity jobs. In fact, according to projections, employment for security analysts will grow at a rate of 31 percent by 2029!
Moreover, the top positions in this field offer a lot of money, with six-figure salaries commonplace for experienced IT security professionals.
If you’re hunting for a great job in this field, here’s a look at some of the most lucrative ones that you can pursue:
1. Chief Information Security Officer
CISOs are senior-level executives responsible for the overall security of an organization’s data and systems. They integrate business management and technical skills to develop and implement security policies and procedures to protect against cyberattacks. They are also responsible for monitoring compliance and head the organization’s incident response team in case of a breach.
CISOs typically have a background in computer science or information technology and experience working in security. However, depending on your education and skillset, you need to improve your expertise and get additional certifications or enroll in a cyber security bootcamp before climbing up the ladder to get to this role.
Your earnings in this profession are proportional to your adaptability to hazards, experience, and education. Typically, the average annual wage of a CISO in the US is $145,667.
2. Director of Information Security
Like a CISO, information security directors offer leadership and vision to an organization’s security team. They collaborate with other departments, such as human resources, legal, and IT, to develop data protection policies. They also work with upper management to ensure that these policies are communicated and followed throughout the company. In some cases, hiring and training new security staff may also fall under their purview.
Although this role requires more managerial skills like team problem-solving and multitasking, a technical background is still necessary. You should also be familiar with common security threats and have experience developing risk management strategies.
A CISSP certification is often preferred, and many employers also require applicants to have a master’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field.
The average annual salary for this position is $188,708.
3. Network Security Architect
The main objective of network security architects is to construct, carry out, and examine networks to ensure they agree with safety policies and practices. Without them, the likelihood of a hacker infiltrating your system would be high.
Other tasks that they are in charge of include:
- Choosing the right security tools
- Configuring firewalls
- Managing secure communication
- Collaborating with other departments to ensure everyone is up to date on the latest security protocols
Network security architects usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, although some employers prefer a master’s degree. They must also have years of experience in network security or a related field.
According to recent projections, employment in this role will grow slightly faster than the national average. U.S.-based network security architects currently earn an average annual wage of $126,166.
4. Application Security Engineer
Does your company use software solutions provided and hosted by third-party vendors? If so, you may be at risk of a data breach. It is where application security engineers come in. They are responsible for auditing these applications, looking for any vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.
They are also tasked with analyzing code to identify security risks, working with developers to resolve these issues, and creating security plans for new applications.
Exposure to penetration testing and an impressive portfolio of code samples can help you land a job as an application security engineer. You must also have a good understanding of the SDLC (software development life cycle) and be able to code in at least one high-level programming language. Application security engineers in the US earn an average salary of $130,809 per year.
5. Ethical Hacker
Also known as bug-bounty hunters, organizations employ ethical hackers to test their computer systems and networks for security vulnerabilities. Their goal is to find these weaknesses before malicious hackers (black-hat hackers) do.
Becoming an ethical hacker requires the same skillset as a black-hat hacker. However, you must also be well-versed in ethical hacking principles and have a strong sense of professionalism. System hacking phases, hacking techniques, and countermeasures are also topics you need to be familiar with.
Although certification is not required, it can help you stand out from the competition. The most popular one is the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential offered by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council).
In terms of salary, ethical hackers in the US earn an average of $119,289 per year. However, if you choose to work as a freelancer, you can make a whopping $500,000 per year or more, depending on your skills and experience.
6. Risk Manager
No business is immune to risks. But with the help of risk managers, businesses can minimize the impact of these risks on their operations. Risk managers specializing in cybersecurity are responsible for analyzing systems and cross-examining them for potential vulnerabilities.
They create comprehensive security plans to help businesses prepare for and respond to cybersecurity threats.
Risk managers usually have a background in computer science or information security. They must also have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Certification is not required, but it can help you land a job as a risk manager.
Regarding salary, risk managers in the US earn an average of $118,222 per year.
As we continue advancing toward a more digital world, the importance of cybersecurity will only continue to grow. With that said, now is the perfect time to consider a career in cybersecurity. The job market is booming, and you can also expect to earn a high salary. If you’re exploring your options, check out some of the jobs we’ve listed above. They are worth your consideration, with an average annual salary of more than $100,000!