The cyber security field is one of the fastest growing, dynamic and lucrative job markets in terms of job availability and compensation. For professionals with the skills, experience and preparation to break into this competitive space, handsome rewards and higher than usual job security await. At the national level, there are currently 746,858 professionals employed in this field, with 285,681 unfilled job openings, according to CyberSeek. The challenges and benefits of working in cyber security are both high and on the rise. Let’s have a look at some of the hottest cyber security positions in 2018.

 

Penetration Tester

Penetration testers and Certified Ethical Hackers contribute to organizational cyber security by constantly looking for weaknesses in firewalls and simulating attacks on digital infrastructure defenses to plug information security gaps. According to the InfoSec Institute, average entry-level salaries for pen testers start at $71,660, rising to over $108,000 with a few years of experience. Pen Tester job growth is expected to be around 18% between 2014 and 2024.

 

Information Security Analyst

Information Security Analysts are among the most in-demand professionals in the security market.  They should have the versatility and attention to detail to perform a wide range of tasks including network monitoring to report data breaches immediately, security software installation and operation, and keeping track of sensitive information. IS analysts are commonly required to stay up to date on the latest cyber security trends, standards and best practices, suggesting changes to the organizational security approach as the need arises. They usually have an active participation in creating disaster recovery plans to deal with cyber attacks. Demand for professionals to fill these roles is on the rise and the Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting a 28% increase in this particular job between 2016 and 2026, while average salaries stand at around $96,000.

 

Cyber Security Engineer

Cyber Security Engineers work to ensure the safety and maintenance of an organization’s networks. This involves maintaining servers, switches, firewalls, VPN’s, and security protocols, as well as filtering web content and guarding against DDoS attacks. Network security engineering frequently also falls under this category at many companies. These professionals design, audit and troubleshoot an organization’s networks against outside attacks.  PayScale reports an attractive average salary of over $96,000, and job growth is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.

 

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

The CISO heads a company’s information security department and is frequently given VP status. Salaries typically hover around $200,000 but can go as high as $380,000 according to Forbes. Candidate demand for this role is more than twice as high as the number of positions available, according to a study conducted by job board Indeed. The study concludes that while there is no shortage of applicants, employers have a very hard time finding qualified candidates. As cyber security threats increase, a growing number of companies will hire CISOs to handle their cyber security needs.