Pursuing a career in the Cyber Security Engineering realm is one that does require qualifications, experience and a well-developed skill set. But boasting lucrative pay and plenty of progression opportunities, a Cyber Security Engineering position is a career worth pursuing.
As an information security and cyber security professional, a Cyber Security Engineer works across a range of functions, assuming the role of security point person on company policies and procedures. From implementing secure network solutions to cyber defense plans, the role of Cyber Security Engineer is diverse and technical.
Whether considering university qualifications or a lateral move into the field, below breaks down what a career as a Cyber Security Engineer entails.
Whilst exact requirements vary from one company to the next, below are the qualifications, technical and soft skills looked for in a Cyber Security Engineer.
The preferred university qualifications are bachelor's degrees relating to computer engineering, engineering, information security and computer science. Beyond this, adding a master’s degree further adds marketability and is becoming increasingly valued by employers.
In terms of certifications, there are many that further add to this marketability. Certification possibilities include a Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP) or a Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM). GIAC Certifications also have a range of beneficial certifications to further booster university qualifications.
Cyber Security Engineer positions are roles which typically require an in-depth range of technical skills. Professionals are required to be IT experts with a wide-ranging knowledge of information security concepts. Whilst varying for company to company, most engineers will be required to use penetration testing, architecture, have the ability to script and code, and some hold knowledge of network equipment.
On a base-level, Cyber Security Engineers need to have a desire to solve complex problems and often adopt creative approaches in the process. Communication skills are a must for anyone working in cyber security and this must be coupled with the ability to translate technical terminology into language understood by the wider company.
Requiring a few years of relevant IT and cyber experience, landing an Engineering position requires industry experience beyond university qualifications. Whilst it is possible to find junior or trainee Cyber Security Engineer positions, most roles require a minimum of three years industry experience along with a strong technical background. Again, the experience required varies from one company to the next.
Moving up from Cyber Security Engineer looks to more managerial roles such as a Cyber Security Manager, Architect and Consultant. Long-term progression opportunities at a C-suite level include CISO and Security Director roles.
The talent shortage in the cyber security industry means Cyber Security Engineers can expect higher salaries and excellent benefits. In the United Kingdom the average salary currently sits at £35,000 annually and in the United States it is $95,000 annually. Like most roles in cyber, the salary for Cyber Security Engineers, which is already at an all-time high, is predicted to continue rising.
If the technical knowledge required, growth opportunities and excellent financial potential are ticking boxes, then a career in Cyber Security Engineering may be worth further consideration.