Looking for a new challenge, fancy switching jobs or wondering which ones are futureproof? We've delved into techie cyber-space, with a helping hand from expert Simon Wright, director at CareersinCyber.com and CareersinRisk.com, to find out which jobs will be the hot tech, cyber and risk opportunities in 2020 and beyond.
Data Science is the process of examining information in order to understand how it may impact the business. You need to have a head for critical thinking and problem solving, and a knack for persuasive communication. Proficiency in programming languages such as Python and R, as well as data visualisation skills, should come off the back of your IT or computer science degree, though maths and physics are also acceptable subject areas. Employers also value real-life industry experience so invest some time in internships and work experience placements in your industry of choice.
Salary expectations: A junior Data Scientist can expect to earn a starting annual salary of around £30,000 building up to £100,000-120,000+ with experience and seniority. The current average base salary in the UK is around £53,000.
Blockchain is a public ledger of cryptocurrency transactions (such as Bitcoin) which tracks activity and also timestamps digital documents to prevent any records being ‘tampered with’. Many companies are now adopting block-chain technology for other applications within their business such as trading platforms, self-executing contracts and securing ID cards, plus many more. As you might expect, you’ll have a good head for numbers and ideally need to have A level(s) and/or a degree in mathematics or computer science, along with being well versed in programming such as Python. Knowledge of mathematical algorithms, in particular hash algorithms, is an advantage. You will also need to have a very strong aptitude in the cryptocurrency world, a vast knowledge base of finance and the payment world, how these payments work and how blockchain technology can be distributed and highly efficient ledger.
Salary expectations: There is a huge demand for Blockchain Engineers as the technology is new and current demand far outweighs the people with the skills that are required to fill the growing number of vacancies. As such these positions demand high salaries from around £110,000pa.
Data Miners are increasingly in demand and important within organisations for using the company’s raw data to make informed business decisions. By using software to look for patterns in large batches of data, businesses can learn more about their customers to develop more effective marketing strategies, increase sales and decrease costs.
To pursue a career as a data miner, look at getting a degree in computer science, marketing analytics, data analysis, statistics, or a related field. Some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Make sure you are proficient in a variety of computer software and databases. Acquire an entry-level position in an IT department at a company to learn how to navigate through sources of data to find useful information and correlate trends.
Salary expectations: An average starting salary is £32,000 and can rise to £65,000 for experienced positions.
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Engineer
Were you a maths whiz in school? AI and machine learning are rooted in numbers with their proponents skilled in algorithms, neural networks and other tools designed to further the field of AI. AI and machine learning engineers should demonstrate their technical skills and computer science or data science degrees along with a strong understanding of how to relate AI to the business. While it’s true a background in programming will see the easiest move into a career in AI, the traits employers are looking for include analytical and creative thinking, effective communication and problem solving.
Salary expectations: Starting salaries for Artificial Intelligence Engineer jobs are around £30,000, moving up into the regions of £50,000 with experience and upwards of £70,000-80,000 in the more senior roles.
The White Hats of the hacking world, breaching systems for the benefit of companies rather than mischief like their darker counterparts. If you want to be an Ethical Hacker you need to become best friends with your PC. Get a degree in computer science, build up the 500+ hours of practical computing experience you need for a CompTIA cert and get to gaining work experience - a good place to start is within Network Support. Then you will need to gain a Network+ or CCNA qualification and to progress to a Network Engineer role
Salary expectations: The average starting salary is £30,000 as you take a walk on the security side before obtaining your Security+, CISSP or TICSA certs. The next step is to gain an IT Security Specialist role (average salary £45,000) and immerse yourself in systems and network security. Now you’re ready to undertake your CEH cert and become a Certified Ethical Hacker, at which point your earning potential shoots up into the regions of £100,000+, especially if you choose to open your own consultancy.
Cyber Security Architect
It is possible to set your sights on cyber security architecture if you’re new to information security, though it is a senior role. These are the individuals responsible for creating and maintaining corporate security structures, taking charge of security teams and taking the lead on security-related policies and procedures. Typically the route to a Cyber Security Architect job will start an administrator role across security, systems or networks moving into a mid-level role such as Security Analyst, Security Engineer, Pen Tester or Security Consultant. From these roles you will acquire skills in information security, network security, cryptography, vulnerability assessment and project management.
Employers expect you to have a degree; computer science, business information systems or information technology are among the most common. Then it’s a case of completing one or more of the following certifications depending on your area of specialism: CompTIA Security+, CEH, CISM, CISA, GIAC or Information Systems Certification.
Salary expectations: An average salary for Security Architect roles is around £58,000 but can be much higher for experienced specialists.
And finally, the Celebrity Cyber Sleuth
It’s well known that celebrities call on a host of advisors ranging from personal trainers, nutritionists and stylists but with the increase in celebrity hackings, our view is the role of the Celebrity Cyber Sleuth will become more in demand. You will need to have gained considerable experience with an organisation as outlined above and then it’s up to you to network with celebrity agents and lawyers and other advisors to build your brand so you become the go-to cyber expert.
Salary expectations: Salaries are likely to be very competitive and possibly double or triple what you may get in the business environment – when you are protecting the reputation of a star, there may be no limits to a salary!
Looking for a new job right now? Explore the CareersinAudit Group of job boards:
You may also be interested in these articles:
- The Best Certifications for Breaking into Information Security
- So, you want to be an Ethical Hacker?
- Re-training in Cyber Security – is it for me?