We become more and more dependent on machine-based technologies and the Internet every day. As a result, we attract the attention of hackers and cyber attackers towards our data stored in computer systems. Data vulnerability can be considered the current technological century’s colossal problem. That’s why cyber security and its subdivisions have become a trending topic lately. The demand for qualified cybersecurity experts is at its highest stages now, and it doesn’t seem to decrease.
At the front lines are those specialists who protect and ward off cyber vulnerabilities and threats. They are analysts, testers, responders, and, most importantly, cybersecurity engineers. Cybersecurity engineering is one of the leading and sought-off professions, among other Information Security roles. So, in this article, let’s cover all the topics concerning cybersecurity engineer salaries, requirements, and perspectives.
The Role of Cyber Security Engineer
A cybersecurity engineer is mainly responsible for protecting devices, apps, networks, and services from potential threats and hacking. This specialist also regularly runs tests and monitors the entire security system to ensure it functions properly and is up to date. In addition, a cybersecurity engineer protects a company’s data from any breach by developing and managing the overall security environment.
You can also find other roles with a specific direction and focus, like network security engineer and application security engineer. The requirements, responsibilities, and average salary of these roles slightly differ from cybersecurity engineers.
Additionally, all the professional skills and experience give them a strong understanding of real-life operations developing day-to-day. Therefore, the possibilities of their career growth into those higher positions and roles become pretty realistic over time.
A Cyber Security Engineer: Skills and Requirements
The majority of jobs in the sphere are skill-intensive. A high degree of training and professional experience are the main requirements for getting into a company. Job seekers will need to have soft and hard skills and professional programming skills while applying for a job position.
Cyber Security Engineer Hard Skills
Let’s begin with an essential skill set, which includes hard skills since the foundation of any cybersecurity engineer is the presence of technical abilities.
- Network Administration Skills
- Programming Skills
- Understanding of Access Points, Database Platforms, and Data Security
- Securing Coding Processes, Threat Modeling, and Ethical Hacking
- Encryption Technologies and Application Security
- Access Management and Identity Principles
These are the most common hard skills a cybersecurity engineer needs while applying for a job. However, the list of skills can differ depending on the company and job position features.
Cyber Security Engineer Soft Skills
Due to the critical role of cybersecurity engineers within a company, they need to have some special soft skills and abilities to succeed along with a professional hard skill set. These skills will help them to communicate efficiently, work with other colleagues, and serve as a balancing point between professionalism and integrity.
- Leadership and Communication Skills: Cybersecurity engineers need to properly communicate and discuss the details and solutions with other team members and coordinate the necessary actions and response options in case of any incident.
- Problem-Solving Skills: These abilities are crucial while planning and implementing secure networks by predicting potential attacks. Such skills are also essential in real-time threat responses.
- Development and Training Skills: The ability and persistence to constantly grow and develop their skills and knowledge are vital. Cyber security engineers must stay aware of all the changes and new techniques available. They also regularly check and provide information and materials to other team members, like pen-testers or analysts.
Cyber Security Engineer Responsibilities
The most common requirements you can see on job announcements and listings are as follows:
- Planning, managing, and implementing security measures across the network’s entire structure and security policies;
- Testing and analyzing all the necessary protection processes for the company’s confidential data, including sensitive and valuable information;
- Developing and engineering trusted systems and secure network solutions: Identify vulnerabilities and solve the issues;
- Responding to security and data breaches and communicating with the SOC team: consultants, pentesters, threat analysts, etc.;
If you think you are capable of the tasks mentioned above, you can confidently pursue a career as a cybersecurity engineer.
Cybersecurity Engineer Salary and the Determining Factors
One of the most common reasons why more and more people choose a cybersecurity engineer as their possible career, along with their passion for technology and computers, is cybersecurity engineers’ average total compensation range.
As a rule, cyber security engineer salaries range from $100,000 to $135,000. However, these numbers are not the ceiling yet. A cyber security engineer salary can rise depending on different factors and variables. Some of them include:
Experience and Skill Level
The most determining factor of a security engineer salary is the skillset and experience. Therefore, a professional skill set is the first thing companies and employers consider while hiring a cyber security engineer.
The more skills and professional background you have, the more paycheck you will receive.
The requirements of a cybersecurity engineer education can differ depending on the organization. Some employers pay a lot of attention to this aspect and prefer candidates with at least a Bachelor’s degree. Others even give the opportunity to those who have a Master’s degree in cybersecurity engineering. Higher education leads to a higher cyber security engineer salary.
Although most companies give preference to professionals with a solid educational base, there are a lot of organizations that you can get into just with a proper certificate. A cyber security engineer certification can also ensure you receive more than the average salary.
One of the crucial aspects determining a cybersecurity engineer salary range is the location. The average salary can significantly vary depending on the country and city.
Specialization and job specifics have an essential impact on the final salary. There are different roles in cybersecurity engineering, and your salary average is mainly dependent on your job responsibilities and requirements.
As you can see, there is no exact answer to how much a cybersecurity engineer salary should be. However, some crucial points resulting in the salary calculation have been mentioned above. You can consider them before launching a job.
There are multiple ways to pursue your career as a cybersecurity engineer:
1. Get a cybersecurity degree (Bachelor’s or Master’s degree).
2. Earn a certificate in the security field.
3. Apply for internships at different companies.
4. Get a mentor and start self-teaching.
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