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5 Top Cybersecurity Career Paths & Certifications

We are living in a world of innovations. Now, imagine innovative technologies with zero security is such a big nightmare. Cybersecurity comes here for the rescue. Cybersecurity is an immense ocean of various fields. Many skillful fishes are living in this ocean with lots of expertise. Cybersecurity is what keeps all organizations sane and safe. For that reason, I will discuss the fields that outgrown currently and the certifications that help in those fields.

Before diving into the ocean of cybersecurity, let us understand why to choose cybersecurity. Imagine being the CEO of a digital children’s toy-making corporate, promising every parent that the information provided about children inside the toys will stay safe. And the organization faces a cyber-attack that leaks all information about the children. That is the big downfall of the organization’s reputation.

Cybersecurity promises to secure the organization system’s from cyberattacks yet to keep user information safe. Cybersecurity professionals put all their efforts to create a secure and protect the environment, not only for organizations as well for all the users connected to the network/internet.

The world is becoming digital day-by-day, the growth in cybersecurity is not coming slow. The rates of cybercrime are also increasing yet bringing many opportunities for jobs in cybersecurity.

According to New York Times,3.5 million cybersecurity jobs are available this year. United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) contemplate that in the next ten years, cybersecurity jobs will increase 30% compared to other computing jobs.

Job performance is another category where cybersecurity staff performs well. The (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Report in 2019 showed that 71% of cybersecurity professionals in the United States are happy with their employment.

Now, the question that arises is where to give a kick start in cybersecurity.

Although no matter from which point you choose to dive into cybersecurity; the general prerequisite must follow, that is,

  • General Computer Science Knowledge.
  • Understanding of how technologies work.
  • Information Security Knowledge.

Certifications play a crucial role in cybersecurity. It does not matter if you do not have a proper university/college degree if you are gear up with the required skills and certifications. We will look at gathered information about on-demand cybersecurity roles and what the job requires.

Penetration Tester/Ethical Hacker

Ethical hacking is an authorized and legitimate type of hacking to verify the safety strength of an organization. Ethical hackers or Pen-testers follow strategies to crack down security infrastructures to discover system’s vulnerabilities and ways to refine them.

Their nature of the job requires them to perform attacks on networks, websites, or computer systems, find the weak holes, and suggest better solutions to secure the system. Pen-tester report and discuss the vulnerability findings with the senior management as well.

Certification Based Career Path to Follow:

  • Beginner:
    • CompTIA Security+
    • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Intermediate:
    • CompTIA Pentest+
  • Advanced:
    • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
    • EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)
  • Expert:
    • GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)
    • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)

These certifications help you to learn about current ethical hacking/pen-testing methods and strategies. The job requires hands-on practice with a maximum of 1-2 years of experience. And the average salary this position offers is $85,615/ year.

Penetration Tester/Ethical Hacker

Security Architect Role

A security architect is responsible for designing and implementing network security for organizations. Security architects are required to have in-depth knowledge of IT systems, so they can construct security systems to fight back against cyberattacks.

Certification Based Career Path to Follow:

  • Beginner:
    • CompTIA Security+
    • EC-Council Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA)
  • Intermediate:
    • EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)
    • CompTIA CySA+
  • Advanced:
    • GIAC Defensible Security Architecture (GDSA)
    • Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
  • Expert:
    • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

These certifications strengthen the skills needed for the security architects, such as network security, vulnerability assessment, and risk management. Security Architects are required to have 3-4 years of experience in security. And the average salary this position offers is $124,619/ year.

Security Architect Role

Malware Analyst

Malware analysis is a procedure of understanding the actions and motives of a suspicious file or URL. Malware analysts identify and assess security threats, such as viruses, worms, bots, and trojans, to comprehend their essence.

The nature of the job requires that malware analyst employed in a corporate contributes to incident reports provided by employees that have experienced suspicious system activities. Malware analysts suggest and implement strategies to recover systems from any damage caused, but much of the analyst job is associate with mitigating the effects of malware.

Certification Based Career Path to Follow:

  • Beginner:
    • Certified Threat Intelligence Analyst (CTIA)
    • CompTIA CySA+
  • Intermediate:
    • eLearnSecurity Certified Malware Analysis Professional (eCMAP)
    • Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst (CREA)
  • Advanced:
    • Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst (CREA)
  • Expert:
    • GIAC Reverse Engineering Malware (GREM)

These certifications improve the skills, such as sound knowledge network security, vulnerability assessment, operating assessment, and reverse engineering. The average salary this position offers is $92,880/ year.

Malware Analyst

Digital Forensics Analyst

Digital forensic analysts extract breach information from a variety of systems as forensic proof. They specialize in restoring deleted, lost, and damaged data. The job requires the analyst to work with investigators to gather digital information from virtual scans, interviewing individuals, and getting remarks on computer proof.

Certification Based Career Path to Follow:

  • Beginner:
    • Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)
  • Intermediate:
    • Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE)
  • Advanced:
    • Certified Computer Examiner (CCE)
    • Cyber Security Forensic Analyst (CSFA)
  • Expert:
    • Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)
    • GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA)

These certifications enhance the skills of the law and criminal investigation, digital systems, and storage devices. The average salary this position offers is $74,388/ year.

Digital Forensics AnalystChief Information Security Officer – CISO

The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is responsible for collaborating closely with the executives, the administrative staff, and the information security team. CISO’s are building blocks of organizations as they build teams and look after the initiatives concerning organizations.

The job nature of CISO is to establish strategic approaches for the integration of cybersecurity technologies and enhance recent initiatives. They also oversee the development of organizational security policies and procedures. They also collaborate with the stakeholders for risk management programs and official documents like NDA documents.

Certification Based Career Path to Follow:

  • Beginner:
    • EC-Council’s Certified Chief Information Security Officer
  • Intermediate:
    • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Advanced:
    • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
    • GIAC Security Leadership (GSLC)
  • Expert:
    • Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP)

Achieving accredited certifications is an absolute necessity in the pursuit of this rank of management. This field requires 7-8 years of experience in security with hands-on practice on systems. The average salary this position offers is $164,936/ year.

Chief Information Security Officer – CISO

Final Thoughts

In today’s world, cybersecurity is of utmost to any organization. We must understand the value of securing our digital systems and follow good cybersecurity policies. Although cybersecurity is a vast area but choosing a field in it as a career can turn into a life-changing decision.

Security used to be an inconvenience sometimes, but now it is a necessity all the time.

-Martina Navratilova

Ehacking Staff
With more than 50 global partners, we are proud to count the world’s leading cybersecurity training provider. EH Academy is the brainchild of Ehacking, which has been involved in the field of training since the past Five years and continues to help in creating professional IT experts.

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