Today more than ever, businesses are racing to improve their cyber security. Job titles like “cyber security analyst,” “ethical hacker” and “penetration tester” are popping up all over IT job sites and any institution worth its salt offers cyber security certification courses . But what does this catchphrase “cyber security” mean, anyway, and why is it so important? According to Cisco , cyber security is “the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks.” These security breaches are aimed at “accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting normal business processes.”
In a world where a growing percentage of business transactions are conducted online, this makes security extremely challenging. Attackers are becoming more sophisticated and innovative, and websites and corporate infrastructure must be constantly monitored and updated to avoid potential vulnerabilities. In a recent CSOnline survey, one-fifth of companies experienced critical system disruptions as a result of security vulnerabilities in 2017. Security company eSentire also reported that brute force and dictionary attacks were up 400% in 2017. On top of that, a McAfee study reported 71% of businesses believe that a shortage of IT security skills has made them a target for hackers, or resulted in damage through cyber attacks (McAfee 2017). It doesn’t take a data scientist to see that businesses absolutely must focus on online security to protect themselves and their customers!
Interested in becoming a cyber security professional? We’ve got you covered. See a full list of our cyber security courses.
Cyber Security Jobs and Salaries Are On the Rise
Businesses are rushing to protect themselves from hacking attacks. This has resulted in an increasing number of cyber security jobs available. CSOnline reports that IT security budgets keep rising year over year. U.S. businesses have increased security budgets in the past three years, with 16% of companies boosting their budgets 10-20% in 2017 alone. The demand is high, but cyber security as a profession is relatively new, and few candidates actually qualify for these positions, which is one of the many reasons why it’s a great opportunity for aspiring security professionals to pursue certification in this field. Forbes reported that by 2019, there will be a global shortage of 2 million cyber security professionals. In the U.S., 40,000 jobs for information security analysts go unfilled every year. And the UK and Ireland only have one job candidate for every three IT security analyst job vacancies ( eSecurity Planet 2018).
Luckily for IT professionals, high demand and low supply means that salaries for cyber security professionals are also on the rise. In the UK, IT salaries rose 8% from 2017 to 2018, averaging £56,523 per year. And security experts saw the biggest increase among IT professionals across Europe ( Computerworld UK 2018). Some of the most in-demand cyber security jobs for 2018 include:
|Cyber Security Analyst||Security analysts test systems to identify vulnerabilities and report on security flaws. Ethical hackers and penetration testers are sometimes included in this group of jobs.|
|Cyber Security Engineer||While analysts conduct testing and report on security flaws, engineers actually manage the design and implementation of security systems, focusing on vulnerabilities and exploits.|
|Cyber Security Specialist||Specialists design and build security programs to keep information systems secure, whether that is on computer networks, cloud servers, mobile devices, or payment software.|
|Cyber Security Architect||Security architects design and oversee the implementation of security systems. This is often a senior position, and an architect may manage security auditors who implement these systems.|
These jobs may reflect some overlap in skill sets required, but each position fits a specific need in an organization. Here are some median salaries for some roles in the UK and US:
|UK||Median Salary Per Year|
|Cyber Security Analyst||£52,500|
|Network Security Architect||£75,000|
|Cyber Security Engineer||£47,500|
Source: IT Jobs Watch May 2018
|USA||Median Salary Per Year|
|Cyber Security Analyst||$74,360|
|IT Security Architect||$120,501|
|Cyber Security Engineer||$92,978|
Source: PayScale May 2018
How to Launch Your Cyber Security Career
By now you’re probably excited about getting a cyber security job! With its growing salaries and high demand, the field is full of opportunities. But how do you actually become a security analyst, architect, engineer or other role? The good news is, you don’t have to get a four year degree to get started. Since this is a relatively new industry, most colleges and universities don’t offer cyber security degrees, though that is slowly starting to change. This makes cyber security certification courses highly relevant, as a way to get into the field. If you’re thinking of cyber security as a career, here are three reasons to start with a globally recognized certification program:
1. Employers value cyber security certifications. An international study by McAfee found that organizations ranked professional certifications as a preferable source of cyber security skills, over a bachelor’s degree in technology ( McAfee 2017). Companies understand that certification programs provide specialized training and a quality benchmark to help them gauge a candidate’s skill level. In the world of IT security, CompTIA, Cisco and Microsoft certifications in particular are valuable international standards for skill testing.
2. Many jobs require cyber security certifications. Another study found that 69% of organizations require related certifications for open cyber security positions, and most value certifications as much, if not more, than formal education ( ZDnet 2017). Certifications make it easier to transition into the field.
3. It’s vital to keep your skills fresh. Cyber security is a continually changing threat landscape. If you are already in the field, it’s important to continually stay up to date on the latest security advances. Cyber security can also be a rewarding industry to work in. You can enjoy a sense of accomplishment, knowing your work is protecting customers’ data and privacy.
Whether you’re just getting started, or you’re looking to advance in your IT security career, certification courses will help you stand apart from the competition. Below, we highlight our most popular cyber security certification courses>, which range from entry level to advanced.
Which cyber security certification course is right for you?
Hudson’s online cyber security certifications make it easy to learn at your own pace. You can access your courses anytime and anywhere. Most of our courses give you a full 12 months of access, so you can can fit studies into your schedule with ease. In addition, we offer online tutoring and MeasureUP practice exams, to help ensure your success and help you pass your certification exams. As a result, the majority of our students pass exams on their first try.
Cyber Security for Beginners with 4 Official CompTIA Exams
|To learn the essentials of Cyber Security, we recommend our best-selling Cyber Security for Beginners Course and Exam Bundle. This bundle combines six online courses with four official CompTIA exams, saving you £1,000 off of the regular price. If you’re brand new to cyber security, this is the course for you. The first three courses in this bundle are purely instructional, and assume you have no background in IT. Topics cover the basics of IT, including computer systems and networks. The next three courses are designed to train you for specific certification exams (entrance fees are included as part of the bundle). If you master these courses, you’ll be able to pass the following exams|
CompTIA Security+ is especially well-respected in the industry. In the UK, job applicants with this certification attract an average salary of £48,850 per year (IT Jobs Watch May 2018). Learn More About Cyber Security for Beginners
Once you’ve got the foundational training, you can move into specialties to advance your career. A few of our most popular courses include:
CompTIA IT Security Certification Bundle with 3 Official CompTIA Exams
|This bundle of three courses and three certification exams offers more specialized training in cyber security including security architecture and design, software development security, and telecommunications and network security. At the end of these courses, you’ll be equipped to pass the following certificatio n exams:|
CompTIA Cloud+ CV0-001
CompTIA Security+ SY0-501
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) CAS-002
This course is ideal for those who want to progress in their IT career path. The certifications offer valuable training for those aspiring to become Cyber Security Analysts, Cyber Security Specialists, and Cyber Security Engineers. Learn More About CompTIA IT Security Certification
Certified Professional Ethical Hacker (C)PEH) and Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (C)PTE)
|These certification courses train you for specific IT security roles as an ethical hacker and penetration tester. You’ll learn how to take a proactive approach to finding flaws in corporate infrastructure, and identifying vulnerabilities. Jobs in these fields average about £60,000 per year in the UK (IT Jobs Watch May 2018) For more information, see our blog post Ethical Hacker or Penetration Tester: What’s the Difference?|
Now is the ideal time to get into cyber security. While there is no single career path to becoming a cyber security expert, our selection of certification courses offers many options based on your interests and career goals. If you aren’t sure which course is right for you, feel free to reach out to Hudson’s Course Advisors . We’d be happy to help you figure out which course is best for you.
Cybersecurity: The cold war online – Nature , July 2017
The Biggest Cyber Security Disasters of 2017 – Wired , July 2017
#NoHacked: Year in Review – Google, 2017 2018 IT Security Employment Outlook – eSecurity Planet 2017
The Future of Cybersecurity Jobs – Monster