The massive increase in the number of cyber attacks is certainly alarming, to say the least. Still, this frightening news keeps opening the possibility of a whole booming industry. Yes, it’s about that branch within the tech industry dedicated to safeguarding businesses and their data. So, what are the most in-demand cybersecurity jobs in 2022 (and most likely beyond)? Aside from pen testers, there’s a wide range of roles and job openings dedicated to security. Let’s take a closer look at these career opportunities.
A brief overview of cybersecurity careers
The growing prevalence of cybersecurity is undeniable. And the need for professionals in this field keeps on rising too. Even though the world is still going through a rough patch (and not even the tech industry was fully recession-proof), businesses won’t seem to pause their recruitment when it comes to this domain.
In fact, the want for tech experts with a knack for security has increased by a staggering 74% between 2007 and 2013. And according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it will rise by another 18% by 2024. But, aside from the non-stop need for hiring security specialists, these roles bring numerous other benefits. For example, this field can be applied to many different industries. So, a job seeker can land a new, compelling opportunity anywhere – from the government to the private sector or non-profit.
Why companies should hire people with in-demand cybersecurity skills
How important is cybersecurity for companies? Well, since cyber-attacks are currently among the most critical points for large and small-scale businesses, let’s go with “very important.” Businesses keep on relying on countless technologies, and these breaches don’t seem to stop evolving simultaneously.
According to a 2021 report by IBM, cybercrimes are costing $4.24 million companies. So, money loss and all sorts of dangers lurking are reasons enough to recruit a trustworthy cybersecurity professional.
🔒 But before crafting a witty & informative job description, each business must do its own legwork. So first, it’s vital to secure a firm by using anti-malware and antivirus protections. More advanced solutions bring real-time protection relying on AI/ML technologies. Also, having a backup and disaster recovery plan is essential. And finding a tool that will back up all the data is the best way to stay safe.
Top cybersecurity jobs in 2022 (and beyond)
Studies show that, in the US alone, there are around 590,000 cybersecurity job openings at this moment. And another set of surveys has shown that 76% of companies consider a higher security headcount. And while the most in-demand cybersecurity jobs include roles like incident responders and penetration testers, there are more hot & much-needed positions out there.
These professionals are in charge of designing, developing, and implementing a company’s security infrastructure. They work alongside the company’s CISO (Chief information security officer) to construct an effective shield strategy. Their tactics cover the latest threats and the firm’s business goals. A cybersecurity architect should also design and manage the implementation of different security controls. So, they need expertise with firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption technologies.
A security engineer’s list of key duties includes implementing and maintaining a business’s security infrastructure. They work closely with architects to deploy security controls like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption technologies. These engineers also run regular security audits to pinpoint vulnerabilities and come up with the best solutions to lessen threats.
This role is pretty broad. It usually encompasses quite a few responsibilities, like monitoring security best practices, protocols, and procedures (by using the right tools). These experts ensure that practices are implemented and followed correctly. They also analyze reports from these tools to identify unusual network behaviors proactively. Finally, they may control file access, network updates, and firewall maintenance.
The key trait of a crafty security analyst is an understanding of how data is stored and managed. They must be familiar with different kinds of threats, such as ransomware attacks, social engineering, and data theft. Penetration testing and vulnerability scans are often integral parts of their duties.
Penetration tester/Ethical hacker
Some employers underline the difference between pen testers and ethical hackers. In these companies, penetration testing is one of the functions of an ethical hacker with strong cyber skills and profound knowledge of the company’s vulnerabilities. But in most firms, these two roles are interchangeable.
Ethical hackers and pen testers are the firm’s Sherlock – at least when it comes to cybersecurity. They are also known as “white hat hackers.” So, their aim is to think like the bad guys. That way, they can understand the attackers’ motives, approaches, and actions. They conduct penetration testing to uncover vulnerabilities and holes in security protocols. Their target areas usually include networks, devices, and web-based apps. Also, they offer relevant fixes before the real bad guys grab the opportunity to exploit these vulnerabilities. In short, their role is proactive and vital to protect the company’s information and systems.
Computer/digital forensics analyst
A computer forensics analyst (AKA a digital forensics examiner or cyber forensic analyst) is the ultimate Horatio Caine of the cybercrime world. For those who have missed the early 00s CSI craze, this role truly matches a full-on crime scene investigation. These experts are of huge value in investigating cybercrimes that have affected a company. And their job is to figure out how to prevent those devastating events from happening again.
So, they will discover how a threat actor managed to access the network and what cracks in the security system must be sealed to stop the recurrence of similar unauthorized access events. They also examine the evidence left behind by the attackers, prepare them for legal or law enforcement purposes, and, when needed, offer expert testimony.
Now, it’s obvious that a digital forensics examiner must have a vast knowledge of cybersecurity from technical, criminal, and legal aspects. So, these roles are normally reserved for more senior tech professionals.
What is the highest paying cyber security job?
All of these in-demand cybersecurity jobs grant high pay. So, a senior security architect can earn from $150,000 to $185,000 a year. A pen tester is in for a salary range of $98,000 to $135,000 per year. And a security analyst in the US makes around 114,000 annually.
The list of other highest paying cyber security jobs in 2022 also includes a cybersecurity manager role, application security engineer, identity and access management architect, and more.
The list of most in-demand cybersecurity jobs for 2022 (and beyond) also offer a few more junior roles. For instance, there are many entry-level openings for IT auditors. Also, one could kick start a successful career by applying for a junior incident & intrusion analyst position.
A tech security professional could be in charge of anything from network security to pen testing. Their roles vary from installing, administering, and troubleshooting security solutions to creating security policies and crafting training docs for colleagues. So, those who do have some technical experience can tap into cybersecurity and discover how their previous knowledge applies here.
Will cyber security be in demand in the future?
In 2020, soon after the pandemic hit, the number of cyber attacks grew by an astonishing 63%. Think 2020 was bad enough? Think again. The devastating effects of cybercrime kept growing throughout 2021. The number of breaches by the end of September 2021 had already exceeded the total 2020 number!
So, to avoid these catastrophic events, severe consequences, and money loss, companies will surely continue to hire more cybersecurity professionals. And like most in-demand tech jobs, these vital roles are here to stay, guard the firms, and rule the job market.