Cybersecurity Specialist Career Overview & Outlook

Cybersecurity specialists play an essential role in the security of information systems. By monitoring, analyzing, and responding to security events, they help systems avoid network security vulnerabilities.

With such an important role, a cybersecurity specialist is one of the most attractive career prospects today. If you are curious about the information related to this profession, this article will provide useful content.

Job Description

Cybersecurity specialists can be confused with many careers in the IT field. So what are the tasks of cybersecurity professionals? Here is the detailed answer.

What is a cybersecurity specialist?

A cybersecurity specialist is a person who detects and responds to threats to a business’s network and data.

The important tasks for a network security professional are monitoring, network administration, troubleshooting, providing solutions, and security policies.

Compared to cybersecurity-related positions, cybersecurity professionals have more responsibilities. They must have an overview to keep the system safe.

Duties and Responsibilities

Cybersecurity professionals protect digital information as their primary duty.

To accomplish this task, they must encrypt information, detect and handle malware, and protect systems from viruses and hackers.

In the information technology system, cybersecurity specialists will be involved in the following jobs:

  • Test, monitor, evaluate and deploy security systems.
  • Detect, assess, and handle vulnerabilities in security systems
  • Respond to security threats from attacks, hackers, and viruses
  • Research methods and strategies to improve the security of the system
  • Report the status of the security system to executives and administrators

Where does a cybersecurity specialist work?

Nearly every organization needs a cybersecurity expert. Security professionals play an essential role in protecting the data, and information systems of banks, government organizations, medical facilities, and e-stores.

Education Requirements

Can a beginner with information technology become a cybersecurity specialist? The degree and certification requirements below help you answer this question.

Degree and Certificate

Employers may not require applicants to have a college degree. Instead, with a college degree or several years of work experience, you can already apply for an entry-level cybersecurity specialist position.

To advance in this field, you need a bachelor’s degree in engineering. A master’s degree in technical security is a recommendation if you want to pursue this field.

Some cybersecurity-related certifications that will also give you a competitive edge as a security specialist include:

  • ENSA Certificate: The Certificate of Cybersecurity Administrator is issued by the EC board.
  • CCNA: Certificate for Routing and Switching Network Contributors issued by Cisco.
  • CISM: Certificate for Information Security Managers.
  • CISSP: Certificate for Information Systems Security Professionals.
  • Security+: Basic security certificate issued by CompTIA.

Essential Skills

A cybersecurity specialist is one of the most lucrative jobs in the IT industry. To succeed in this field, cybersecurity professionals must have a deep understanding of information security and systems and master specific skills.

Hard Skills

A cybersecurity professional should have the relevant skills and knowledge.

  • Programming knowledge and proficiency in essential programming languages ​​such as PHP, Java, C, and C++.
  • You work with operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, and UNIX.
  • Knowledge of security tools such as Load Balancer, Proxy Server, and Packet Shaperheo CyberSeek.
  • Firmly grasp the knowledge related to information security, operations, project management, and network security.
  • Knowledge of security information and event management.
  • Experience working with computer protection programs and software.
  • Be able to practice coding and ethical hacking.

Soft Skills

Besides professional knowledge, employers are also looking for candidates with the following soft skills:

  • Communication skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Independent working skills.

Essential Tools

Must-have tools to consider

Network security monitoring tools

Cybersecurity professionals will use this tool to analyze network data.

While detecting threats, these tools will issue timely warnings and require immediate measures to patch vulnerabilities. Some of the most popular in the last few years are Argus, Splunk, OSSEC, and Nagios.

Encryption tools

Encryption tools like Tor, TrueCrypt, VeraCrypt, and NordLocker will help cybersecurity professionals scramble documents. These encrypted documents will avoid unauthorized use by third parties.

Web vulnerability scanning tools

Those responsible for system security will often use software like Paros Proxy, SQLMap, or Burp Suite to identify security holes. This software can also find problems from SQL injection or path transmission.

Penetration test

Penetration and system security testing might be the necessary and regular daily tasks you handle. The popular tools for penetration testing are Metasploit, Wireshark, Kali Linux, and Netsparker.

Antivirus software

Antivirus software is useful when the computer network is at risk from malicious software such as Trojans, ransomware, spyware, and adware.

The most powerful antivirus tools available today are McAfee Total protection, Norton AntiVirus, Bitdefender Antivirus, and Norton 360.

Network intrusion detection

The network security administrator will use an intrusion detection system to manage network traffic. When unusual activity is detected, the system will issue alerts for administrators to deal with the potential threat quickly.

Security Onion, Kismet, and Zeek are the popular network traffic monitoring systems.

Package Analyzer

Cybersecurity administrators must record network traffic and data. Tools that help with this process are Tcpdump, Wireshark, and Windump.

Firewall Tools

Using firewall tools to secure information is part of a cybersecurity professional’s job. The top firewall tools are AlgoSec, FireMon, and RedSeal.

Job Outlook

Cybersecurity specialists are one of the highest-paying professions today. People who do this job can also hone their knowledge and skills to develop information systems security. Scroll down for details!

Career growth opportunities

Cybersecurity specialists are always in a shortage of human resources, which is increasing yearly. According to a BLS report, in 2020-2030, the recruitment demand for information security-related positions will increase by 33% per year.

This growth is mainly due to the constant dangerous cyber attacks. Also, organizations are rapidly shifting to cloud services and electronic medical records, making the cybersecurity areas always need a large workforce.

Career development opportunities for security specialists are also quite open. An experienced and highly educated employee can earn much more than a security director and chief computer officer.


Are you curious about a cybersecurity specialist’s annual, monthly, or weekly salary? Here are some numbers you can refer to.

According to our latest statistics, an average cybersecurity professional earns about $106,748 a year in the United States.

The number above can vary depending on your experience, the position, and the average salary standard from each company.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Although it is a promising career, before deciding to become a cybersecurity specialist, you still have to consider its pros and cons. You should consider some points worth noting for working in the information security field.

  • Good salary

An inexperienced specialist can still receive a much higher wage than similar positions in other industries. And during the working process, their income will constantly improve according to their performance and qualifications.

  • Open job opportunities

Every organization needs cybersecurity professionals. So, you can work anywhere, including telecommunications companies, information technology organizations, universities, medical facilities to federal government agencies.

  • Good advancement opportunities

Employees who work with cybersecurity may have a chance to advance if they learn more about certifications, degrees, or skill sets.

  • Freelance business opportunity

Professionals in this field can set up companies and organizations to provide technology services to needy units.

  • Be ready to work at any time

Cyber ​​attacks can happen anytime. Those who work in cybersecurity must always be ready to handle it at all times, including nights and weekends.

  • Boring work

Cybersecurity professionals must work with documents, log files, and regularly monitor information networks. They are sometimes less communicative and introverted due to the nature of their work.

  • Work pressure

A cybersecurity specialist is a job with heavy nerve pressure, constantly dealing with unexpected attacks.


There are many things you may not know about cybersecurity experts. Here are explanations for the most frequently asked questions.

What makes an excellent cybersecurity specialist?

A good cybersecurity professional should always be ready to tackle the most effective cybersecurity challenges. They also need to monitor and deploy optimal security solutions at all times.

In addition to technical skills, they must make quick decisions in stressful situations and coordinate well with their team.

Who does a Cyber ​​Security Specialist work with?

Cybersecurity professionals will often work in teams and collaborate with employees or leaders in other departments to solve problems that arise.

What are the personal attributes necessary for a cyber professional?

To succeed in cybersecurity, you need to monitor and detect anomalies, be able to cooperate and listen and be open to learning new things.

What programming language is cyber security?

The leading programming language in cybersecurity is PHP. Cybersecurity professionals will use this language to protect websites from attackers.

Is SQL important for cybersecurity?

Proficiency in SQL helps those in the security field understand how SQL injection attacks work. So, you’ll have effective attack-prevention measures.

Is cyber security harder than coding?

To work in cybersecurity, you need to learn many skills, including programming and code intrusion prevention. So, it’s more difficult than coding.

Does cyber security use math?

Cybersecurity is related to math. To master this area, you will have to be able to process numbers and know how to use basic math operations.

What is the difference between cyber security and IT security?

Information security people care about protecting data from unauthorized access. Meanwhile, in cybersecurity, you’ll have to protect your organization’s sensitive data from unauthorized electronic access.

Is cybersecurity hard to learn with no experience?

Beginners can take introductory courses in cybersecurity and complete basic tasks without too much experience.

Career Advice

The cybersecurity specialist has many job options and attractive salaries. You will collaborate with other security professionals to find valuable solutions.

Your common goal is to implement measures to maintain an effective data security system. A cybersecurity specialist can develop into an executive manager, including a chief information officer and security officer.

Yet, to succeed in long-term information security, you will need to learn more about career certifications and gain experience.

This sharing has been helpful for you to have a deeper insight into cybersecurity specialists and have a suitable development orientation for your future career.

Thank you for reading!