Technology advances, and so do the threats that can harm digital systems. So, working in cyber security, especially as a security engineer, has become an appealing career choice. But, like any job, it has its good and not-so-good sides.
After checking the advantages and disadvantages of being a security engineer, you will know whether you are suitable and should pursue it. Keep reading to learn more!
Security engineers are digital guardians. I, as well as other engineers, protect computers, data, and networks from digital threats. I find weak spots in the systems and build defenses like firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
If there’s a security breach (when bad people get past the defenses), I am the first to respond. I must have plans to stop these people and limit the damage.
Besides, I regularly check if the shields are working well. I try to break the defenses myself (but legally!) to find and fix problems.
If you learn about security engineering, surely you already know that this field is growing because of the need for cyber security, leading to many jobs and attractive incomes.
Yet, every job has its drawbacks. I will analyze the pros and cons of this job so you know whether to pursue it!
As I said, this job brings benefits in terms of job demand and income. Besides, it gives you many choices regarding the working environment and career growth.
According to ComputerCareers’s recent outlook statistics for security engineers, finding a job in this field is not challenging because the number of security engineering jobs is growing fast (32% from 2018 to 2028).
Right now, over 22,500 security engineers are working in the US. And there are a whopping 86,093 job openings for these roles.
As you can see, the need for security engineers grows because there’s always a need for people who can protect computer systems from cyber threats.
With lots of job growth, openings, and steady demand, you’ll likely find a suitable job without much trouble.
As a security engineer, you can expect a pretty good salary. The pay range for this job usually falls between $111,000 and $187,000 per year (in 2023).
The most common or likely salary that security engineers earn is around $143,000/year. This is a nice amount of money, and it shows that the work of a security engineer is valued.
It’s important to note that this role’s salaries have gone up 12% in recent years. So, not only is the pay good, but it’s also getting better.
Since almost every industry now needs security engineers, you have many options to work in the company and environment you like.
Besides the variety of industries, you can choose to work remotely or work independently as a freelancer. You can take on short projects or offer advice to different clients. This way, you can decide when and how you work.
Finally, security engineering has a promising career progression because you can choose and develop your expertise in an area, such as:
- Network Security
- Cloud Security
- App Security
You can work on cutting-edge technologies like AI-driven or blockchain security, which is exciting and impactful. With experience, you can move into leadership roles like CISO or manager.
While this career offers numerous benefits, it also comes with challenges, including pressure, repetitive tasks, staying updated, and measuring success.
Regarding the cons of working in this role, high pressure is at the top of the list because I must be ready to work any time, day or night. Cyber threats don’t wait for a convenient time to attack, so I can’t either.
If I mess up, it will be bad. A security breach can cost a company a lot of money and even get it in legal trouble. So, I am always worried about making mistakes.
Besides, there are many rules and laws about cyber security, and I have to ensure our systems follow them. If not, I could get into trouble.
As a security engineer, there are some tasks I have to do over and over again, including:
- Updating software and systems
- Checking logs
- Scanning for weaknesses
- Keeping records
- Planning for problems
Even though these tasks are repetitive, they are vital for keeping the systems safe. Sometimes, I try to automate or use tools to make them more interesting, but they are still a big part of my job.
Staying updated in cyber security is not just a suggestion; it’s a must because new threats keep coming, technology keeps updated, and laws change, too.
To deal with all these, I must keep learning by attending training sessions and reading about new things in the field. This sometimes tires me out because it’s hard to keep up with the changes in these things.
In some jobs, you can measure success with numbers, like sales or profits. But in cyber security, it’s not that simple. Success often means preventing threats from happening, which is hard to put a number on.
Different customers see success in different ways. Some care about keeping systems running, while others worry about following rules. So, in some cases, it is hard to show success to them.
Absolutely! Becoming a security engineer is a highly worthwhile career choice, considering its advantages:
- High demand
- Attractive salary potential
- Career growth
Yet, you will have to face high-pressure and repetitive tasks. Also, the need to be updated will make it difficult for those who are not willing to keep learning to work.
Personally, I find the pros far outweigh the cons when working in this role. It’s a fulfilling career for those passionate about protecting digital landscapes and interested in a dynamic career.
Now you know the pros and cons of being a security engineer. Even though I’m always under work pressure and sometimes bored by repetitive tasks, I still like working in this position because of the income and flexibility benefits.
Do you find this job worth pursuing? Please comment below so we can discuss this! Thank you for your time in my post!