Cybersecurity is a booming career area that helps us stay safe online. Here’s why it’s such a big deal right now.
Data is all around us – our social posts, search history, online purchases, music and entertainment preferences leave a stream of data that forms our digital footprint. So, cybersecurity specialists work everywhere. There’s also a wide variety – there are 52 different careers to choose from, according to AustCyber.
Here are a few of the main ones:
Work with application developers to ensure they’re creating secure software.
RELATED: Quiz: how cyber safe are you?
Bug bounty hunters
These independent freelancers work outside companies and search for vulnerabilities in the software built and owned by tech companies.
Computer forensics analysts
Work with law enforcement agencies to track cybercrime and with workplaces to investigate after a major cyber incident.
Cyber intel analyst
Study the latest cyber breaches and attacks, monitoring communications on the dark web
in order to develop a picture of the current cyber-threat landscape.
Pen (penetration) tester
Tests electronic and computer systems only (occasionally hardware). They have a more restricted scope of what they are allowed to test than the Red Team (see below).
The Red Team tests the readiness of a company by looking for weak points in computer systems, networks, staff and/or processes. They attack systems, bad processes and procedures and people’s bad habits (such as opening/clicking on fake emails).
Security engineer/cyber detection engineer
Write code to automate detection of cyber threats by looking at thousands of computer logs to detect anomalies.
How can I prepare now?
There’s plenty of ways to get involved in cybersecurity. Start here:
The Schools Cyber Security Challenges provide high school teachers with resources to support the teaching of cybersecurity concepts and inform students of career opportunities in the field.
The Optus Cyber Security Experience takes the students into an interactive corporate cybersecurity situation where people from the cybersecurity team are introduced as the situation unfolds.
If you’re at uni, the Cyber Security Challenge Australia is a ‘hacking’ competition run by an alliance of Australian Government, business and academic professionals.
CS + cybersecurity study:
Bachelor of Computing and Cybersecurity, UNSW Canberra
Bachelor of Science, IT or Computer Science specialising in Cybersecurity, Deakin University
Certificate IV in Cyber Security, TAFE NSW
Diploma of Information Technology (Cybersecurity Bootcamp), Coder Academy
CS + cybersecurity jobs:
Business intelligence analyst:
AU$58K–$122K / NZ $58K–$98K
AU$49K–$119K / NZ $53K–$87K
AU$58K–$137K / NZ $43K–$104K*
*Source: salaries according to Pay Scale
This article was originally published in our special edition of Careers with STEM: Cybersecurity 2019. You can read the e-magazine for free online here.
Author: Heather Catchpole
Heather co-founded Careers with STEM publisher Refraction Media. She loves storytelling, Asian food & dogs and has reported on science stories from live volcanoes and fossil digs