What jobs are there in cybersecurity?

Cybersecuritycareers
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. Image: Lauren Trompp

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:

Application security

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).

RELATED: What’s it really like to work in cyber crime?

Red Team

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

Cybersecurity analyst:
AU$49K–$119K / NZ $53K–$87K

Security engineer:
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.

Heather Catchpole

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

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