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10 Most Popular ​​Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs

10 Most Popular ​​Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs

Entry-level cybersecurity jobs are the most sought-after jobs in the world. You want to know why? Get comfortable and enjoy this interesting read.

Cybersecurity has now become a sector in IT responsible for protecting our world against increasingly sophisticated threats. The need for professionals to defend against cyber attacks is at an all-time high whether you’re already immersed in IT or considering transitioning to a tech career. Cybersecurity offers a fulfilling path for those who embark on it.

This piece aims to shed light on cybersecurity jobs, showcasing the range of roles for newcomers. In addition to outlining job titles, we will guide how to kickstart your cybersecurity journey, covering aspects such as education, certifications, networking strategies, and job search tactics.

Networking plays a role in shaping your path towards a cybersecurity career. Steve Graham, Vice President and Head of Product at EC Council, stresses the importance of connecting with peers. 

RELATED: Cybersecurity Jobs: A Comprehensive Guide

Experienced professionals in the industry. Engaging with groups attending industry events can provide valuable insights and opportunities for mentorship. Discovering your passion for cybersecurity and finding mentors who share that interest can significantly impact your career progression.

The term “entry-level” in cybersecurity can sometimes be misleading.

The NSA recommends that these roles typically demand expertise and experience, emphasizing the significance of entering the industry. 

Salaries mirror the worth. The need for these positions with pay varies greatly depending on the job responsibilities and locations.

Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs

Entry-Level Jobs
Entry-Level Jobs

The cybersecurity domain offers a plethora of entry-level positions that serve as a gateway to a rewarding career path. Despite the apparent prerequisites, these roles provide a foundation for growth and specialization. Here are a few of the most common entry-level jobs in cybersecurity, along with insights into their roles, responsibilities, and potential salaries.

1. Information Security Analyst

Average Salary: $107,343

Feeder Role: Network or systems administrator

Key Responsibilities:

  • Monitoring networks for security breaches.
  • Investigating security breaches and reporting on them.
  • Keeping abreast of IT security trends.
  • Advising on security enhancements.
  • Assisting users in adhering to security policies.
  • An Information Security Analyst plays a crucial role in protecting an organization’s computer networks and systems, making it a popular starting point for many in the cybersecurity industry.

2. Information Security Specialist

Average Salary: $140,108

Feeder Role: Networking, IT support, systems engineering

Key Responsibilities:

  • Implementing and maintaining security measures.
  • Conducting regular security assessments.
  • Ensuring data integrity and access control.
  • Educating staff on security protocols.
  • Information Security Specialists focus on creating and maintaining secure systems as the frontline defense of an organization’s digital assets.

3. Digital Forensic Examiner

Average Salary: $102,375

Feeder Role: IT support, risk analyst

Key Responsibilities:

  • Collecting and analyzing digital evidence.
  • Assisting law enforcement with investigations.
  • Documenting the evidence retrieval process.
  • Providing expert testimony in legal cases.
  • Digital Forensic Examiners combine technical expertise with investigative skills to uncover digital footprints left by cybercriminals.

4. IT Auditor

Average Salary: $90,252

Feeder Role: Network administrator, risk analyst, IT support

Key Responsibilities:

  • Assessing and improving the effectiveness of technology controls.
  • Documenting audit findings and recommending improvements.
  • Ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
  • IT Auditors play a critical role in ensuring that an organization’s IT systems are secure, efficient, and compliant with industry standards.

5. Network Security Administrator

Average Salary: $72,000

Feeder Role: Network engineer, IT technician

Key Responsibilities:

  • Installing, administering, and troubleshooting network security solutions.
  • Updating software with the latest security patches.
  • Conducting regular system audits.
  • Managing and monitoring any attacks and intrusions.
  • Network Security Administrators are pivotal in creating and maintaining a secure network environment, a critical aspect of any organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure.

6. Cybersecurity Technician

Average Salary: $75,000

Feeder Role: IT support, help desk technician

Key Responsibilities:

  • Assisting in the implementation of cybersecurity measures.
  • Monitoring systems for security breaches.
  • Participating in the development of security standards and best practices.
  • Providing technical support for security-related issues.
  • Cybersecurity Technicians are hands-on roles that involve both the implementation of security measures and the active monitoring of systems for potential security breaches.

READ ALSO: Risk Management Jobs and Salaries

7. Vulnerability Analyst

Average Salary: $85,000

Feeder Role: Systems administrator, network administrator

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conducting scans to find vulnerabilities.
  • Analyzing security systems and seeking improvements.
  • Working with security teams to patch vulnerabilities.
  • Preparing reports on findings and recommendations.
  • Vulnerability Analysts play a crucial role in identifying and mitigating security vulnerabilities, ensuring the organization’s assets are protected against potential threats.

8. Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst

Average Salary: $85,000

Feeder Role: IT support, network operations

Key Responsibilities:

  • Monitoring security alerts and logs for signs of malicious activity.
  • Investigating and responding to security threats.
  • Coordinating with external stakeholders on threats and responses.
  • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of the threat landscape.
  • SOC Analysts are the eyes and ears of an organization’s cybersecurity efforts, monitoring networks around the clock to detect and respond to threats.

9. Compliance Analyst

Average Salary: $80,000

Feeder Role: Risk management, IT audit

Key Responsibilities:

  • Ensuring organizational compliance with security policies and regulations.
  • Assisting in the development of compliance policies and procedures.
  • Conducting regular compliance audits.
  • Reporting on compliance to stakeholders.
  • Compliance Analysts ensure that organizations meet essential cybersecurity standards and regulations, an increasingly critical role as these regulations become more stringent.

10. Security Software Developer

Average Salary: $105,000

Feeder Role: Software developer, application developer

Key Responsibilities:

  • Developing security software and tools.
  • Integrating security into application development.
  • Conducting code reviews for security vulnerabilities.
  • Collaborating with cybersecurity teams to address software security issues.
  • Security Software Developers specialize in creating software solutions that enhance an organization’s cybersecurity posture, from secure coding practices to developing dedicated security applications.

Essential Skills and Certifications for Entry-Level Roles

Cybersecurity certificates
Cybersecurity certificates

Building a career in cybersecurity doesn’t just rely on academic qualifications; practical skills, certifications, and continuous learning are equally important. Here’s a brief overview of the skills and certifications that can help you stand out:

  • Skills: Problem-solving, analytical thinking, understanding of network security and encryption, familiarity with various operating systems, and basic programming knowledge.
  • Certifications: CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH), and Cisco’s CCNA are among the most sought-after certifications for those beginning their cybersecurity career.

These roles, skills, and certifications are stepping stones into cybersecurity. Each position has a unique set of technical abilities and a commitment to continuous learning and professional development.

Educational Pathways for Cybersecurity Careers

Bachelor’s and Associate Degrees

Many cybersecurity positions list a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, cybersecurity, or a related field as a minimum requirement. An associate degree can also be a stepping stone, especially for roles that blend technical proficiency with hands-on experience.

A formal degree provides a comprehensive foundation in theory and principles, covering programming, network security, information security, and systems analysis.

Specialized Cybersecurity Programs

Some institutions offer specialized programs or concentrations in cybersecurity within their computer science or IT degrees. These programs are designed to meet the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals and often include preparation for certification exams.

Specialized programs offer a curriculum directly aligned with the needs of the cybersecurity industry, including emerging threats, defense mechanisms, and the latest cybersecurity tools and software.

Essential Certifications for Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs

Certifications play a pivotal role in the cybersecurity job market, often serving as a testament to the holder’s skills and dedication to the field. For those just starting, the following certifications are widely recognized and can significantly enhance employability:

1. CompTIA Security+

Focus: Foundational security concepts, risk management, and network security.

Ideal for: Individuals new to cybersecurity, aiming to establish a baseline of security knowledge.

2. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Focus: Ethical hacking methodologies, penetration testing techniques, and countermeasures.

Ideal for: Aspiring penetration testers or security analysts seeking to understand the mindset and methods of hackers.

3. GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)

Focus: Practical skills for IT professionals responsible for handling security tasks.

Ideal for: Those looking to demonstrate hands-on security skills in areas such as cryptography, risk management, and incident response.

4. Cisco’s CCNA (Cyber Ops)

Focus: Preparing candidates for entry-level cybersecurity roles by covering security concepts, policies, and procedures.

Ideal for: Beginners aiming to understand cybersecurity operations in the context of Cisco technologies.

The Role of Continuous Education and Specialization

The field of cybersecurity is ever-evolving, with new threats and technologies emerging constantly. Continuous education and specialization are crucial for staying ahead:

Advanced Certifications and Master’s Degrees

Pursuing advanced certifications (e.g., CISSP, OSCP) or a master’s degree in cybersecurity can open doors to more specialized and higher-level positions.

Online Courses and Bootcamps

Cybersecurity boot camps and online courses offer intensive, focused training on specific skills or technologies and can be a great way to stay current or pivot to new areas within cybersecurity.

Professional Development and Networking

Engaging in professional development activities, attending industry conferences, and being active in cybersecurity communities can provide ongoing learning opportunities and keep you connected with the latest trends and best practices.

By combining formal education, certification, and a commitment to continuous learning, aspiring cybersecurity professionals can build a strong foundation for a rewarding career. The journey into cybersecurity is as much about acquiring knowledge as it is about adapting to the field’s dynamic nature and evolving with it.

MORE: Hacking Your Way To The Job Of Your Dreams: The Cybersecurity Career Handbook

Gaining Practical Experience in Cybersecurity

Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs
Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs

Internships

Internships provide a chance to work in professional environments, applying academic knowledge to real-world cybersecurity issues. They offer a glimpse into the activities of cybersecurity teams and exposure to industry tools and procedures.

To explore internship options, you can browse through company websites, job listings, and university career services. Attending cybersecurity gatherings and conferences might also lead to internship prospects.

Engaging in Cybersecurity Projects

  • Personal Projects: Undertaking projects showcases your nature, creativity, and ability to implement cybersecurity concepts. These projects could range from setting up and securing a network to creating a security tool or conducting security assessments on open-source projects.
  • Contribution to Open Source: Contributing to open source security initiatives is a way to gain experience, enhance technical skills, and connect with fellow cybersecurity enthusiasts. It also serves as a demonstration of your capabilities for employers.

Competitions and Simulations

  • Cybersecurity Contests: Participating in events, like CTFs (Capture The Flag) or hackathons, can be highly beneficial. These contests replicate real-world cybersecurity scenarios and challenges, providing hands-on learning opportunities.
  • Cyber Ranges and Simulations: Some organizations and educational institutions offer access to cyber ranges or simulation platforms where you can practice cybersecurity techniques in a controlled setting.

Networking and Mentorship

  • Finding a Mentor: Having a mentor experienced in cybersecurity can provide guidance, advice, and insights crucial for career growth. Mentors help in understanding the intricacies of the field and offer feedback on projects. Connect you with circles.
  • Professional Organizations: Becoming part of cybersecurity groups like (ISC)², ISACA, or local cybersecurity communities presents networking opportunities, resource access, and updates on industry trends and job prospects.

Documenting Your Experience

  • Creating a Portfolio: A thoughtfully curated portfolio featuring your project’s contributions to open-source initiatives and engagement in competitions serves as an asset when applying for jobs. It showcases your skills, problem-solving aptitude, and dedication to the field.
  • Blogging and Public Speaking: Sharing your expertise through blogs, podcasts, or speaking engagements at conferences not only strengthens your grasp of cybersecurity concepts but also establishes your presence within the industry. It highlights your communication skills and enthusiasm to contribute to the cybersecurity community.

Getting hands-on experience in cybersecurity by participating in internships, projects, and competitions is essential for connecting what you learn in school with the real-world requirements of the industry. It does not boost your resume. Also hones your abilities and establishes a network of professionals that can greatly benefit your future career.

​​Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs: Preparing Your Application

Crafting a Cybersecurity-Focused Resume

  • Highlight Relevant Experience: Whether it’s coursework, projects, internships, or certifications, make sure to highlight your cybersecurity-related experience prominently.
  • Customize Your Resume: Customize your resume for each job application based on the job description and required skills. Use keywords from the job listing to pass applicant tracking systems.
  • Showcase Your Skills: List technical skills relevant to cybersecurity, such as knowledge of security protocols, programming languages, tools, and systems you’re proficient with. Don’t forget to include soft skills like problem-solving, communication, and teamwork, as these are highly valued in cybersecurity roles.

Writing a Compelling Cover Letter

  • Personalize Your Letter: Address the hiring manager by name and tailor the letter to the specific company and role, demonstrating your knowledge of and interest in their operations.
  • Express Your Passion: Cybersecurity is as much about passion as it is about skill. Share why you’re drawn to this field and what you hope to achieve in your career.
  • Demonstrate Your Value: Use specific examples from your experience to show how you can contribute to the company’s cybersecurity efforts. Highlight how your background makes you a unique asset to their team.

Acing the Interview Process

  • Technical Preparation: Be ready to discuss your technical skills and experience in detail, including projects you’ve worked on and tools you’ve used. Review common cybersecurity concepts, as you may be asked to solve problems or answer technical questions on the spot.
  • Behavioral Questions: Prepare for questions that explore how you’ve handled past situations related to teamwork, conflict resolution, and problem-solving. Employers are looking for candidates who have technical skills and can integrate well into their teams.
  • Ask Insightful Questions: Demonstrating curiosity about the company’s cybersecurity challenges, team structure, and technology stack can leave a positive impression. Prepare thoughtful questions to ask your interviewers.

Showcasing Your Skills and Experience

  • Portfolio and Projects: If you have a portfolio of cybersecurity projects, make sure it’s accessible and presentable. Be prepared to walk interviewers through your projects, explaining your thought process, challenges faced, and solutions implemented.
  • Online Presence: A professional online presence can support your application. This could include a LinkedIn profile, a GitHub repository with your projects, or a blog where you write about cybersecurity topics. Ensure these resources are up-to-date and reflect your current skills and interests.

Follow-up and Continuous Learning

After the interview, send a thank-you email to express your appreciation for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position. Regardless of the outcome, continue to learn and expand your skills. Cybersecurity is rapidly evolving, and ongoing education is key to long-term success.

Preparing your application for cybersecurity roles involves more than just submitting a resume; it’s about demonstrating your passion for the field, showcasing your technical and soft skills, and engaging with potential employers meaningfully. With the right preparation and mindset, you can navigate the application process successfully and embark on a rewarding cybersecurity career.

​​Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs: Exploring the Job Market

Cybersecurity Entry-Level Jobs
Cybersecurity Entry-Level Jobs

Finding Entry-Level Opportunities

  • Specialized Job Boards: While general platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed are valuable, cybersecurity-specific job boards like CyberSecJobs.com and InfoSec Jobs offer more targeted opportunities.
  • Company Websites: Many organizations post job openings directly on their career pages. Identify companies you’re interested in and regularly check their websites for new postings.
  • Recruitment Agencies: Some firms specialize in tech and cybersecurity placements. Working with a recruiter can provide access to unadvertised positions and insider advice on navigating the application process.

Leveraging Networking for Job Search

  • Professional Associations: Joining groups such as (ISC)², ISACA, or local cybersecurity meetups can connect you with professionals in the field. These associations often host events, workshops, and conferences that can be fertile ground for networking.
  • LinkedIn: Optimize your LinkedIn profile with relevant cybersecurity keywords and actively engage with the cybersecurity community. Follow companies, join industry groups, and participate in discussions to increase your visibility.
  • Mentorship: Seek mentors within the cybersecurity field who can offer guidance and advice on career development and potentially introduce you to job opportunities.

Preparing for the Future of Cybersecurity Careers

  • Stay Informed: The cybersecurity landscape is continually evolving. Stay informed about the latest threats, technologies, and industry trends by following cybersecurity news sources, blogs, and forums.
  • Continuous Learning: Cybersecurity professionals must commit to lifelong learning. Take advantage of online courses, workshops, and certification programs to keep your skills sharp and relevant.
  • Adaptability: Be open to starting in a broader IT role if direct entry into cybersecurity is not immediately available. Many skills are transferable, and experience in IT can provide a solid foundation for a specialized cybersecurity role later on.

The demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals continues to outpace the supply, with the global cybersecurity workforce gap expected to grow. This demand spans various industries, including finance, healthcare, government, and technology, ensuring a robust job market for qualified candidates.

READ ALSO: Mr Cooper Cybersecurity Breach: A Comprehensive Analysis

Emerging Areas within Cybersecurity

  • Cloud Security: As businesses continue to migrate to the cloud, expertise in cloud security has become increasingly valuable.
  • IoT Security: The proliferation of connected devices has highlighted the need for security in the Internet of Things.
  • AI and Machine Learning in Security: Leveraging AI for threat detection and response is a growing focus within the industry.

Conclusion

Starting a career in cybersecurity is a venture that offers plenty of room for professional development. To excel in the job market, focus on honing skills, gaining hands-on experience, and leveraging your connections. Stay flexible, keep learning, and stay involved in the cybersecurity community to pave the way for a successful career in this ever-evolving field.

Whether you’re beginning or advancing in your cybersecurity journey, remember that the process is just as significant as reaching your goals. The obstacles you encounter and the knowledge you acquire will enhance your capabilities as a cybersecurity expert. Play a role in safeguarding our digital landscape.

FAQ About ​​Entry-Level Cybersecurity Jobs

Is it hard to get a job in cybersecurity without prior experience?

Although breaking into cybersecurity without experience can pose a challenge, it is not a task. Focus on developing skills by obtaining certifications, like CompTIA Security+, engaging in projects, internships, and networking. It is also beneficial to highlight any experience, even if it comes from a cybersecurity background.

What types of companies are hiring for entry-level cybersecurity positions?

Various industries are on the lookout for cybersecurity professionals, including technology firms, financial establishments, healthcare entities, government bodies, and consulting companies. The demand for roles spans across both the public sectors.

Can I work remotely in entry-level cybersecurity jobs?

Remote work is increasingly prevalent in the field of cybersecurity in positions like cybersecurity analysts, SOC analysts, and vulnerability assessors. Nevertheless, certain roles may necessitate presence for tasks involving information or hardware.

Are there entry-level cybersecurity jobs that don’t require programming?

Indeed, numerous entry-level positions, such as IT auditor roles, compliance analysts, and certain analyst positions, might not mandate programming expertise. Nonetheless, having a grasp of scripting and automation can prove advantageous within these job roles.

How long does it typically take to move from an entry-level position to a more advanced role in cybersecurity?

The time frame can vary depending on dedication, continuous learning, networking, and the demand in the industry. In general, with the improvement of skills and professional development, one can progress to level positions within 2 to 5 years.

What is the best way to stay updated on cybersecurity trends and threats?

Stay updated by following trusted cybersecurity news platforms, blogs, and forums. Getting involved in groups and attending industry events can also help you stay informed about emerging trends and risks.

How important are certifications for advancing in a cybersecurity career?

Certifications hold value in the cybersecurity field as they confirm your expertise. Advanced certifications are often essential for career advancement in leadership roles.

Can cybersecurity jobs be a good fit for someone transitioning from a different career?

Definitely, many skills from different fields can be applicable to cybersecurity, such as thinking, problem-solving, and technical knowledge. Those transitioning should focus on acquiring cybersecurity skills through certifications and training programs.

What’s the significance of soft skills in cybersecurity roles?

Soft skills like communication, teamwork, and critical thinking play a role in cybersecurity. They improve your capacity to collaborate effectively, simplify security ideas for technical individuals, and adjust to swiftly evolving circumstances.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your cybersecurity journey? You can do that with an expert beside you to guide you through without having to stress much. Schedule a one-on-one consultation with Tolulope Michael, a cybersecurity professional with over a decade of field experience. This will allow you to gain personalized insights and guidance tailored to your career goals.

Visit tolumichael.com now to book your session. This is your opportunity to embark on your cybersecurity career with confidence.

Tolulope Michael

Tolulope Michael

Tolulope Michael is a multiple six-figure career coach, internationally recognised cybersecurity specialist, author and inspirational speaker. Tolulope has dedicated about 10 years of his life to guiding aspiring cybersecurity professionals towards a fulfilling career and a life of abundance. As the founder, cybersecurity expert, and lead coach of Excelmindcyber, Tolulope teaches students and professionals how to become sought-after cybersecurity experts, earning multiple six figures and having the flexibility to work remotely in roles they prefer. He is a highly accomplished cybersecurity instructor with over 6 years of experience in the field. He is not only well-versed in the latest security techniques and technologies but also a master at imparting this knowledge to others. His passion and dedication to the field is evident in the success of his students, many of whom have gone on to secure jobs in cyber security through his program "The Ultimate Cyber Security Program".

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