Cyber Security Specialists Fight High-Tech Crime

Learn about career paths fighting computer fraud as a cybersecurity specialist.

With Complexity, a Bigger Threat

laptop with key representing cybersecurity specialists

From combating cybercrime to conducting important computer forensics investigations, cyber security specialists are central to the safety of our nation's data and telecommunications systems, as well as to the security of every citizen who chooses to use the Internet.

What Is Cybercrime?

Threats to personal computers (such as viruses and malware), large-scale attacks on our technological infrastructure—face it, high-tech crime is a persistent problem in the modern world. As our communication systems grow increasingly complex, it becomes even more important to defend them against intentional and unintentional attacks.

Fighting cybercrime is the domain of cyber security specialists. These professionals have high-tech skills in areas such as data recovery, network and systems engineering, risk assessment and strategic analysis. Cyber security training may also cover emergency response—securing data systems and addressing problems in the wake of a catastrophe.

Careers for Cyber Security Specialists

Cyber security specialists can work in either the public or the private sector:

  • Many people with cyber security training are employed by the Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Agency, and other federal, state and local government agencies.
     
  • Private businesses and non-profit organizations also need skilled information security professionals to safeguard company data, internal networks and e-commerce platforms.
     
  • Many information security specialists maintain network security, protect the confidentiality of employee and customer information, and guard against breaches in communication networks.
     
  • Cyber security specialists also help guard against glitches in information networks in an attempt to keep information on our virtual systems as secure as possible.

If you're thinking of a career in cyber security, keep an eye out for job titles like these:

  • Business continuity professional
  • Computer forensics analyst
  • Cyber security analyst
  • Cyber security specialist
  • Ethical hacker
  • Information assurance expert
  • Information security manager
  • Network security specialist
  • Software security engineer

Training Programs

Although many cyber security specialists hold a degree in computer science, increasingly programs specialize in cyber security training or computer forensics. If you attend an institution that is part of the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service program, you may even be eligible for grants and scholarships to pursue a degree in information security.

There are also many specific technical certifications in the field of cyber security. These certifications are granted by industry organizations, such as the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium and the American Society for Industrial Security.

Earn a Great Salary

Start researching cybersecurity training and degree programs to earn top salaries like these: 

Cyber Security Career Median Annual Salary*
Information Security Director $144,493
Information Technology Manager $108,041
Applications Systems Analyst $67,679
Disaster Recovery Analyst $77,510
Data Security Analyst I $55,310
Network Administrator $65,190
Information Technology Auditor $69,409

Sources: Salary.com January 2014; Information Security Director; Information Technology Manager; Applications Systems Analyst II; Disaster Recovery Analyst; Data Security Analyst I; Network Administrator II; Information Technology Auditor II; National Security Agency, EC Council (eccouncil.org/).

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.