By 2024 the cybersecurity market will be a $300 billion industry, according to CPO Magazine. Further highlighting the trend, Forbes projects an estimated $6 trillion in cybersecurity damages by 2021, more than the costs of all natural disasters in a year! Major multinational companies have been targeted, and businesses of all sizes are at risk.
The U.S. Department of Labor projects 31% job growth for the broad category of information security analyst, which is much faster than average, with $100K in current median pay. More high-profile cybercrime cases, similar to the attacks on Target, Equifax, eBay, LinkedIn, Heartland Payment Systems and many others, could drive these employment projections higher. Organizations have no choice but to arm themselves.
Here we examine a representative range of job and career opportunities and current average salaries awaiting graduates of the Murray State University Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management online program. The curriculum equips graduates with in-demand skill sets in cybersecurity governance, policy and planning, risk management and business continuity. It offers the training demanded of cybersecurity professionals to become leaders in all sectors, from healthcare and finance to law enforcement and small business.
Hundreds of specialized, management and executive-level titles in the field typically require advanced degrees, certifications and experience. The following roles can be found in these industries:
Chief information security officer: This C-suite role is in charge of the IT security department — planning and directing all of the data and network security needs to meet the mandates of top leadership. The CISO builds the department with qualified personnel and serves as an interdepartmental communicator in both routine and crisis situations. Average annual salary is $221,601 (November 2020).
Security director: A chief leader in the IT department, typically reporting to a CIO or CISO, this executive oversees the maintenance and development of security protocols for networks and databases. This role is responsible for developing regulations for the staff of security engineers and analysts, ensuring that proper measures are followed, and hiring the best-qualified team. Annual median salary is $146,360 (2019).
Security architect: These professionals create and execute systems to guard against malware and denial of service attacks. The position involves testing for vulnerabilities and periodic audits. The person in this role commonly works with security managers to develop security frameworks and to implement employee protocols, as well as to craft policies affecting employee practices. The role of security architect differs from that of auditor. Implementing the rollout of policies and procedures falls to auditors. The architect commonly manages budgets and reviews expenses and reports to the CISO or CEO. Annual median salary for computer network architects is $112,690 (2019).
Information security analyst III: This role executes the tasks designed by the architect and overseen by the director to ensure the security of data and network assets. Guarding against unauthorized access, modification and destruction is a key function. These analysts typically report to a security manager or director. Average annual salary is $99,519 (November 2020).
Information systems and cybersecurity specialist: This position develops protocols for data access, protection and backup, and designs and implements security policies. The role also reviews changes to information systems to ensure compliance with standards. This specialist investigates security violations and adjusts procedures accordingly. The position typically reports to a manager or department head. Median annual salary is $134,070 (November 2020).
Data security manager: This role oversees system maintenance crews to protect data from unauthorized users. Job responsibilities include administering policies for identifying, reporting and resolving violations. The position oversees subordinate managers and teams of moderate complexity. Median annual salary is $132,747 (November 2020).
Data security analyst IV: This role supervises a team of data security analysts and designs, implements and enforces security policies. The analyst IV investigates security violations and modifies procedures to thwart future incursions. The work is generally collaborative. Median annual salary is $122,763 (November 2020)
The war against cybercrime has only just begun. It is a race on both sides, the criminal and the professional, to get even one step ahead, because that step could make the difference in thwarting a large-scale crime. As long as technology continues to be a part of business, there will be a growing need for highly educated, well-trained specialists to combat cybercriminals.