Cybersecurity Jobs & Careers Guide

Learn About the Different Specialty Careers and What You Need to Land the Career

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job prospects of a cyber security jobs are expected to increase by 35% between 2021 and 2031. This is much faster than for any other occupation listed in the U.S. Other occupations are projected to grow between 7 and 13 percent in the same time period. As companies need more systems security to prevent future cyber attacks and data breaches, the need for entry level cybersecurity jobs and advanced cyber security specialists will also increase. This guide will help you learn more about the latest cyber security jobs and job titles that are available to IT and CIS professionals that choose to enter this high demand field.

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A Growing Need for Security Professionals

Because of the ongoing development and use of the internet, connecting everything, cyber security is now one of the best tools the U.S. has to deal with future incursions of foreign governments into our affairs. Cyber security is also one of the most effective tools a private company has to keep would-be bad actors out of their systems and their private data.

When you start with at least a bachelor's degree in cyber security, you may have one or more preferred specialties you are considering for your future cybersecurity job. In any specialty, your role is to identify cyber weaknesses and other problems that could affect an organization or government. You may also have to guard the organization from contractors and employees through the control of database access and by blocking malware.


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Overview of the Cyber Security Field and Careers Outlook


The demand for cyber security jobs (information security) is projected to be high for both entry level and cybersecurity professionals. Cyber attacks have only increased, impacting government agencies and private companies. This means that cybersecurity analysts who are specially educated and trained in the cybersecurity industry are needed to develop new solutions to stop malicious hackers from breaking into systems or stealing sensitive personal data. Computer systems security of todays marketplace is at an all time high due to many recent advancements in the field.

All corporations will have to strengthen their information security capabilities. Not only are people in other countries attempting to intrude into U.S. companies’ IT networks, they are also working to break into state and federal computer systems. Another area of concern is electronic voting systems.

Now that companies in the U.S. are increasingly adopting cloud services, much of the online data stored in the cloud is at risk creating the need for cybersecurity jobs to be filled. An expected increase in cyber security threats means that these companies will have to harden their systems in upcoming years. Many of these companies in the US are actively seeking job seekers to fill information security jobs. To get into some entry-level cybersecurity jobs, you can pursue an associate degree in IT or CIS and try to obtain some certifications from Comptia Security like the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Although, the best cybersecurity professionals start with a bachelor's degree in computer information systems or in cyber security. After completing your bachelors, you can also continue your education into a specialized master's degree program to pursue advanced security jobs in todays job market. To get into a management role or director level information security jobs position, you may need to obtain a master's degree in cyber security.

Some of the computer science and careers in network security operations that are needed for large scale cyber attacks with the necessary cybersecurity jobs skills and duties are:

  • Cybersecurity professionals
  • Data security specialist
  • Incident responder
  • Penetration testing
  • Cyber attacks security management
  • CISO
  • Security vulnerabilities
  • Security incidents
  • Security architect
  • Threat intelligence
  • Effective communication skills
  • Cyber attack defense solutions
  • Standard information security operations
  • Network security
  • Network forensics
  • Effective security solutions
  • Risk assessment

What are the Requirements & Skills Needed for Employment in the Cybersecurity Job Market


  • Education Needed for a Cyber Security Job


    Because the data stored online, in the cloud, and on company or government servers is so sensitive, this field is moving toward requiring those who work in any cyber security professional role to hold a computer science bachelor's degree in the field. Cyber security degrees prepare you to conceive and develop new technology and techniques to help government agencies and private businesses protect their systems. Beginning with your undergraduate degree, you learn how to investigate a company’s or a government agency’s network security operations so you can find potential breaches to their stored data.
  • Key Skills, Certifications, Licensing You will Need


    Depending on what security jobs you are looking to hold, your degree (an online cyber security bachelor's degree is ideal), licensing, and certification requirements will vary. You can speak to a work supervisor or college advisor and find out where you can obtain any certifications you may need. You may need to earn an advanced cyber security degree if you want to hold a management position. A good employer will be able to provide the learning you need to embark on continuing education so you can obtain and keep any certifications you need to move into the position you are interested in.
  • Job Responsibilities


    At any cybersecurity jobs you hold, you may be the only point of contact between the cyber security team and management. You may coordinate incident management efforts, creating a response plan and helping to carry it out. You’ll analyze large data sets and unstructured data that may help you to identify trends and any problems that indicate some form of malicious activity has been taking place. You may also forecast how effective countermeasures may be once they are put in place. You’ll also evaluate their actual effectiveness.
  • Salaries and Cyber Security Career Outlook


    As of 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that median pay for 2021 was $49.33 per hour; annually, median pay was $102,600. Because the work you do is so highly sought after, government and private employers are both willing to pay a high salary to each member of their cybersecurity professionals team. Someone employed in computer systems design and related services may earn up to $103,000.
  • Guide You Can Follow Step by Step for Your Career


    As you are considering the type of information security operations program you want to enter, choose one that will be holistic, offering theoretical and practical learning. Next, look for a program that also offers you a direct, hands-on experience. While most programs do a good job of offering hands-on work in the classroom, it would be even better if they give you the opportunity for an internship. Learning on-the-job is a completely different experience than learning in the classroom and will help you during your cybersecurity jobs search.
  • Top Places for Future Employment


    Within U.S. government agencies, you’ll be able to work at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), National Security Agency (NSA), or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    You can also look to financial services companies as they beef up their cyber security defenses. With more and more people handling finances online, hackers can do a tremendous amount of damage if there’s no one to stop them. The healthcare industry, with its possession of highly private data, is another sector that relies on information security practices. There are many different possibilities and industries to find potential entry level cybersecurity jobs that have great pay and advancement opportunities.

  • Cybersecurity Certifications


    To prove their abilities to protect their technology resources to their employers, cybersecurity professionals need certifications. It is very beneficial to have cybersecurity certifications, not only for demonstrating that one's knowledge base is up to date at the time of the initial certification, but also for maintaining and growing that knowledge over time. Cyber security professionals of all kinds need these cyber security certifications. Advanced credentials are crucial to long-term success for anyone working in database security, network security, penetration testing, or security engineering. Some of the following are popular advanced certifications and titles to keep an eye on to advance your career in the cybersecurity jobs market:

    • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
    • Certified Information Security Manager
    • Certified Information Systems Auditor
    • Information Security Analyst
    • Digital forensics cybersecurity analyst
    • GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst
    • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
    • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
    • Certified Protection Professional (CPP)

Cyber Security Specialty Careers Titles and Salaries


Look broadly at your information security career path options. These include some entry level cyber security jobs as a consultant, analyst, security specialist, cybersecurity engineer, security architect, security administrator, and more. Your options widen when you consider information assurance, intrusion detection specialist, security software developer, cryptographer, or computer systems security incident responder positions. There are many different cyber security jobs and cybersecurity professionals positions available in this field. Next, rank refines your options as well. Chief or senior in front of a job title usually denotes a higher information security specialist rank within the same department.

  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
    A good chief information security officer (CISO) is responsible for strategic leadership of an information security program. They work with leadership to supervises formation and operation of an information security department within an organization. The CISO provides guidance and counsel to the Chief Information Security and key members of the organization’s leadership. A candidate for chief information security officer can earn an average salary of $158,000 annually.
  • Chief Security Officer (CSO)
    A CSO is the person most responsible for their organization’s data and corporate security, including physical security and safety of employees, assets, and facilities. They are also the chief guardian of technology and protector of data. The average income for CSO’s is $147,800.
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
    The CTO offers advice on the science related to cyber security. At this level, they report to the CIO or the CEO. These specialists must possess exceptional communications and analytical skills as they work with many different information security professionals. The average annual base salary for a CTO may be about $156,800.
  • Forensic Computer Analyst
    The computer forensics administrator’s job role operates much like a criminal forensics investigator’s role. This specialist tracks digital activity, connecting cyber communications and data that has been digitally stored. They may link digital data to physical evidence of criminal activity. A Cyber forensic specialist or forensic computer analysts should expect to earn an average of $71,300 annually.
  • Cryptographer
    A cryptographer ensures the integrity of data, meaning they make sure it will be identical to what was originally stored after it has been sent to a receiver. The cryptographer also authenticates specific parties—that the sender of information is the real person. The cryptographer may earn from $47,000 to $160,000, depending on their qualifications or experience.
  • Incident Responder
    An incident responder works as a member of a well-defined incident response cyber security experts team. The responder, as a member of this team, processes IT security incidents, alerts IT managers of probable threats, assesses threats to information systems resources, and determines incident severity. An incident information security responder may earn $57,00 in an entry level annual wage; At mid-career, they may earn $98,000 and, in their late cyber security career, $157,000.
  • Penetration Tester
    The penetration tester, called “pen-tester” for short, is responsible for monitoring their employers’ networks for information security breaches or data breaches. They investigate any violations, prepare reports, and conduct frequent penetration tests. They help their employer plan and carry out information security policies. Upon being hired, he or she can expect to earn about $90,000 annually, depending on education and IS cybersecurity experience. Get started today and learn about a career in cybersecurity really takes.
  • Risk Analyst
    A risk analyst is responsible for planning, executing, and managing complex projects that related to risk management mitigation. They are also responsible for their response, system compliance, control assurance, and user awareness. The job duties of a risk analyst provides expertise and assistance when it comes to risk assessment. A risk analyst or risk-management analyst earns $62,800 on average.
  • Security Administrator
    A security administrator is responsible for installing and managing the security systems used throughout the business, whether it is a private company or government agency. If they are working for a smaller company, the administrator may carry out some of the tasks of the information security analyst. A network security administrator earns an average annual salary of $58,300, ranging up to $92,000.
  • Information Security Analysts
    This might be your first security job(s) or role after graduation. The cybersecurity information security analyst position is an analytical, problem-solving, detail-oriented position. Information security analysts plan, implement, upgrade, and monitor security measures. They ensure that appropriate security measures are set up and respond to computer systems security breaches and viruses. This is an entry level cybersecurity job and employees can expect to earn an average of $67,400 annually. Your cybersecurity analyst career as a systems information security professional should start with at least an undergraduate degree in CIS or cyber security.
  • Security Architect
    Security architects are responsible for planning, analyzing and, designing an information security computer systems and network cybersecurity infrastructure. In addition, they configure, test, implement, maintain, and support that network. A cybersecurity engineer should hold a graduate degree in this specialization to carry out their job effectively. A security architect may earn an average salary of $121,600.
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor
    The security auditor performs both general and application control reviews on computer systems, ranging from simple to complex. They may direct or perform reviews of internal control procedures and security for systems still under development. They may also be responsible for performing control reviews. The average median salary of a certified information systems auditor is about $93,000.
  • Security Consultant
    If you know about Wikileaks, you’ll have an idea of what a security consultant is responsible for. They respond to breaches after they have taken place, research and prepare for new security risks, determine the best ways to protect networks from cyberattacks by using ethical hacking, and create cost estimates for security expenses. Information security consultants may earn average annual wages of $84,600.
  • Security Director
    Security career directors are responsible for maintaining the security of a business or government agency. They handle the effective, quick response to a breach. They know that, for as long as a breach is open, a hacker or other bad actor has access to their data. An information security director in a cyber security firm may earn an average of $140,900 annually.
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
    A security engineer is responsible for security monitoring, security and data/logs analysis, and forensic analysis. Some of their job duties may include detecting security incidents and beginning an incident response for their employer. They also study new products and security processes. A cyber security engineer can earn about $88,500 annually for their chosen security career according to BLS.
  • Certified Information Security Manager
    A certified information security manager creates, handles, or stores classified data. They carry out oversight responsibilities, plan and coordinate job roles, and safeguard classified data during emergencies. If the manager is working for a military agency, they will also protect classified information. This position may earn an average of $111,900 per year.
  • Security Software Developer
    A security software developer is responsible for developing information security software, which includes tools used in traffic analysis, monitoring, intrusion detection, anti-virus software, virus/spyware/malware detection, and other types of software in order to create security enhancements. They also integrate and implement cyber security into applications software. A security software developer may earn $105,000 annually.
  • Security Specialist
    Information security specialists work with information security tools, which include security protocols, event management and vulnerability assessment systems. They collaborate with other IT professionals to expand the use of these tools and defend critical assets. A security specialist can expect to earn from $82,000 to $144,000 annually.
  • Vulnerability Assessor

    Day-to-day, a vulnerability assessor has to identify issues that impact their employer’s insider threat risk - the threat that may come from the organization’s own employees. The assessor develops a strategic action plan for long-term mitigation to protect critical assets. They design and implement tactical countermeasures.

    They identify flaws in the computer network vulnerable to a hacker attack. They also carry out information security audits and scans which have been predetermined. They conduct regular vulnerability assessment programs on the computer network and operating systems. A vulnerability assessor should expect to earn around $88,000. If they live in a high-cost area such as California, their annual wage may jump to over $100,000.

Career Earning Potential - How Much Can You Make?


  • Chief Information Security Officer

    Entry-Level: $106,200
    Mid-Career: $128,700
    Late-Career: $171,900

    Job Responsibilities:

    • Stay up to date with new technological infrastructure and evolving demands
    • Oversee company security and information systems, while ensuring compliance with policies and regulations
    • Maintain policies, procedures, and standards necessary to protect the integrity and privacy of data
    • Provide training and information regarding security systems and information technology
    • Manage security breaches and develop contingency plans
    • Supervise the application and development of security protocols and procedures
  • Chief Security Officer

    Entry-Level: $76,300
    Mid-Career: $117,900
    Late-Career: $167,100

    Job Responsibilities:

    • Focus on creating and maintaining a safe company environment
    • Ensure the company’s employees, information, and assets are protected
    • Report to the company’s president, vice president, or CEO of human resources
    • Stay updated on political developments within the company and outside of it
    • Provide information and training regarding information technology and security systems to ensure employees are aware of possible security breaches, who to report them to, and how
    • Inform employees of any changes made to the company’s security policies
  • Chief Technology Officer

    Entry-Level: $98,100
    Mid-Career: $129,100
    Late-Career: $180,600

    Job Responsibilities:

    • Supervise department heads and lead the company’s technology development team in daily operations as well as set performance goals
    • Stay up to date on developments to update the company’s technologies when required
    • Generate and submit current reports and ideas for future plans to the executive team after carrying out extensive research
    • Conduct product reviews of technical solutions to evaluate and compare their applicability
    • Monitor management of all software, hardware, maintenance, databases and licenses, and projections for future requirements
  • Forensic Computer Analyst

    Entry-Level: $58,100
    Mid-Career: $86,400
    Late-Career: $100,400

    Job Responsibilities and Key Skills:

    • Contribute to network forensics and continue forensic system efforts to support daily briefs, susceptibility assessments, and basic computer forensic operations
    • Ensure current intelligence information is disseminated and communicated in a timely manner by collaborating with other forensic experts
    • Ensure entire forensic investigations are performed according to company standards as well as local, state, and federal law
    • A Cyber forensic specialist conducts forensic research on communication programs, information systems, and foreign network systems
  • Cryptographer / Cryptography Skill

    Entry-Level: $109,00
    Mid-Career: $149,000
    Late-Career: $197,000

    Job Responsibilities and Key Skills:

    • Protect important information from duplication, interception, deletion, and/or modification
    • Analyze and evaluate cryptographic weaknesses in algorithms and security systems
    • Prevent vulnerabilities by designing strong security systems
    • Develop mathematical and statistical models to solve security issues, analyze data, and test computational models for accuracy and reliability
    • Test new applications and cryptology theories
    • Probe communication lines for weaknesses, including secure telephone lines, wireless networks, email, cellphones, etc.
    • Ensure financial data are secured and only accessible to authorized users
  • Incident Responder / Incident Management Analyst

    Entry-Level: $55,100
    Mid-Career: $71,000
    Late-Career: $74,300

    Job Responsibilities and Key Skills:

    • Develop and maintain Incident Response Plans that describe how the company responds to a scenario
    • Lead table-top exercises and training simulation plans for maintaining incident response readiness
    • Investigate, report, and resolve cyber security incidents
    • Recommend and apply changes to prevent unauthorized access and improve system security
    • Research new security trends, techniques, and methods used for unauthorized data access in order to eliminate any possibility of a system breach
    • Collaborate with a Corporate Emergency Response Team to integrate the enterprise-wide response process with the cyber incident response process
    • Monitor databases, network systems, and web for system vulnerabilities, while conducting vulnerability assessments
    • Ensure compliance with privacy laws, regulations and provide technical support
  • Penetration Tester

    Entry-Level: $67,200
    Mid-Career: $102,400
    Late-Career: $113,400

    Job Responsibilities and Key Skills:

    • Utilize a wide variety of tools, including self-constructed, to probe the company's network and identify any methods that an attacker can use to exploit security flaws while checking for other vulnerabilities
    • Enhance network integrity to passive threats, such as poor user security practices and password policies
    • Work with a cyber security and information technology (IT) team
    • Take careful notes when conducting security tests, potential security vulnerabilities and to relay relevant information to other team members
    • Understand complex security measures, along with how to use the tools and software necessary for job performance
  • Risk Analyst

    Entry-Level: $55,900
    Mid-Career: $72,300
    Late-Career: $79,900

    Job Responsibilities and Key Skills:

    • Carefully verifies potential client application information and follows up to obtain missing data and documentation required, as well as verifies information and data submitted by applicants from credit bureaus and other agencies
    • Interpret merchants' or corporate personal credit reports and/or financial statements
    • Multitask regularly, while using computer applications and software, including Microsoft Office, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint
    • Attend additional workshops, training, conferences, or read relevant professional journals, and travel to meet clients
  • Security Administrator, IT

    Entry-Level: $51,500
    Mid-Career: $73,000
    Late-Career: $89,800

    Job Responsibilities and Key Skills:

    • Manage all IT-related safety and security issues within a company including developing policies and systems, while overseeing the implementation of procedures to secure both customer and company data.
    • Implement systems that prevent malware from infecting the company’s computer systems hardware
    • Help develop the company's written official guidelines on how to deal with communication and information that include defining what e-mails, files, or digital assets can be shared across networks and workgroups, with the general public or clients
    • Work with a information security analyst in determining the most efficient and safest way to establish and implement policies
    • Ensure all the company's data is kept stable and secure at all times
    • Analyze possible vulnerabilities and any unusual activity and react to prevent breaches
  • Information Security Analysts

    Entry-Level: $59,400
    Mid-Career: $76,200
    Late-Career: $89,900

    Job Responsibilities and Key Skills:

    • Perform vulnerability testing, risk analysis, security assessments, and reviews
    • Guide clients in implementing security, policy, procedures, and strategies
    • Conduct daily assessments of assigned accounts
    • Information security analysts give guidance, security standards and security advice to technical contacts
  • Security Architect, IT

    Entry-Level: $78,600
    Mid-Career: $117,300
    Late-Career: $134,400

    Job Responsibilities and Key Skills:

    • Secure the company’s network and computers
    • Lead projects by researching, planning, and designing elements of security
    • Create plans and general design for functionality and intended features
    • Delegate tasks to an assigned programming team to develop modules necessary for security structure
    • Ensure the final security structure behaves as intended by integrating security modules and tests
    • Develop company policies and procedures on how company employees use the security systems and computer networks
    • Research possible authentication protocols and select a scheme to implement the selected protocols
    • Respond to problem reports in the system to safeguard sensitive information
    • Perform post-event analysis to determine how strong the system is and develop any necessary changes
  • Security Auditor / Security Testing and Auditing

    Entry-Level: $63,000
    Mid-Career: $84,000
    Late-Career: $103,000

    Job Responsibilities and Key Skills:

    • Plan, implement, and lead an organization’s security audits
    • Evaluate and Inspect management procedures, information and financial systems, and security controls
    • Evaluate the effectiveness, compliance, and efficiency of operational processes with security policies and government regulations
    • Create and administer risk-focused exams for IT systems and sensitive information
    • Interview personnel to establish complications and security risks
    • Execute and document audit processes on various computer applications and computing environments
    • Assess exposures that result from missing or ineffective control practices
    • Interpret audit results against defined criteria
    • Weigh perspective of conclusions, relevancy, and accuracy against audit evidence
    • Provide a verbal and written report of audit findings
    • Develop “best practice” recommendations to improve all levels of security and computer networks
  • Security Consultant (Computing/Networking/IT)

    Entry-Level: $68,200
    Mid-Career: $97,000
    Late-Career: $129,500

    Job Responsibilities:

    • Work with computer networks, companies, technological assets and computer users
    • Secure the safety and integrity of the organization’s data, including how it is stored and communicated
    • Conduct regular audits across teams or departments that work with data regularly
    • Identify possible vulnerability areas in the storage and flow of data and implement solutions
    • Develop rules for secure data storage of sensitive information
  • Security Director

    Entry-Level: $42,400
    Mid-Career: $71,200
    Late-Career: $89,800

    Job Responsibilities:

    • Maintain staff and customer safety while also ensuring an organization's assets are secure
    • Create, review, and implement policies relating to the security department
    • Oversee compliance with local, state, and federal laws
    • Work directly with subordinates and/or fellow employees to build safety and awareness through training programs and more
    • Travel to various on-site work locations to investigate safety issues or related events
  • Security Engineer

    Entry-Level: $68,400
    Mid-Career: $97,000
    Late-Career: $109,800

    Job Responsibilities:

    • Develop effective computing solutions to improve the company’s security systems and projects
    • Invent new ways to solve and improve existing security issues, intrusion detection, and prevention protocols in production
    • Handle technical problems with production equipment and applications
    • Respond to incidents and perform a forensic investigation
    • Assess current workflows in determining possible future issues
    • Set up and configure intrusion detection systems and firewalls
  • Security Manager

    Entry-Level: $52,900
    Mid-Career: $62,500
    Late-Career: $76,500

    Job Responsibilities:

    • Streamline the companies' security processes
    • Make plans and schedules to assign roles to contracted employees, security staff and computer users
    • Respond to emergencies and administer first-aid if necessary
    • Oversee the implementation of safety-related plans, such as universal training programs for employees
    • Perform audits and ensure that supervised employees adhere to proper regulations and protocols
    • Create and implement policies and procedures along with security standards
    • Supervise security staff
    • Plan and coordinate activities to safeguard employees, company assets, and guests
  • Security Software Developer

    Entry-Level: $61,100
    Mid-Career: $80,600
    Late-Career: $97,700

    Job Responsibilities:

    • Lead a team of developers in creating secure software tools and software design
    • Implement and test software
    • Develop the company’s software security strategy
    • Facilitate workshops and meetings to define client needs and processes
    • Create new forensic tools and/or software systems
    • Use agile methodologies to participate in the software system's lifecycle development
    • Design and construct a proof-of-concept prototype solution
    • Institute programming techniques free from technical implementation flaws
    • Leverage attack tools to test for software vulnerabilities
    • Counsel staff on secure programming practices
    • Research and identify flaws, then remedy development errors
    • Document software development lifecycle
  • Computer Security Specialist

    Entry-Level: $52,500
    Mid-Career: $84,300
    Late-Career: $88,400

    Job Responsibilities:

    • Assess vulnerable access points and security risks by inspecting hardware and analyzing IT specifications
    • Design and implement safety measures and data recovery plans to protect sensitive information
    • Install and configure security software and then update regularly
    • Use secure networks, password protection, and secure systems through firewalls
    • Monitor network activity to identify and communicate issues to IT teams
    • Act on privacy breaches and malware threats
    • Draft policies and guidelines
  • Vulnerability Assessor / Vulnerability Assessment

    Entry-Level: $66,600
    Mid-Career: $82,000
    Late-Career: $100,600

    Job Responsibilities:

    • On a preset basis, run and oversee scans and security audits
    • Recognize vital system defects that could lead to invasive system access
    • Make it easier to find vulnerabilities using preset tools
    • Describe and compose a vulnerability assessment
    • Use hands-on and creative strategies to produce false discrepancies and vulnerabilities
    • Implement a database of vulnerability assessment
    • Stay up to date with vulnerability metrics
    • Lead security training for system administrators

Cybersecurity Job Postings Near You


In the wake of high-profile cyber security breaches, many companies are looking to beef up their data security. As a result, there is an increase in demand for qualified cyber security professionals. If you're interested in a career in cyber security, now is a great time to start looking for cybersecurity job openings.

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