The Best Entry Level Cyber Security Jobs For Those Who Are Just Starting Out

Last updated on April 26, 2020

The world of digital technology is a large one and within the sector, there are many different types of job roles. An ever-growing part of that sector is that of cybersecurity where there are increasingly more positions up for grabs. Reassuringly, for those that are looking to start out in the world of cyber security, there are several different types of entry-level jobs possible.

Here in this article, we look at what exactly cyber security is to see whether it is a field that is of interest to any prospective job seekers. We also investigate what the best entry level cyber security jobs are at the moment and how to get those jobs too. Additionally, we also discuss what you can expect for an entry level cyber security jobs salary as well as what entry level cyber security jobs allow you to climb the ranks.

What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is how a company ensures that it looks after its IT systems so that they are safe from digital attacks from hackers. Hackers see digital data as a valuable commodity and so often try to infiltrate a company or even an individual’s network to get hold of data that can help them commit online fraud. Cybersecurity is the field that looks to prevent hackers from doing so.

It’s something that everyone should be keeping an eye on – even if they are not a business as an individual’s network and digital data is just as attractive to hackers as a company’s. However, companies will often have far more information recorded within the systems so they will often have a cybersecurity department in place. The department will purely overlook the safety of a business’s IT systems to ensure the sanctity and integrity of information that is held.

What Are The Best Entry Level Cyber Security Jobs?

In terms of entry level cyber security jobs the sector is ever-evolving and creating new positions all the time. However, three jobs that the majority of companies will have as part of their cyber security department are:

Information and security analyst

This type of analyst is perhaps one of the most frequently advertised positions in the world of cyber security. They are essential to a company as the role ensures that all networks and information held on it are protected and kept safe. While some of their tasks and functions may seem quite basic, they are crucial to the smooth running of a company’s IT systems and it is also a good position to learn all manner of things to help gain exposure and experience in cyber security. Information and security analysts will often be in charge of installing all-new systems and software upgrades as well as keeping on an eye on system efficiency as a whole.

Network and computer systems administrator

A network and computer systems administrator is a position that is increasingly important to an online or digital team. They are needed to ensure that a network remains operational and functional so that it is fit for purpose. An administrator in this position will most likely do a number of repetitive, but essential, tasks that help with the maintenance of a network or system. Such tasks may include backing up systems and ensuring they are correct as well as checking access logs for any anomalies. They also, importantly, will implement measures that keep networks and systems safe as well as highlighting any suspicious activity.

Junior Penetration Tester

This job is good for those that like to crack systems themselves. A junior penetration tester is essentially a person who tests how good an online security system is. They have to evaluate security measures continually to see if an online security strategy that a business has in place is robust and comprehensive enough to keep data and information safe from prying eyes. A competent junior penetration tester will need to highlight weaknesses and vulnerabilities in a system to report back to the wider online security team.

How To Get Entry Cyber Security Jobs

As with any type of job, if you want to get any of the entry cyber security jobs advertised, a company will be looking at two things on your resume – both your education but also your experience.

In terms of education, the following accreditations and certifications are well revered and will help you stand out from the crowd. Those that are well suited from the outset for jobs in cybersecurity will be those with a Masters of Science in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Technology, Cybersecurity Engineering, Information Assurance or Cyber Security Operations and Leadership. Those with an MBA will often need an IT specialty.

CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional

This is perhaps one of the most well-respected cybersecurity qualifications that a person looking to get into the field can attain. It is a well rounded professional accreditation that is often needed if you want to apply for the higher-level jobs once you have gained experience in lower entry-level positions.

CEH – Certified Ethical Hacker

This is a great qualification to achieve if you are looking at entry-level IT security jobs but with particular thought towards a junior penetration tester position. It is well respected too and by attaining it you show your dedication to the field.

CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor.

This certification is good at giving its holders the ability to look at things from a monitoring point of view. In having a highly detailed approach to looking at the efficacy of systems, the qualification gives its holders an improved analytical mindset.

GIAC – Global Information Assurance Certification.

This is a highly specialized accreditation that helps its holders stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs that need highly detailed knowledge of how to spot if there has been an attempted attack on a company’s network. It gives its holders the skills and tools needed to identify how hackers have tried to take advantage of vulnerabilities in a network for their own illegal means.

CISM – Certified Information Security Manager

This is a good qualification to focus on if you want to aim towards positions or roles that are responsible for ensuring that companies are compliant with laws and regulations with respect to maintaining and holding data. It also helps individuals gain a broader knowledge of risk and its management within a digital setting in a company.

Additionally, employers like to see their candidates have a number of different characteristics and personality traits that will see them well suited to a position in cybersecurity. A can-do attitude is a must as well as the ability to see a bigger picture and how cybersecurity can have a material impact on the smooth running of a business. For this reason, candidates need to be thorough and analytical as well as a good team player that is capable of working on their own as well.

In terms of experience, the more you have the better. While it can be hard to get your first toe in the door, those with internships and apprenticeships from companies that are gained during the midst of the studies are often very favorably looked at.

What Can I Expect For Entry Level Cyber Security Jobs Salary?

The salaries for entry level cyber security jobs can vary greatly depending on your level experience that you bring to the role – even though it is at the bottom of the ladder. Here we list some entry level cyber security jobs and their corresponding salaries. It’s good to know so that you can ascertain whether these jobs will offer you the right amount of money to live the lifestyle you want to lead. Also, in an age where we are striving for gender equality in terms of pay – women in cybersecurity should know what their peers (male or female) can expect from their paycheck.

Information Security Analyst

The pay for an information security analyst can start at around $90,000 and go up to $100,000 depending on your experience as well as the sector within which a cybersecurity department is. Some sectors will naturally pay more, like in finance or banking.

Network and computer systems administrator

The average pay or salary for a network and computer systems administrator is just under $75,000. Again, depending on your experience but also the breadth of the role, this can increase to around $85,000. As with the information security analyst roles, they will pay more in certain sectors that tend to have higher salaries anyway.

Junior Penetration Tester

There is a really large range in salary for a Junior Penetration tester. At the very start, those in these positions at the beginning of their career can expect around $80,000. However, this can increase to right up to $130,000. While the median pay is more often seen to be around the $100,000 mark if you have an advanced degree in computer science or a related field, this is when you can start to expect the much higher rates of pay.

What Entry Level Cyber Security Jobs Allow You To Climb The Ranks?

Looking at the large range in salaries within even these more entry-level cyber security jobs gives an indication of how it is possible to climb the ranks within cybersecurity. Perhaps the most senior role within a cybersecurity department in a company would be the Chief Information Security Officer, which is an ever increasingly common position given the large increase in regulation surrounding digital data. These top-level jobs are commonly seen to have salaries that are anywhere from $140,000 right up to $300,000 – if not more.

All the jobs mentioned above are roles or positions that have enough breadth in their responsibilities that should allow anyone to climb the ranks in a company. If that person is determined enough to gain experience through a proactive approach to hitting cybersecurity targets, even those starting at small unknown firms can have a highly successful career ahead of them.

Entry Cyber Security Jobs – The Bottom Line

If you are leaving university or looking for a change in career, entry cyber security jobs are a good consideration given that the amount of roles is ever increasing. They can also be quite varied in both what each role entails but also the variance across the field too. It means that you should be able to find something that interests you.

Additionally, the roles tend to be fairly well paid, even at entry-level. Entry level cyber security jobs salary figures start above the national average and can go up to healthy looking six figures sums for those that get to the top. Given that a lot of training is given on the job and experience within the field is what is often what is prized, as opposed to several certifications, it can be a sphere that offers a good remuneration package.

Finally, what is great about entry cyber security jobs is that they are perfect for those that are happy to start at the bottom of the corporate ladder and work their way up. The experience gained within an entry level starting role in cyber security is crucial to knowing the ins and outs of both a business but also how to protect the systems that help run that company. By starting at the bottom, individuals can gain crucial experience and knowledge in how to set up a robust cybersecurity network that is effective and efficient. When candidates are confident in their abilities to deliver such systems, it is possible to achieve great heights within the cyber security world.

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