As certain jobs begin to decline in availability — think computer operator and postal-service worker, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — others have started to heat up.
According to a new study conducted by the University of Phoenix, only about one in 10 survey respondents are similar with cybersecurity job titles, yet the BLS’ “Occupational Outlook Handbook” indicates that hiring in this sector is expected to soar. Informational security analysis hiring is set to increase by 28 % by 2026 — much faster than average job growth. All the more reason why these in-demand cyber jobs should be on your radar.
Also known as penetration testers, these professionals hack their employers’ systems looking for security susceptibility.
Laura Handrick, career and workplace analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com, a digital resource for small businesses in Midtown, says that the job “requires detail orientation and data analytic skills. Someone with a degree in IT, programming, computer science, criminal justice or cybersecurity would be a good candidate.”
Jobs that segue into the role include information technology jobs that do IT testing, engineering, IT quality assurance or familiar.
Certified project management professionals may also look here, since “a top talent security/hacker would be expected to use project management methodology to ensure nothing is missed when testing for system weaknesses,” says Handrick.
Employers look for job seekers to have experience in their hardware and operating systems, so “this is a good industry to get an internship in while in college,” says Handrick. “It takes hands-on experience to get good at this job.”
According to PayScale, the average is $98,660.
Chief listening officer
Chief listening officers closely monitor conversations on social platforms to cultivate the company brand externally, as well as engage with internal feedback. Strong communication skills and a master’s degree in business, communications or marketing are typically required.
“The customer now dictates content,” says Kathy Murray, owner of McMorran Strategists, a Midtown coaching service for business owners. “A firm needs to convey that they are listening to clients and integrating the input into their content, marketing and customer service.”
This position relies heavily on communications prowess and typically works across other areas such as customer service, human resources, sales and marketing.
Specific skills needed include “social media, data analytics, sales or customer-interaction experiences,” says Murray, who will be moderating at the Tech Up For Women conference at Metropolitan West on Nov. 15
Salary: According to PayScale, the average is $147,083.
Also referred to as computational linguists, these professionals serve as conduits for computers and people to communicate. This role intersects with speech recognition and artificial intelligence.
“Not one firm operates without being enabled by technology,” says Murray. “These individuals [data storytellers] bridge the expertise of programmers, engineers and computer scientists. Skills needed: engineering, computer science, programming experience, linguistic expertise.”
Salary: According to PayScale, the average is $75,065.
Cyberthreat intelligence analyst
These analysts explore their informational security space, test hypotheses and work on how best to defend their organization. Ultimately, they track and manage threats from cyberspace.
Michael Figueroa, executive director of the Bedford, Mass.-based Advanced Cyber Security Center, says this is “probably one of the most interesting cyber defender positions on the [job] market today. Companies are getting inundated with data from everywhere in just about every form. These analysts explore the spaces that they’re in, test hypotheses and work with a broad set of data sources to determine which provide the most value for defending an organization.”
A cyberthreat intelligence analyst will be well versed in searching online forums, including those on the dark web.
“Those [forums] that reside on the dark web simply represent another source of information that the analyst may find valuable for discovering threats to her organization,” says Figueroa. “This position would be good for candidates who like working with data and finding hidden trends, who enjoy reading blogs and discussion forums and who are adept at scripting simple rules and algorithms. Unless they do it for a security company, these analysts should expect that their efforts will stay quiet and hidden.”
In this job, a desire for lifelong learning is important, especially considering how fast technology evolves.
“Cybersecurity professionals need to stay abreast of changes in the technology landscape and make continuous education a habit,” Figueroa says. “They can easily do that by joining local information-sharing or other interest groups and attending security conferences.”
Salary: According to PayScale, the average is $65,206.
“This is a very general job title [for someone] who can potentially deal with any issues related to cybersecurity in organizations,” says Li-Chiou Chen, professor at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Pace University. “A cybersecurity consultant can help companies determine what methods should be used to secure their systems, to discover vulnerabilities in the systems, to develop security policies to reduce their risks, or to prepare the companies for regulatory compliance.”
They also analyze data from a variety of sources such as computer systems, local networks or the Internet.
“Similar to other jobs in the industry, cybersecurity professionals need to be a team player and communicate well,” she says. “Most importantly, these professionals need to have computer ethics and be aware of security-related policies and laws. Cyberspace connects different aspects of our life these days. It is evolving, and it needs everyone’s involvement to keep it a nice place.”
Salary: According to PayScale, the average is $82,365.