Master of Science in Cyber Security

Should You Become a Cybersecurity Engineer?

Michelle Moore, PhD

Michelle Moore, PhD

Academic Director of the Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Demand in the cybersecurity job market is soaring while supply is running critically low. According to the New York Times, industry experts report that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021. Quite simply, there aren’t enough qualified and skilled cybersecurity professionals to fill the growing need. And among the most sought after in the field are cybersecurity engineers.

The cybersecurity engineer’s job description involves performing a number of functions including architecting, developing and fielding secure network solutions to protect against advanced persistent threats, developing/engineering trusted systems into secure systems, performing assessments and penetration testing, and managing security technology and audit/intrusion systems.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The demand is making it harder for chief information security officers to attract and retain seasoned engineers who can detect and neutralize threats.”

In fact, “One of the hottest jobs in information security today is that of cybersecurity engineer,” according to the InfoSec Institute. “It utilizes some of the most in-demand information security and IT skills, pays well and is very much a role that many organizations are desperately trying to fill.” So, if you have an engineering background and are interested in this burgeoning field, a job as a cybersecurity engineer can be an enticing and lucrative career move.

Cyber Security Engineer Salaries

The average annual salary for a cybersecurity engineer is in the $120,000 to $133,000 range, according to employment websites ziprecruiter.com and glassdoor.com. Mondo, the nation’s largest staffing agency specializing in high-end tech talent, lists two engineering positions among it’s top-paying cybersecurity jobs (application security engineer: $100,000 to $210,000; and IS security engineer: $90,000 to $150,000).

Of course, cybersecurity engineering salaries will vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • Employer (including whether they are in the private or public sector)
  • Geographical location
  • Education (both level attained and alma mater)
  • Experience

Cybersecurity Job Opportunities

Job opportunities in the cybersecurity engineering field are plentiful, with unemployment in the field hovering around zero percent. Overall, demand for cybersecurity professionals is booming, according to Indeed.com.

Additionally, cybersecurity engineer tops a recent list of the “5 Most In-Demand Cyber Security Jobs,” by industry blogger Philip Casesa.

Cybersecurity Education

One reason for the worker shortage in the cybersecurity field is that companies are constantly looking for highly qualified, educated and skilled professionals. A bachelor’s degree is almost always required, while a master’s degree is typically preferred, especially if you want to work in a leadership position. In addition, many companies require specific certifications and extensive experience in the field.

“Organizations are increasingly looking for candidates with a master’s degree in a related field,” according to the Infosec Institute, “especially when it comes to senior cybersecurity engineering roles Look for organizations requiring master’s degrees to become more commonplace for this role in the future.”

If you are interested in learning more about a career in cybersecurity engineering or want to advance your information security skills, consider learning more about the Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering degree program offered both online and on campus at the University of San Diego.

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