As of 2021, there are more than 4.9 million workers employed in cybersecurity-related jobs around the world and an estimated 1 million were hired within the last year in the United States. However, despite this growing number, it is still not sufficient to keep up with the new attack strategies and threats of cyber criminals, especially as the pandemic has fueled an upswing in cybersecurity breaches. For many of these reasons and more, cybersecurity has become one of the fastest growing industries.
Offering competitive pay, career advancement, remote work opportunities, a rewarding daily environment, and, most importantly, job security, the field of cybersecurity provides a promising career outlook. Whether you're looking to start your career in cybersecurity, transition to a new role, or simply understand the opportunities available, there is a place in cybersecurity for you – the question is which role will you choose?
To kick off the new year, let's explore the five cyber jobs we believe will be the most in-demand for 2022!
We’ve mapped these high-level job categories to specific job roles within the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework for those interested in detailed readouts of the KSAs (knowledge, skills, abilities) required of each position.
All salary information is from payscale.com and/or the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is likely to vary drastically by region and level of experience.
5. Systems Engineer
For the second year in a row, the role of Systems Engineer has earned the number five spot on the list. Occasionally referred to as a Business Systems Analyst, IT Business Analyst, or Systems Analyst, Systems Engineers play a critical role within a multitude of organizations. From design and development to validation and maintenance, Systems Engineers manage each phase of a given system or process, focusing largely on performance, testing, scheduling, and budget. Due to their methodical, disciplined approach, Systems Engineers are able to align business and technical objectives, eliminate inefficiencies, identify and analyze risks and uncertainty, and develop the proper strategies for overcoming them.
In 2021, there were more than 330,000 job openings for the positions in the realm of Systems Engineering. A large percentage of professionals in Systems Engineering roles have a degree in a higher education program and have earned additional certifications, such as the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Certification, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), or the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Advancement within Systems Engineering is abundant and varied, and many eventually advance into more specialized roles in cybercrime, incident response, and IT audit.
Systems engineering can be a truly rewarding field, and thanks to their wide range of skills and abilities, a Systems Engineer can work in almost any major industry, making it a highly in-demand role around the world.
Average salary: $81,000
Related NICE Work Role IDs: OM-ANA-001
4. Software Developer
Software Developer was the only new addition to our list this year, but for good reason. Over the last 12 months, the total number of job openings in Software Development reached upwards of 1.2 million. In 2020, Software Developers held about 1.8 million jobs, and employment is expected to grow 22% over the next 8 years, faster than average compared to other occupations. With the increase in demand for new, innovative software and the accelerated growth of technology, the need for Software Developers will continue to rise.
But, what role does a Software Developer play in cybersecurity? Software Developers are the creative mind behind computer programs – designing, building, and testing software programs. While some Software Developers create new applications for mobile or desktop use, others specialize in cloud computing platforms and artificial intelligence software. Because Software Developers build and update the technology so many organizations rely on, it is critical that they understand cybersecurity best practices and work alongside cybersecurity teams to create secure products and platforms.
As an intermediate to advanced-level position, Software Developers normally have a formal degree in software development, computer programming, or another related cyber field, and various certifications (e.g., ITIL, CompTIA Security+, CISSP). Career progression is also obtainable, with many advancing to become Computer and Information Systems Managers in which they oversee the software development process.
Average salary: $110,000
Related NICE Work Role ID: SP-DEV-001
3. Cybersecurity Consultant
Holding steady at #3, Cybersecurity Consultants perform a variety of roles within the cybersecurity field, but most importantly, they are tasked with protecting an organization's data from being breached. Also called an Information Systems Security Officer or Security Administrator, Cybersecurity Consultants exploit vulnerabilities within an organization's security environment and identify solutions to strengthen those defenses. The role of Cybersecurity Consultant is an integral part of any cybersecurity program, helping to implement new security measures, provide ongoing support, and even train staff on proper security practices.
However, the role of Cybersecurity Consultant is a unique one that can vary between each organization. While some apply their technical skills working with penetration testers, threat analysts, and SOC teams, others focus on utilizing their analytical and soft skills working directly alongside clients. Since a wide range of experience is required, a bachelor's or graduate degree in a related field is recommended, but employment prospects increase with further certifications like the CISP, CISM, and CISA.
In cybersecurity there are always problems to be solved; therefore, Cybersecurity Consultants will remain in high demand within the cyber field.
Average salary: $88,000
Related NICE Work Role IDs: N/A
2. Cybersecurity Manager
With the number of security breaches increasing each year, it is critical that business leaders can properly analyze their security controls and processes – a responsibility most often placed on Cybersecurity Managers. Cybersecurity Managers serve as experts in the protection, detection, response, and recovery of an organization’s security systems and teams.
A Cybersecurity Manager’s responsibilities depend on the size of the organization, but their duties normally include maintaining daily security system operations, preparing budgets, mitigating information security challenges within the organization, and supervising cybersecurity consultants and analysts. They also develop policies and strategies to enhance the security operations of their organization’s networks and systems.
While there are many career paths that lead to the role of Cybersecurity Manager, the traditional path requires an advanced degree in a security related discipline, various cybersecurity certifications like the CISSP and CISM, and strong leadership capabilities. The field of Cybersecurity Management is growing at a steady rate, as illustrated by almost 22,000 total openings in 2021 and this role jumping two spots down the list. With the right combination of expertise, knowledge, and experience, pursuing a role as a Cybersecurity Manager can lead to a long and fulfilling career.
Average salary: $102,000
Related NICE Work Role IDs: OV-MGT-001
1. Cybersecurity Analyst
After three years as the runner-up, the role of Cybersecurity Analyst has finally earned the title of "Most In-Demand Cybersecurity Job" for 2022. Serving as the front line of an organization’s information system, Cybersecurity Analysts are responsible for protecting hardware, software, networks, and systems from theft, loss, or unauthorized access. Cybersecurity Analysts must have a strong understanding of the current cyber threat landscape, as well as the organization's IT infrastructure in order to effectively defend against malicious attacks by cyber criminals. To help prevent against these potential breaches, Cybersecurity Analysts install and configure tools (e.g., virus software, password protectors, vulnerability management software), evaluate vulnerabilities and threats to the company's network, and provide detailed reports of any findings.
Many cybersecurity professionals start out as Cybersecurity Specialists or Consultants before progressing to the role of Cybersecurity Analyst, but there are a considerable number of career paths that can lead to this position. Employers tend to pursue candidates with an advanced degree and a strong understanding of information security concepts, along with skills in public cloud security, cyber threat hunting, and comprehensive software security.
With the prevalence of cyber threats and data breaches today, it is no shock that Cybersecurity Analyst jobs are on the rise. In the last 12 months, there were close to 30,000 job listings, and the role of Cybersecurity Analyst is expected to grow 33% through 2029, seven times faster than the average for all occupations! With the average cost of a data breach reaching $4.24 million per incident in 2021, the highest in 17 years, there are guaranteed to be ample job opportunities for Cybersecurity Analysts in 2022 and beyond.
Average salary: $101,000
Related NICE Work Role IDs: PR-CDA-001
Although the cybersecurity workforce gap has decreased from 3.12 million to 2.72.million over the past year, the global cybersecurity workforce would need to grow by 65% in order to effectively defend the critical assets in organizations around the world. But, with the increase in remote work opportunities and the ongoing need for security professionals, the field of cybersecurity will prove to offer a rewarding and satisfying career outlook, regardless of which position you choose to pursue.
Start Your Career Search.
If you're ready to start your career or transition into a role in cutting-edge fields, such as cybersecurity, identity and access management, data privacy, training and workforce development, and IT audit, start your search at CDWjobs.com today.