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How to land a 6 figure cyber security job

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay


As a tech industry of high demand and even higher pay – it’s no surprise that many are now opting for a lucrative career in cyber security. Paired with a growing multitude of flexible, comprehensive training options, there’s never been a better time to enter this highly rewarding IT sector. 

Below, we breakdown the details of landing a cyber security job in Australia, including those with a generous six-figure salary package.

Is learning cyber security difficult?

With the various technical concepts and IT skills involved, cyber security can often be a challenging area to learn – but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Those with enough drive and passion for the field will unlock the many opportunities it has to offer, regardless of their professional background. 
As an area that relies primarily on one’s critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail; cyber security also provides a more accessible entry path to the tech field, particularly among those with little to no technical experience. 

The benefits of practical training 



With an ever-widening skills gap to bridge, the Australian government has invested in a wide range of cyber security training programs over the years. Plenty of these can be completed online (such as those provided by Upskilled) and culminate in nationally-recognised qualifications to help one stand out in the job market. 
Such courses are now a popular go-to among aspiring cyber security professionals, as they focus on the hands-on, “work ready” skills required to enter the industry. This includes training through practical labs, projects addressing real-world problems, and collaborative assignments. The brief, yet intensive nature of most of these programs allow one to build the skills they need for a cyber security career without having to commit to the time demands and expenses of an on-campus degree. 

What skills are essential for a career in cyber security? 

The most successful cyber security professionals exhibit a sharp set of both hard, technical abilities and soft skills. Below are some of the most critical skills you’ll need for any role in the field, regardless of position. 

Programming

Coding – and lots of it – will form a typical day-in-the-life of any cyber security specialist. Whether it’s writing code to identify potential vulnerabilities, ward off attackers, or to perform cryptography – a well-versed skillset in programming is critical.  

Among the most common languages used by cyber security experts include C, C++, HTML, Python, Javascript, and SQL. Of course, the more under your repertoire, the more high-level projects and opportunities you’ll likely have land your way. 

Cloud computing

With billions now spent on the use of public cloud services, the ability to navigate the security of such platforms is essential. Plenty of businesses now rely on the cloud for data storage and various digital operations; and are increasingly seeking out those with the skills to protect their cloud-based systems – or who can develop well-protected platforms from the start. 
With Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) among the most-used cloud providers today, cyber security experts with the knowledge to manage these systems are in currently high demand.     

Knowledge of operating systems 

Before diving into the tools of cyber security, it helps to study the basics of what they’re meant to protect. A fundamental knowledge of various operating systems and how they work can help you understand how attackers exploit, manipulate, and damage computers and mobile devices; along with the common threats and vulnerabilities often involved. 
Ethical (or “white hat”) hacking may play a role in studying in this area, so individuals are recommended to get familiar with Kali Linux – a popular Linux distribution that comes with multiple tools for penetration testing, computer forensics, malware analysis, and more. 

Network security 

In addition to operating systems, cyber security experts require a comprehensive knowledge of computer networks and how they function. There are various tools specific to the protection of one’s network activities, including firewalls, routers, virtual private networks (VPNs) and intrusion detection/prevention systems.
As a cyber security specialist, the ability to optimise these technologies are critical in minimising overall risk to an organisation’s systems. 

Critical thinking and problem solving

On top of one’s technical prowess the cyber security sector, successful experts are also required to have certain set of soft skills. Critical thinking and problem-solving abilities are a must, as they grant one the ability to examine weaknesses, diagnose problems, and plan for potential risks with one’s computer systems. 

Adaptability

With security trends and technologies constantly undergoing change, the ability to adapt one’s skills and priorities is also critical. Cyber security experts must be able to swiftly accommodate evolving skills or technological demands; ensuring their tools and abilities are up to date with industry standards.

Communication 

Last but not least – excellent communication skills are a non-negotiable. Successful cyber security experts exhibit the sharp verbal and writing abilities to educate their non-technical colleagues and staff, and can present their research in a clear, concise, and easy-to-understand manner.  

What is the current job outlook for cyber security careers?

Due to a growing skills shortage, cyber security has been a field of great skills demand worldwide – with Australia, in particular, demanding an additional 17,000 security workers by 2026 in order to substantially protect our critical business assets. 

This bodes good news for aspiring professionals, as the rising need for security talent has pushed most roles well into the six-figure range. According to the job site Indeed, the average IT security specialist earns about $107,329 AUD annually, with the potential to earn more as experience grows. 

Top cyber security jobs for 2022-2023

Cyber security thus offers plenty of high-paying opportunities for those with the right skills and expertise. The sector currently offers some of the highest-paying tech jobs in the country, including: 

Cyber security analysis 

Cyber security analysts examine one’s IT infrastructure, assessing any risks, problems, or vulnerabilities and implementing the appropriate solutions to prevent them. 
According to Talent.com.au, they earn an average of $105,000 AUD per year.

Certified ethical hacking
Ethical hackers legally break into an organisation’s computing systems, applying common hacking methods to identify any vulnerabilities.

Those in the field with a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification earn an average of $100,000 AUD per year, according to Payscale. 

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

Chief information security officers (CISOs) are responsible for developing and implementing an organisation’s entire cyber security program – managing the procedures, policies, and protocols involved. 
According to Payscale, CISOs earn an average of $183,674 AUD per year, with the potential for salaries as high as $259,000 AUD as experience grows. 

As mentioned, qualified training in cyber security is a highly recommended pathway into the industry. Upskilled currently offers a wide variety of courses in the field to get you started, including starter bootcamps such as our (SL-CSS) Cyber Security Specialist and (SL-CSP) Cyber Security Professional programs to grant you a comprehensive “test-drive” of the industry. Best of all, each course is delivered online, helping you build the skills you need at a time, place, and pace that suits you best.

Launch a rewarding career in cyber security today, and enquire with us on a course. 

 
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