Cybersecurity is one of the most exciting areas in IT — and employers are always looking to hire talented people. Here’s how to kick off a rewarding cybersecurity career.

America needs more cybersecurity professionals. Around 32 percent of all cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are vacant right now, leaving critical systems vulnerable to hackers, organized crime groups, trolls and other bad actors.

That’s a challenge for employers but great news for anyone considering a career in cybersecurity. High demand means competitive salaries, exciting opportunities and lots of flexibility, including remote working options.

Think you've got what it takes to thrive in information security? Let's talk about how you can land an entry-level job.

what skills do you need for entry-level cybersecurity positions?

Cybersecurity professionals are analytical and detail-oriented. You'll also need strong problem-solving skills and the ability to work as part of a team. 

Depending on the role, you might also need:

Hands-on experience: If your current role involves cybersecurity duties, be sure to mention that on your resume. You can also enroll in a cybersecurity boot camp like Ironhack.

Also, try to stay current on cybersecurity news by reading blogs, listening to podcasts and joining relevant forums or subreddits. 

what is the easiest cybersecurity job to get?

Cybersecurity professionals have tons of options. You might end up building security architecture, doing complex data analysis or even working as an ethical hacker.

Some entry-level or early-career cybersecurity jobs to consider include:

  • Cybersecurity technician: Technicians are hands-on, dealing with security-related software, hardware and network issues. You'll take ownership of tickets, solve problems for users and help implement security best practices. 
  • Security analyst: Analysts are the eyes and ears of the cybersecurity team. Your job will involve studying network activity and looking for vulnerabilities. You'll also help log breaches and assist in root-cause investigations.
  • Information security administrator: These professionals manage and implement security solutions such as firewalls, antivirus software and intrusion detection systems. It’s an ideal position for those who want to learn more about the latest security technologies and best practices. 
  • Penetration tester: Pen testers look for vulnerabilities by trying to break in. You'll use automated testing tools to attack from every angle. The goal is to find and fix any weaknesses — before the bad guys discover them. 
  • Cyber forensics analyst: Cyber forensics teams deal with hacks and data breaches. Like a CSI detective, your job is to analyze the evidence and figure out what went wrong. You may find yourself working with law enforcement if there's been a crime. 

Hybrid roles: Already have IT experience? Employers need multi-skilled candidates, such as programmers with cybersecurity knowledge. This is especially helpful in a DevOps environment, where you'll need to do a little of everything.

Each of these cybersecurity jobs can be a stepping stone to a successful and lucrative IT career. Senior cybersecurity roles include security architect, senior engineer and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

how much does an entry-level cybersecurity role pay?

Cybersecurity can be a lucrative career, especially as you climb the ladder. To learn more about starting salaries in your city, consult the Randstad USA Salary Guide.