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Michelle Palasek has 20 years in the staffing industry working in sales and marketing operations. She currently serves as a Sr. Marketing Communications Specialist at SGA.

Cybersecurity Roles: The Different Types and How to Get One

Cybersecurity Roles: The Different Types and How to Get One

Are you intrigued by the world of cybersecurity? With the digital age in full swing, the demand for skilled professionals in this field is skyrocketing. But what exactly are these roles, and how can you land one?

This guide will help you learn more about key cybersecurity roles. We’ll even provide some tips for landing your dream job.

What Is a Cybersecurity Analyst?

A cybersecurity analyst is one of the most common and well-known types of cybersecurity jobs. Think of them as digital watchguards.

In this role, you are responsible for protecting an organization’s computer systems and networks from cyber threats. You constantly monitor networks for any security breaches, conduct regular security assessments, and implement protective measures like firewalls and encryption. These professionals analyze their employer’s cybersecurity posture and proactively address any weak points.

Analysts also play a crucial role in responding to security incidents. If you have a knack for problem-solving and a keen eye for detail, this might be the position for you.

What Is a Cybersecurity Engineer?

Cybersecurity engineers are the architects of the cyber defense world. They go a step beyond identifying and defending against threats; they also design and build secure systems and infrastructure.

In this role, you create new solutions to protect against potential cyber threats and vulnerabilities. As a cybersecurity engineer, you work to develop security systems, run tests to simulate attacks, and ensure that all systems are up to date with the latest security standards. It’s a position that demands a deep understanding of IT infrastructure and a creative approach to problem-solving.

Cybersecurity Analyst vs. Engineer

While both roles aim to protect an organization’s digital assets, their approaches and scopes are markedly different. Cybersecurity analysts focus on identifying and responding to threats. In contrast, engineers are more involved in developing and implementing security solutions.

In other words, cybersecurity analysts are the watchers and the first to respond to a threat. Engineers are the innovators and builders. If you prefer investigating and responding to cyber threats, consider becoming an analyst. However, if the responsibility and challenge of building secure environments and infrastructure intrigues you, the path of a cybersecurity engineer might be the right fit.

Other Types of Cybersecurity Jobs

The world of cybersecurity is vast and complex, and there are many other roles you can explore within that sphere. Some cybersecurity positions you may encounter include:

  • Network Security Engineer: A subtype of cybersecurity engineer that focuses on network security solutions
  • Digital Forensic Investigator: Track down the source of cyberattacks using advanced investigative techniques
  • Penetration Tester: Also known as ethical or white hat hackers, they simulate cyberattacks to test a system’s defenses
  • Cybersecurity Consultant: Assess cybersecurity risks, problems, and solutions for different organizations, offering expert advice
  • Chief Information Security Officer: Senior-level role that oversees the overall IT security of an organization
  • Security Architect: Design the entire security structure of a system and ensure it can withstand attacks

Cybersecurity analysts are considered junior- or entry-level cybersecurity roles. However, CISOs, cybersecurity consultants, and digital forensic investigators often have years or even decades of experience under their belts.

The amount of experience and education you need will vary based on the role you are interested in applying for. As someone new to the cybersecurity profession, you will likely have to obtain several certifications or complete certain higher education benchmarks before stepping into a paid role.

You may also need to accept a junior position first. This allows you to gain experience and sharpen your skills before you have the opportunity to take on a more advanced role.

How Much Do Cybersecurity Jobs Pay?

The pay of cybersecurity professionals varies greatly based on factors like their role, experience level, company size, and geographic location. Entry-level cybersecurity jobs pay less than $100,000 annually, but top-level positions can pay well into the six figures.

CISOs enjoy some of the best pay and benefits, which may even include stock options and performance-related bonuses. However, it can take years or even decades to reach the pinnacle of the cybersecurity profession.

How to Get a Cybersecurity Job

Embarking on a cybersecurity career is a journey into a dynamic and constantly changing field. Whether you choose to be a cybersecurity analyst, engineer, or any other role, you’ll be at the forefront of protecting digital infrastructure in our increasingly online world. Equip yourself with the right education, skills, and mindset, and you’ll be well on your way to a fulfilling and impactful career in cybersecurity.

Remember, though, that there is not a single, linear path to obtaining a job in cybersecurity. Landing a position will require a mix of education, skills, and networking. Here are some factors at play:

Educational Background

The first step to landing a role in cybersecurity is to get the necessary education. Most positions in the field require a degree in computer science, IT, or a related area of study.


It is also a good idea to obtain professional certifications like Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). These can give you an edge over the competition.

Technical Skills

To succeed in cybersecurity, you will want to have a range of technical skills. For instance, you might benefit from learning different programming languages, network configurations, and operating systems.

Networking Capabilities

It never hurts to put yourself out there. Consider connecting with professionals in the field, attending industry conferences, and participating in online forums to make connections with people in the industry.

Soft Skills

Your technical prowess isn’t the only skill employers look for. You’ll also want to develop things like your problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills to show that you are a well-rounded applicant.


After securing skills and education, it’s time to start putting your nose to the grindstone and gain relevant experience. A good place to start is with internships or entry-level positions in IT or cybersecurity.

Ethical Standards

It isn’t enough to have the technical know-how. Understanding the ethics of cybersecurity is also critically important in ensuring your success in the field.

Ready to Explore Exciting Cybersecurity Roles?

If you are on the hunt for cybersecurity jobs that align with your skill set and experience, you’ve got options. You can apply to cybersecurity jobs individually or search for roles on a generic job search platform.

However, neither option is efficient. In fact, both can be downright frustrating. To take the hassle out of the job hunt, consider working with a staffing agency that has the resources and expertise to help you land your dream job.