As more machines replace humans, 85 million jobs will disappear as the global economy slow from the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news? The World Economic Forum also predicts that this shift will create 97 million new jobs. A report from KPMG found that cybersecurity is now the most “in-demand” technology.
If you’re just beginning your career, have been displaced, or thinking about a career change, read on to learn more about the growing field of cybersecurity.
[CTA: If you want to discover your hidden talents, try ATLAS, our free AI-driven skills assessment tool to help you create a learning pathway to a new cybersecurity career.]
Why Is Cybersecurity So Important?
The increase of remote workers resulting from the pandemic, cloud computing, and more IoT-connected devices have made it easier for Black Hat hackers to create sophisticated tactics to steal sensitive data and disrupt business.
- Gartner’s insight forecasted that businesses would spend more than $123 billion on security in 2020, and that number is projected to grow to $170.4 billion by 2022.
- The average cost of a data breach jumped to $3.86 million in 2020, according to IBM Security.
- Ransomware payments rose to $111,605 in 2020, according to Fintech News.
- Cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, exponentially more than the damage inflicted from natural disasters in a year.
The World is Facing a Shortage of Trained Cybersecurity Professionals
What’s our biggest problem in fighting the Black Hats? We don’t have enough qualified people who are trained in cybersecurity. A report from KPMG found that cybersecurity is now the most “in-demand” technology.
Cybersecurity is a High-Paying, Stable Career
With a median pay of over $103K, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Cybersecurity predicts cybersecurity jobs will grow 31% through 2029, over seven times faster than the national average job growth of 4%.
Do You Have What It Takes for a Career in Cybersecurity?
While cybersecurity demands technical skills, there are also key attributes that drive job satisfaction. ATLAS is New Horizons’ free, intuitive holistic career assessment tool that can help you quickly discover if you have the aptitude for a cybersecurity career. ATLAS can also help you map out a career and help you figure out what courses you need to take next.
What Are Some of the Top Paying Cybersecurity Certifications?
Let’s look at the top cybersecurity certifications and what it takes to get started.
Ready to jumpstart your IT career? Explore cybersecurity certifications here.
As the leading IT training company, we’ve compiled the top cybersecurity certifications IT professionals
need to earn in 2021:
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) $141,000
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) $117,817
- Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) $116,514
- Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) $95,642
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Security or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) $82,966
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) $69,046
- CompTIA Security+ $66,140
1. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) $141,000
Traditional IT security practices don’t transfer well to the cloud — 84 percent of organizations say traditional security solutions don’t work in a cloud environment.
The CCSP certification ensures that IT professionals have hands-on experience and a deep understanding of cloud security architecture, design, operations, and services. It’s designed for security professionals with extensive experience in information technology, IT architecture, governance, cloud, and web security engineering.
The certification covers a range of topics, including:
- Cloud architecture and design concepts
- Cloud data security
- Platform and infrastructure security
- Cloud operations
- Legal and compliance
It’s an ideal certification for systems architects, systems engineers, security managers, security administrators, and enterprise architects.
Candidates must have a minimum of five years’ experience of security-related work in a cloud-computing environment.
2. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) $117,817
The Certified Information Security Manager certification is revered as one of the best cybersecurity
courses out there, and for good reason. However, you need at least five years of experience in the field
even to apply.
Throughout this management-focused certification, you will learn about four sections of cybersecurity:
§ Information security program development and management
§ Information security management
§ Information security incident management
§ Information risk management and compliance
The exam is incredibly rigorous and demands a lot of time and knowledge, but the result is worth it. Many CISM certification holders pursue a CISO title, a position that earns an average of $160,000, according to PayScale.
Any IT professional interested in managing enterprise information security can increase their earning potential by taking this course
3. Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) $116,514
Another popular certification for general cybersecurity knowledge is the Certified Information System Security Professional course. Many IT companies consider CISSP a base requirement for employees responsible for network security.
This course challenges you in various cybersecurity domains, including:
- Access Control
Like CompTIA Security+, this certification is not vendor-specific, so that the knowledge can be applied to a variety of setups.
To take this exam, you need at least three to five years of field experience. The CISSP is considered the “crown jewel” of cybersecurity certifications, and passing the exam can lead to some incredibly lucrative positions. Security architects, for example, can make more than $116,000 annually.
The CISSP certification is a must-have for people looking to move into a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) role. But it’s also a salary-booster for analysts, systems engineers, consultants, and IT security managers.
4. Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) $95,642
The Internet Crime Complaint Center received 791,790 cybercrime complaints in 2020, an increase of 69 percent over 2019, according to the FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report.Reported losses exceeded $4.1 billion. Ahacking forensic investigator is tasked with analyzing attacks and extricating information to report hacking crimes and conducting audits to prevent future attacks.
Forensic investigators explore everything from theft of intellectual property and corporate IT usage violations to IT system fraud and misuse.
The CHFI is an advanced certification for forensic network security investigators. It validates your ability to gather the necessary evidence and prosecute offenders in a court of law.The certification covers topics including:
- Incident response and forensics
- Recovering deleted, encrypted, or damaged file information
- Technical examination, analysis, and reporting of computer-based evidence
5. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Security or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) $84,519
The CCNA validates that you have the applicable knowledge and hands-on skills to protect Cisco networks.
If your organization utilizes Cisco technology or you’re interested in developing your Cisco skills, the CCNA is a strong associate-level certification that can propel your Cisco security career forward.The CCNA certification demonstrates your ability to:
- Recognize threats and vulnerabilities in a Cisco network
- Mitigate security threats
- Develop an effective security infrastructure
The CCNA certification establishes a strong foundation for job roles, including network security specialist, network support engineer, and security administrator.
6. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) $82,966
To stop a hacker, you must be able to think like one. It’s an exciting balance between toeing the line of moral actions and processing the malicious thoughts the average cybercriminal would have. This kind of mentality isn’t easy to come by, which is why the Certified Ethical Hacker course was created
The Certified Ethical Hacker courseteaches the skills you need to think and act like a hacker.
- Hacking technologies that target cloud computing technology, mobile platforms and the latest operating systems
- Coverage of the latest vulnerabilities, malware and viruses
- Information security laws and standards
CEH students go through real-time scenarios where they are exposed to different ways hackers penetrate networks and steal information. Students learn how to scan, test and hack and protect their systems.
IT professionals who complete this course have many positions to choose from, the most notorious being penetration testing. Penetration testing jobs require you to hack into a network without actually stealing any data. This job function demands a high level of trust, which is well rewarded. Penetration tester salaries often top out at just over $86,000 annually, according to PayScale.
The CEH certification benefits security officers, auditors, security professionals, site administrators and anyone concerned about network infrastructure security.
7. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) $69,046
The CISA certification focuses on information auditing. As an IT professional, being CISA-certified demonstrates that you have rigorous audit experience and are capable of managing vulnerabilities and instituting controls at an enterprise level.
Like its sibling test CISM, CISA requires applicants to have five years of experience before registering. Students learn about information systems control and monitoring skills, including:
- The process of auditing information systems
- IT management and governance
- Protection of information assets
A globally recognized certification, CISA is the main requirement for high-level IS audit, assurance and control positions.
8. CompTIA Security $66,140
CompTIA Security+is a base-level certification for IT professionals new to cybersecurity. You only need two years of IT experience to complete it. The CompTIA Security+ certification is regarded as a general cybersecurity certification because it doesn’t focus on a single vendor product line.In this course, you learn about broader IT security concepts, including:
- Network attack strategies and defenses
- Elements of effective security policies
- Network-and host-based security best practices
- Business continuity and disaster recovery
- Encryption standards and products
CompTIA Security+is great for anyone looking to gain basic IT security knowledge. It helps build a solid foundation that you can enhance with other courses. The certification is so well-respected that the U.S. Department of Defense mandates it for all employees.
Because security applies to all levels and job roles, this course will also benefit application developers, PC support analysts and senior managers in accounting, sales and marketing roles.
Choosing the Best Cybersecurity Certification for You
Elevate your income and marketability with these cybersecurity certifications. Start your career, or update your current IT skills to keep you up to date with the best security practices. So why aren’t more IT professionals investing in these skills? The biggest hurdle to earning a cybersecurity certification is time. Whether you prefer instructor-led or online learning, New Horizons can provide the right cybersecurity training experience for you.
Unsure which course you should take first? See which cybersecurity certification path is right for you using the New Horizons cybersecurity roadmap.