cyber security specialist

Should you consider a career as a cyber security specialist?

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There are many ways to enter the lucrative field of programming, from designing mobile apps to looking after the safety of a computer’s networks and systems. If you’re interested in risk reduction strategies, particularly in the field of information technology, cyber security might be just the right job for you. We’ll explore the career of cyber security specialist in more detail, including what you need to know, expected salaries, the demand in the workplace for this role and more.

What is a cyber security specialist?

In essence, a cyber security specialist is “in charge of the electronic security of an organization”. This could include re-certifying or updating the security of applications and servers, troubleshooting country-wide security threats, testing as well as regular updates for virus protection. Other important aspects of the job involve training workers on security procedures to maintain security and informing management of any security violations.


What languages should I know to become a cyber security specialist?

According to the website Cyber Security Jobs, specialists in this area should know about “system architecture, system administration, operating systems, networking, virtualization software, and other major components of IT systems”.

Although not all cyber security specialists have coding skills (products such as Solar Winds’ Access Rights Manager are coding-free solutions to improve IT and data security), you may find your path severely limited without some programming knowledge. Programming is used to assemble software, apps and websites. You will need to understand how these applications work to understand how they can be hacked or manipulated. Here are some languages you should think about learning:



This is one of the best languages to learn because this language is everywhere. In addition, if you want to steal cookies, manipulate event handlers and perform cross-site scripting – i.e. hacking-type behaviour – you’re likely to use JS.


In answer to the question on Quora, ‘What programming languages are best for cyber security?’, many respondents mention Python. Some reasons they give include: (1) Interacting with files, dealing with binaries and much more (2) Automating tasks and tools to enhance your security arsenal. In addition, Python is an easy language to learn for newbies. In fact, it reads similarly to English, which means it removes a lot of syntax-learning stress from coding beginners.


Many Operating Systems and 90% of libraries and frameworks are written in C. Learning how to program in C will help you a lot as a cyber security specialist.


Various front-end and back-end web languages

You’ll want to understand how websites are coded in order to know how they can be hacked. From a front-end perspective, you could consider HTML (a markup language for website), CSS (a styling language to determine how the website will look) and JavaScript, as discussed earlier. You might also want to include a framework, which allows you to work with all three front-end languages, such as Bootstrap, the most widely-used open source framework in the world.

Back-end languages for websites include PHP, SQL, Python and Ruby among others. A popular back-end framework is Ruby on Rails.

Let’s look now at the demand for cyber security specialists.


What is the demand for cyber security specialists?

There is a growing demand for this job role. From 2016 to 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 28% increase for work in this category. That’s faster than the average growth for all occupations in the US.

cyber security specialist

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The reason for the high demand relates to an increase in cyberattacks. Cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. This is substantially up from the 2015 amount of $3 trillion. If these predictions bear out, cybercrime will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined. No wonder cyber security specialists are in such high demand.


What can I expect to be paid as a cyber security specialist?

The average annual salary for cyber security specialists in the US in 2018 is $107,433, according to ZipRecruiter. The majority of salaries – i.e. from the 25th to the 75th percentile – range between $79,500 and $122,500.

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In conclusion, the job of cyber security specialist seems absolutely worth pursuing. The demand for the position is high and the jobs are well paid. You can learn the coding skills component of the job at HyperionDev with one of their part-time online coding bootcamps in Full Stack Web Development, Mobile Development or Software Engineering.