Why choose a career in cyber security

Cyber security careers are among the fastest-growing and in-demand fields of IT. Whether you're looking at further education options, have recently graduated or are considering a change of career, jobs in cyber security offer the potential for high earnings and interesting and varied experiences.

So why should you consider cyber security for your next career move? Here are a few of the key benefits you can expect to see when working in this area.

An in-demand career option

One of the key benefits of having skills in cyber security is that you'll be in high demand from employers. There is a significant shortage of talent in this sector, which means firms are always having to compete for the best employees. 

Research by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) conducted in 2020 found almost two-thirds of firms (64 per cent) reported gaps in their cyber security skills, while 35 per cent have had difficulty filling vacancies. As a result, if you do have the knowledge and experience businesses are looking for, you'll be well-placed to advance your career in whatever direction you wish.

This is also reflected in the salary you can expect to earn. Because demand for cyber security professionals far outstrips the supply of talent, those with the right skills stand to be very highly-paid. 

According to research by PayScale, the average salary for cyber security professionals in the UK stands at £41,078. However, those in senior and specialist roles can earn significantly more than this, with chief information security officers, for example, earning around £90,000.

A range of opportunities for growth

Cyber security offers an engaging career path with a wide range of options for growth and specialisation. According to figures from DCMS, the most common job roles employers are looking for include the following:

However, this barely scratches the surface of what opportunities are available for those with skills in cyber security. One of the main benefits of these roles is that they offer a varied work environment where no two days are the same. As the cyber threats firms face are evolving all the time, there'll always be something new to learn and new challenges to tackle.

A high level of satisfaction

Cyber security roles have a real impact. The consequences of data breaches or other incidents can be huge, so being able to step in and shield people and organisations from these is hugely rewarding. As such, it's no surprise that cyber security professionals report some of the highest levels of job satisfaction of any IT role.

According to 2019 research by Exabeam, for example, 71 per cent of these employees say they're satisfied with their job. What's more, 76 per cent feel secure in their current role, while 78 per cent stated they would recommend a career in this sector to others. 

If you enjoy working in a high-pressure environment and have a penchant for puzzle-solving and lateral thinking, the chances are you'll find a career in cyber security a highly rewarding way to make a difference.

Where can I work as a cyber security specialist?

Cyber security professionals are in demand in companies of all sizes, and if you've got the right skills, you can work for some of the country's most innovative and cutting-edge firms. Government figures suggest that the most common sectors where firms are looking for cyber security professionals include:

 
You should also be able to find a position local to you. According to government figures, around a third of cyber security jobs are in London. However, there are opportunities available all over the UK, especially in larger cities. 

After London, the locations with the largest number of cyber security job listings are Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Bristol. While most roles will be office based, there's ample opportunity for flexible and remote working, while those working on a freelance or consultancy basis may be required to travel around the country, or even further afield.

Does a career in this area sound like the right path for you? Then check out our latest cyber security jobs listings and find out where your next position could take you.