Are cyber security jobs a good path for graduates?

Cyber security offers some of the fastest-growing and most sought-after careers in the UK. For newer workers who have recently graduated from university, there is a wide variety of options available, each coming with interesting and diverse experiences.


Why choose a career in cyber security?

The cyber security sector is a highly lucrative field to work in, offering significant opportunities for professionals with the correct skills and experience to achieve large salaries and lots of room for career progression.

The industry is constantly evolving to meet the growing threat posed by cyber criminals. In fact, research from Check Point revealed that Q4 of 2022 saw the highest-ever global volume of cyber attacks.

Consequently, skilled professionals are increasingly sought after by organisations across the world to protect classified and confidential information, systems and networks. Because of this high demand, companies are battling for top talent and, as such, the benefits packages being offered to employees are becoming more and more competitive.


What skills do you need to work in cyber security?

There is a diverse range of positions available in the world of cyber security. This means that the particular skills you will need for your role of choice could be significantly different from another job in the same field.

However, the role of a cyber security expert is rooted in technology. So, you will need an excellent understanding of computer systems and security issues. Some of the basics include:

  • A comprehensive understanding of multiple operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS and Linux
  • Programming, firewall installation and network configuration and management
  • Risk identification and mitigation
  • Data analysis
  • Cloud implementation and management

You’ll also need to develop and demonstrate some key soft skills for a successful career in the cyber security sector. 

As a professional responsible for the digital defence of your organisation, you will be tasked with presenting to stakeholders, understanding how security aligns with business objectives and considering human requirements, as well as technological ones.

Technical knowledge alone simply isn’t enough. Problem-solving is key when it comes to identifying issues or potential threats, as well as knowing how to appropriately deal with them. To stay ahead of cyber criminals, experts must be innovative and provide solutions under tight deadlines.

This also means that cyber security professionals need to be creative individuals, with the ability to think differently and proactively seek out vulnerabilities in security systems. Often, employees will need to think like criminals to predict where an attack may come from.


What can you earn as a graduate?

One of the benefits of working within cyber security is the salary. Glassdoor figures estimate the starting pay for graduates in their first professional role to be £35,325 per year. Additionally, midweight experts with a few years of experience in the industry are, on average, taking home over £50,000 per year.

In cyber security roles, you can experience a significant amount of career progression. Top professionals take home over £100,000 in compensation. The UK Cybersecurity Salary Survey 2023 revealed that specific fields to look out for include identity and access management and governance, risk and compliance, both of which saw the highest pay rises last year.

Of course, it’s important to note that the salary you can expect will vary depending on multiple factors, including the size and scope of your employer, the location and your own experience.


How to land graduate cyber security jobs

Whether you are just finishing your degree in computer science (or a related field), or a current worker looking to switch fields, a career in cyber security is certainly worth your consideration.

Most technology graduates are highly sought after, but cyber security professionals have never been higher in demand. The volume of unfilled positions continues to increase and this trend is likely to continue into the foreseeable future.

Combined with a cyber landscape in which criminals are constantly finding new ways to evolve their targeted attacks, organisations across the world are desperate for talented professionals to protect systems, networks and classified information.


Which areas are most popular for graduate cyber security jobs?

Cyber security experts are highly sought after by organisations of all sizes. If you possess the right skills for the job, you could find yourself working for some of the UK’s most innovative and widely-recognised businesses.

Research by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) found that half of UK businesses have a basic technical skills gap, while one in three has an advanced skills gap. 

However, 37 per cent of all vacancies for cyber roles since Jan 2019 have been hard to fill. 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.

London is one of the world’s greatest cyber security hubs, but there are plenty of opportunities throughout the wider UK. Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast are just a handful of other bustling cities for skilled professionals.
The majority of cyber security roles are office-based, but there is ample opportunity for flexible working. In some cases, you will even find remote roles. Those experts working as contractors or on a freelance basis might be required to do some travelling around the UK, or even further afield.


What cyber security jobs are in demand?

Our world is heavily dependent on technology and, consequently, organisations are always at risk of cyber criminals accessing their classified information.

Cyber security specialists play a vital role in defending their clients or employers from threats which, if unnoticed, could lead to damages worth millions.

Some of the most highly sought-after cyber security jobs include:


What does the cyber security job landscape look like?

If a career in cyber security sounds like the perfect next step for you, head to to discover graduate jobs available to you, as well as apprenticeships and internship opportunities.

For more information about training options, including university degrees, industry qualifications and apprenticeship programmes, take a look at

Visit to browse our full range of cyber security graduate jobs.