To say cybersecurity jobs are in high demand would be a vast understatement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the sector are expected to grow at a rate of 28 percent from 2016-2026. The CompTIA Security+ certification provides access to a drove of these jobs, including a career as a security specialist.
Unfortunately, the most direct path to becoming a security specialist isn’t always obvious. We’re here to help. We’ve laid out the path to a career as a security specialist and how a CompTIA Security+ certification can light the way.
What’s the Role of a Security Specialist?
Security specialists are in charge of protecting information systems. They help companies keep information safe by identifying potential holes in security systems and solving security problems. As a security specialist, you have the responsibility of keeping customer, employee, and company information out of the hands of cybercriminals.
- Setting up security privileges and access procedures
- Identifying security violations and holes in the system
- Developing safer and more secure systems and procedures
- Updating security systems and maintaining systems that are already in place
- Identifying security breaches and minimizing damage
A Typical Day as a Security Specialist
Security specialists are in charge of protecting security systems. That means day-to-day tasks can vary, especially when there are cyberattacks. However, as a security specialist, you could spend the day doing everything from looking for vulnerable points in the system and monitoring network activity to creating new controls. If a security breach were to happen, you’d be in charge of acting fast and repairing the system.
Benefits of Becoming a Security Specialist
The benefits of becoming a security specialist go well beyond the obvious perks. It comes with a sense of fulfillment because your job is to protect the people and companies you work with. Information is valuable, and security specialists have a chance to keep it in the right hands.
In addition to being fulfilling, cybersecurity jobs are in high demand. According to Forbes, there were an estimated 500,000 unfilled United States cybersecurity jobs in the first part of last year. Because the demand is high, so is job security. Truly, that peace of mind can be worth it on its own.
Of course, this call for jobs in the industry is also driving high pay. ONet reports that the average yearly salary for a security specialist hovers around $98,000.
What Does It Take?
You’ve probably guessed that security specialists need technical training. A big key for employers is having solid proof of these technical skills.
Many employers will want you to have a bachelor’s degree in a technical field, such as computer science or information technology. However, it isn’t always mandatory. You can pick up jobs with professional training certificates that prove your technical abilities.
CompTIA Security+ Certification
CompTIA is a staple in information technology. The group has awarded more than 2 million certifications since it started in the 1980s. If you’re starting your cybersecurity career, a CompTIA Security+ certification is the way to go. It follows a globally recognized standard and proves you have the skills to work in the IT security field.
What makes this certification so beneficial?
- It’s proof that you know the latest cybersecurity techniques.
- It shows new employers you have the skills for IT and security jobs.
- It can be a springboard to a pay raise or promotion.
How to Become Certified
In order to earn a CompTIA Security+ certification, you’ll need to pass the final exam. The certification measures hands-on skills, practical knowledge, and mastery of the latest techniques. The best way to prepare is to go through a career training course that’s designed with this key certification in mind.
First, top career training programs will provide support and guidance as you work through the coursework. Some also have funding options for veterans and people transitioning into new careers. The financial and in-class support makes a world of difference when you’re settling into new territory.
Additionally, if you pick a reputable program, it will have established connections with employers,and a reputation you can lean on. As soon as you finish the coursework, you’ll want to start working, start earning, and kick off your new life. The right career training program will work as a simple gateway to employment once you’ve wrapped up training.
CompTIA Security+ Certification Advances Careers
In addition to helping you kick off a new career, the CompTIA Security+ certification is a gateway to even higher-level options. It can lead to valuable next-level certifications that distinguish experts in the field, including (ISC)² Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).
Beyond these technical qualifications, the security specialist role requires more experience-based skills, which is why the position is so well-suited for people with life experience such as veterans and motivated career changers. Here are some top skills security specialists need:
- Problem-solving and critical thinking
- The ability to lead and work within a team
- The know-how to rise to the challenge under pressure
- Strong determination and the ability to learn new systems
A Clear Path to Becoming a Security Specialist
The path to this in-demand career is wide open for anyone who’s willing to dig in and get going in the right direction. Ready to start a new career as a security specialist? We want to help you get there. Visit our cybersecurity programs page to learn more.