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Top 11 High-Demand Cybersecurity Jobs Without a Degree

Top 11 High-Demand Cybersecurity Jobs Without a Degree

As cybercrimes continue to rise, so does the demand for cybersecurity professionals. Recent data shows cyberattacks increased by 38% in 2022 compared to the previous year, costing the global economy over $8 trillion. With such staggering figures, it’s no surprise there are now over 750,000 open cybersecurity jobs in the United States.

The good news is that many cybersecurity roles don’t require a college degree. Whether you’re looking to transition careers or break into the field, various training programs and certifications can qualify you for lucrative cybersecurity positions.

In this article, we’ll highlight 11 of the top cybersecurity jobs you can land without a bachelor’s degree. From cybersecurity analysts to penetration testers, these roles offer strong salaries along with the opportunity to help organizations defend against digital threats.

So, if you’re eager to gain cyber skills and join the frontlines of one of the fastest-growing tech fields, read on to explore some of the most in-demand cybersecurity careers available to those without a four-year degree. With the right preparation, you can position yourself to take advantage of the 10.9% annual growth projected in cybersecurity jobs through 2027.

What Is Cyber Security?

Here are a few key points about cyber security:

  • Cyber security refers to protecting internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data, from cyber threats.
  • The main goals of cyber security are to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information systems.
  • It involves preventing, detecting, and responding to cyber attacks that aim to access, damage, or misuse systems and information.
  • Common cyber threats include malware, phishing, denial-of-service attacks, insider threats, data breaches, and more.
  • Cyber security uses technologies like firewalls, antivirus software, encryption, and two-factor authentication to help defend against threats.
  • It’s also about educating users on cyber threats and best practices for security hygiene, like strong passwords.
  • Cyber security is important for protecting an organization’s IT systems, intellectual property, and sensitive customer and employee data.
  • It’s a broad field covering network security, application security, information security, disaster recovery, and more.
  • Cyber security roles include security analyst, security engineer, CISO (Chief Information Security Officer), and penetration tester, among others.

The Rising Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals

The demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals is higher than ever. Recent research shows in the US, there will be a shortage of over 3.5 Million cybersecurity professionals by 2025, according to projections.

Several factors are contributing to the soaring need for cybersecurity expertise:

  • Increasing cybercrimes: More and more cyber crimes are happening every year. Cybercriminals are hacking into computers and stealing money and information. This is causing huge financial losses. As more businesses and people put data online, cybercriminals have more reasons to hack.
  • Stringent data regulations: New laws require companies to improve security and protect data. Laws like GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California force companies to guard data carefully. This requires specific security skills.
  • Cloud adoption: Many companies are rapidly moving to cloud computing services. They need cybersecurity experts who understand the special security needs of the cloud. These experts know the cloud security tools, systems, and processes.
  • Internet of Things: Connected devices like smart home products create new security risks. Securing industrial control systems is also challenging. All these connected things expand the ways criminals can attack. New protections are needed.
  • Shortage of qualified talent: Even though demand is rising, there are not enough experts with hands-on cybersecurity skills. Existing professionals with real experience are very valuable because of the shortage.

Top 11 Cyber Security Jobs You Can Apply for Without a Degree

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Here are detailed descriptions of the highest paying cyber security jobs without a college degree:

  1. Security Software Developer

Security software developers create and maintain security software that helps protect computer systems, networks, and data from unauthorized access. They analyze system requirements and design safeguards like firewalls, encryption, and authentication systems.

Security software developers need strong programming skills and knowledge of different operating systems, networks, and programming languages like C++ and Java. They collaborate with other IT professionals to understand security needs and continuously test software for vulnerabilities. This job pays an average of $119,166 per year and is projected to grow 22% over the next decade.

  1. Penetration Tester  

Penetration testers, also known as ethical hackers, simulate cyber attacks to evaluate the security of computer systems and networks. They intentionally try to bypass or disable security controls to uncover weaknesses.

Penetration testers use hacking techniques like scanning ports, SQL injection, and social engineering to gain unauthorized access. They document exploited vulnerabilities and make recommendations for improving security. Strong technical, communication, and analytical skills are needed.

Penetration testers can get certified through organizations like the EC-Council. The average salary is $118,128 per year, and employment is projected to grow 33% over the next ten years.

  1. Network Security Engineer

Network security engineers design, build, and maintain an organization’s network security systems. They install firewalls, VPNs, intrusion detection systems, and other security applications.

Network security engineers also monitor networks to detect anomalies and investigate breaches when they occur. Troubleshooting skills and knowledge of protocols like TCP/IP are essential. This role pays $115,949 per year on average and is projected to grow 33% this decade as cyber threats increase.

  1. Security Risk Analyst

Security risk analysts assess and document security risks to an organization’s data, facilities, and computer systems. They conduct risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities and estimate potential business impacts.

Security risk analysts recommend safeguards, policies, training, and other measures to mitigate risks. They stay current on the latest security threats and technologies. Strong analytical and communication skills are required. The average salary is $114,330 annually and employment is expected to grow 33% over the next ten years.

  1. Cyber Security Specialist

Cyber security specialists protect an organization’s computer systems and networks from cyber-attacks. They configure firewalls, detect intrusions, monitor network traffic, and enforce security policies and controls.

Cyber security specialists must have strong technical skills to investigate advanced persistent threats and prevent malware and hacking. Certifications like the CompTIA Security+ demonstrate knowledge. The average salary is $107,569 per year, and employment is projected to grow 33% this decade.

  1. Identity and Access Management Analyst

Identity and access management analysts oversee user authentication and authorization controls. They ensure that only authorized users can access networks, systems, and data. Analysts configure login policies, reset passwords, provision access, monitor unusual activity, and revoke permissions when needed.

Knowledge of identity management solutions like SailPoint and CyberArk is valuable. The average salary is $104,722 annually, and employment is projected to grow 14% over the next ten years.

  1. Incident Response Analyst

Incident response analysts detect and respond to cybersecurity events or breaches within an organization. They use security tools to monitor networks, receive alerts, and investigate suspicious activity. When incidents occur, they mitigate impacts by isolating affected systems and collecting digital evidence.

Analysts document response activities and make recommendations to improve defenses. This role pays $99,815 per year on average and is projected to grow 33% this decade.

  1. Cyber Security Analyst

Cyber security analysts protect an organization’s computer infrastructure and data from cyber threats. They install and use security tools to monitor network activity and detect intrusions. Analysts assess vulnerabilities, respond to security events, and analyze data to identify trends and suspicious behavior.

Certifications like the EC-Council’s CEH demonstrate knowledge. The average salary is $99,538 per year, and employment is projected to grow 33% over the next ten years.

  1. Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Their duties include monitoring systems for security threats, investigating breaches, and analyzing data to identify vulnerabilities. They also test defenses, recommend security enhancements, and develop information security standards and best practices.

Certifications like the CISSP help information security analysts qualify for jobs. The average salary is $92,509 per year, and employment is projected to grow 33% this decade.

  1. Security Operator

Security operators use software tools and applications to monitor an organization’s security infrastructure. They watch for anomalous activity, policy violations, malicious code, and other threats in real-time.

Security operators perform triage and initial investigations of incidents. They generate tickets and alerts to notify appropriate teams of issues. This job pays an average of $90,265 per year, and employment is projected to grow 33% over the next ten years.

  1. Digital Forensic Investigator

Digital forensic investigators, also called computer forensics specialists, uncover and preserve digital evidence for investigations and legal proceedings. They work on cybercrime cases and data breaches. Forensic investigators collect damaged devices, recover deleted files, decrypt data, and analyze digital evidence.

Certifications like the CCFT demonstrate expertise. The average salary is $82,382 annually, and employment is projected to grow 16% this decade.

Companies That Offer Cyber Security Jobs

Many companies understand the importance of cybersecurity and are eager to hire individuals with basic skills and a strong willingness to learn. If you’re interested in starting a career in cyber security, there are several companies that offer entry-level positions, providing opportunities for beginners to grow and contribute to the field. Here are some companies that offer entry-level cyber security jobs:

  • Accenture

Accenture is a global professional services company that provides services in strategy, consulting, digital technology, and operations. Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Ireland, Accenture sometimes hires high school graduates with a bootcamp education for entry-level cyber security positions. These can include roles like security analyst, where you would monitor systems and networks for security threats. Accenture has operations in over 200 cities in 120 countries, so there is an opportunity to work on international teams to help clients build cyber defense capabilities.

  • BAI Security

BAI Security has focused on providing cyber security auditing and risk assessment services since they were founded in 2007. Based in New York, BAI Security consultants perform extensive reviews of an organization’s IT systems, identifying vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. They make recommendations on how to “harden” security and reduce risks. Entry-level consultants work closely with senior staff to learn how to properly audit complex IT environments. This real-world experience provides a strong foundation in cyber security concepts.

  • VMware Carbon Black

VMware Carbon Black is a major cyber security software company founded in 2002 in Massachusetts. They provide cloud-based endpoint security software that helps protect servers, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices from advanced cyber attacks. VMware Carbon Black offers internships and associate consultant roles for recent graduates without experience. These entry-level jobs provide training on the company’s security products and how to implement them for customers.

  • OnShore Security

OnShore Security is a Chicago-based managed security services provider founded in 1991. They offer entry-level cyber security roles, including security analyst, security engineer, and security associate. These jobs monitor network activity to detect potential intrusions, configure firewalls and other defenses, and communicate cyber risks to clients. OnShore Security emphasizes hands-on experience and ongoing training to build skills for career advancement in cyber security.

  • FireEye

FireEye is a cyber security company founded in 2004 and headquartered in California. They provide hardware, software, and services to help organizations detect and respond to cyber-attacks. FireEye hires college graduates for associate security analyst and associate security engineer positions. These entry-level jobs involve investigating security incidents, installing security tools, and writing recommendations to improve cyber defenses. FireEye is known for its intensive onboarding program to rapidly advance the skills of new hires.

Job Hunting in Cyber Security Without a Degree

Here are detailed explanations for where to find cyber security jobs without a degree:

  • Indeed

Indeed is an excellent resource for finding cyber security jobs that don’t require a degree. It’s one of the largest job sites, with millions of job postings updated daily across numerous industries and locations. When searching for cyber security jobs on Indeed, use relevant keywords like “cyber security”, “information security”, “network security”, etc., along with “entry-level” or “no degree required”. Look for job titles like Security Analyst, Information Security Specialist, Network Security Administrator, etc.

Indeed makes it easy to filter job results by education requirements, so you can focus on cyber security jobs that only need a high school diploma or associate’s degree. Pay attention to the qualifications section in the job descriptions to confirm degree requirements. Entry-level cyber security jobs may emphasize skills or experience over formal education. With Indeed’s job alert feature, you can get email notifications whenever new relevant cyber security jobs are posted that match your search criteria.

  • LinkedIn  

With over 950 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn is a valuable platform for finding cybersecurity jobs without a college degree. Rather than anonymous job postings, LinkedIn listings are posted by actual companies and recruiters. You can search for entry-level cyber security roles and filter by education to find “no degree required” jobs. Focus on skills-based jobs like security analyst, security engineer, security specialist, etc.

The great thing about LinkedIn is you can connect directly with the company, hiring manager, or recruiter. Having a complete LinkedIn profile allows you to showcase relevant skills, certifications, and experience even without a college degree. You can also follow companies you’re interested in to get notified when they post jobs. LinkedIn Premium features like LinkedIn Job Search make it even easier to find and apply for cybersecurity jobs perfect for your background.

  • Glassdoor

Glassdoor is a job search site where you can find cybersecurity job listings that don’t require applicants to have a college degree. When searching, use filters like “no degree”, “high school diploma,” or “associate’s degree” under the education tab. Focus on entry-level cyber security roles like information security analyst, network security administrator, security specialist, etc. The job descriptions will specify if a degree is not needed to apply.

A major benefit of Glassdoor is you can read reviews from current and past employees to get insights into the company culture and work environment. This helps assess if it’s the right fit for someone starting out in cyber security without a degree. You can set up job alerts so Glassdoor emails you whenever new jobs match your search criteria. The open company reviews mean you have more transparency into the cyber security jobs you’re applying for.

Future Cybersecurity Job Projections

The future outlook for cybersecurity jobs is very promising, offering immense potential for challenging and well-compensated work protecting individuals, businesses, and governments from increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. Here are some key points about future cybersecurity job projections:

  • Demand for cybersecurity professionals is rapidly growing due to increasing cyber threats. According to Statista, there were over 755,743 cybersecurity job openings in the U.S. as of February 2023.
  • Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 33% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • High salaries reflect the skills gap. The average salary for an information security analyst in the U.S. is over $110,038 per year.

Bootcamps can help individuals gain entry into the cybersecurity field more quickly than traditional education paths. Bootcamps typically last 3-6 months and focus on hands-on skills.

Bootcamp graduates can earn respected industry certifications like CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker, and more. These certs help bootcamp grads stand out to employers.

Bootcamps connect students with cybersecurity professionals and hiring partners to help with job placement after graduation. Many bootcamps report 70-90% of graduates are hired within 6 months.

While bootcamps require motivation and dedication, they can pay off by preparing people for high-paying cybersecurity roles in a short period of time. With talent shortages in the field projected to continue, bootcamps create a pipeline of qualified candidates.

By getting certified through cybersecurity bootcamps or degree programs at colleges/universities, aspiring professionals can gain the in-demand skills to capitalize on these lucrative and future-proof career paths.

How Does CCS Learning Academy Get You Ready for a Cybersecurity Job Without IT Background?

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CCS Learning Academy makes learning cybersecurity possible even if you don’t have an IT background. 

Here is how we do it:

  1. We start with the basics. We teach the fundamental concepts in an easy way. You learn about computer networks, operating systems, and basic cybersecurity ideas step-by-step from the beginning.
  2. Our course focuses on hands-on learning. We use platforms that give you real-world scenarios to practice and apply what you learn. This gives you practical experience.
  3. We provide lots of resources for self-study and review. This includes reading material, practice exercises, and access to online platforms for continuous learning and skill improvement.
  4. Our instructors are experts in cybersecurity. They have real-world experience in the field. They guide you, answer your questions, and share insights from their experience.
  5. Our course prepares you for popular certifications like CompTIA Security+, CEH, and CISSP. This helps you earn these certifications successfully.
  6. We help with your career. We assist with resume writing, interview prep, and connections with industry partners. This helps you get your first cybersecurity job.

CCS Learning Academy makes cybersecurity education open to all. Our courses give you the knowledge and skills to start a successful cybersecurity career, even without an IT background. Whether you want to protect digital assets, stop cyber threats, or begin an in-demand career, we’re here to help you achieve your goals.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field with many career opportunities. As technology continues to advance, the demand for cybersecurity professionals will only increase. The good news is that there are many entry-level cybersecurity jobs that do not require a college degree. With the right combination of skills, certifications, and experience, you can break into the cybersecurity industry and begin building a rewarding career.

The jobs discussed in this article represent some of the top cybersecurity roles that are accessible without a 4-year degree. Whether you’re interested in a technical position like a security analyst or prefer a non-technical role, there are options out there for you. With cyber-attacks on the rise, organizations are looking to fill cybersecurity jobs at all levels.

For those looking to enter the cybersecurity profession without a degree, now is the time to start gaining relevant skills and certifications. Programs offered by CCS Learning Academy provide focused cybersecurity training and prep for industry certifications. Our courses allow you to learn the latest techniques and technologies from expert instructors. With the right training from CCS Learning Academy, you can gain the knowledge and credentials needed to qualify for these in-demand cybersecurity jobs.

The cybersecurity job market has openings waiting to be filled. Don’t let the lack of a degree hold you back from launching a lucrative career in this cutting-edge field. Take control of your future today by exploring cybersecurity courses and training programs.

FAQs

Q1: Can I really get a job in cybersecurity without a degree?

Answer: Yes, it is possible to start a career in cybersecurity without a traditional degree. Many employers value practical skills, certifications, and experience just as highly as a formal degree. Focusing on building skills through certifications, self-learning, and practical experience can open various opportunities in the field.

Q2: What are some common entry-level cybersecurity jobs that don’t require a degree?

Answer: Common entry-level jobs include roles like Cybersecurity Technician, IT Support with a focus on security, Network or System Administrator, Security Administrator, and Junior Penetration Tester. These positions often provide a pathway to more advanced cybersecurity roles.

Q3: What certifications can help me get into cybersecurity without a degree?

Answer: Certifications such as CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Cisco’s CCNA, and CompTIA Network+ are great starting points. They provide foundational knowledge and are well-recognized in the industry.

Q4: How important are soft skills in cybersecurity jobs?

Answer: Soft skills are very important in cybersecurity roles. Skills like problem-solving, attention to detail, effective communication, and a proactive mindset are crucial, especially when collaborating with teams and communicating security risks to non-technical stakeholders.

Q5: Can self-taught skills be enough to secure a job in cybersecurity?

Answer: Self-taught skills, especially when combined with certifications and practical experience, can be sufficient for many entry-level positions in cybersecurity. Demonstrating your skills through personal projects, volunteer work, or contributions to open-source projects can be highly beneficial.

Q6: Are there opportunities for remote work in cybersecurity jobs?

Answer: Yes, many cybersecurity jobs offer remote work opportunities. The nature of the work, which often involves digital and network-based tasks, makes it well-suited for remote work arrangements.

Q7: What is the average salary for entry-level cybersecurity jobs?

Answer: The average salary varies based on location, the specific role, and the individual’s skills and certifications. However, entry-level cybersecurity jobs generally offer competitive salaries, often ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 per year.

Q8: How can I gain practical experience in cybersecurity?

Answer: Gaining practical experience can be achieved through internships, entry-level IT jobs, participating in cybersecurity competitions (like CTFs), and working on personal or open-source projects. Volunteering to handle cybersecurity for small businesses or non-profits can also be a good way to gain experience.

Q9: What career advancement opportunities exist in cybersecurity?

Answer: Cybersecurity offers a clear path for career advancement. Entry-level professionals can move into roles like Security Analyst, Penetration Tester, Security Consultant, or Cybersecurity Manager with experience and additional certifications.

Q10: What are the best ways to stay updated with cybersecurity trends and skills?

Answer: Staying updated can be achieved by following cybersecurity blogs, attending webinars and conferences, participating in online forums and communities, and continuously learning through online courses and certifications.

Q11: Is it necessary to have a background in IT to start a career in cybersecurity?

Answer: While a background in IT can be beneficial, it’s not strictly necessary. Many professionals successfully transition into cybersecurity from other fields by acquiring relevant skills through certifications, self-study, and practical experience.

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