What is cyber security – and how can I find work?

Looking for a new skill? Cyber security could be for you…

With businesses increasingly concerned about the safety and security of their information, demand for people working in the industry is on the rise. In fact, cyber security jobs advertised on reed.co.uk are up 99% year-on-year – meaning there’s never been a better time get started.

We spoke to the experts at e-Careers, one of the UK’s biggest providers of cyber security qualifications, to find out more about the current skills shortage – and how you can help fill it.


What is cyber security?    

Cyber security is the name given to the technologies and processes set out to protect online data – primarily from attacks and unauthorised access.

It’s a billion pound industry, and one that continues to grow as threats from the likes of malware, ransomware, phishing, DDoS attacks and hacking steadily increase.


Why is cyber security important?

With almost all of our personal data now stored online, cyber security attacks have the potential to completely ruin businesses – not to mention people’s lives – in the process.

And with a number of recent high-profile attacks, such as those on the NHS, Yahoo and LinkedIn, companies are becoming increasingly concerned with any potential leaks that could occur.

This means companies large and small are turning to cyber security professionals to help them keep their sites and their customers’ details safe.


Why is there a cyber security skills gap?

Because of how fast the numbers of cyber security opportunities out there are rising, the UK workforce is struggling to meet demand.

According to a 2020 report on the UK cyber security labour market, approximately 653,000 businesses (48%) have a basic skills gap, in areas such as setting up configured firewalls, storing or transferring personal data, and detecting and removing malware. A further 408,000 businesses (30%) have more advanced skills gaps, in areas such as penetration testing, forensic analysis and security architecture.

And with the number of threats continuing to increase every year, the problem is only set to get bigger unless more people start to get the skills they need to help fill the gap.


What cyber security jobs are there?

Cyber security is an incredibly diverse field, with staff specialising in everything from different platforms and types of technology (such as cloud storage and apps) through to certain skills (e.g. hacking and analysis).

Some examples of cyber security jobs could include:

  • Cyber Security Engineer
  • SOC Analyst
  • Software Security Officer
  • Security Administrator
  • Ethical Hacker
  • Web Developer
  • Cloud Security Consultant


How much could I earn in cyber security?

Cyber security roles are amongst the highest paying jobs in tech.

Salaries range from around £20,000 for entry-level Cyber Security Consultants, through to well over £100,000 for Security Directors at the top tech companies.


How can I find a job in cyber security?

The fastest way to find a role in cyber security is to get qualified.

There are a wide range of different certifications out there, whether you’ve already got some experience in the industry, or you’re a complete beginner.

Many of them can be taken online, and are self-paced, meaning you can fit them around your current schedule. And with some courses starting right away, and with plenty of payment options available, you could be qualified in a matter of months.

Other ways to break into the industry include internships and apprenticeships, as well as working your way up from another tech-based role, such as Network Engineer or Web Developer.


What certifications are there?

Some of the most popular cyber security certifications include:

  • CompTIAThe world’s most popular entry-level IT certifications, with networking and security-specific levels to help you get up-to-speed and security qualified fast.
  • CCNA Security – Part of the globally respected CISCO framework, CCNA Security teaches how to keep networks secure, and how to deal with a variety of security threats.
  • Certified Ethical Hacker – This qualification will allow you to apply for ethical hacking roles right away, to help companies detect potential security vulnerabilities before they’re exploited by people outside the company.

Most of these qualifications have no formal prerequisites to get started, and are also available in bundles – like e-Career’s Cyber Security Job Academy Programme, which includes Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), CompTIA Network+, ISO/IEC 27001 Certification Foundation Level, CompTIA CySA+, and a job placement.

Not sure whether Cyber Security is right for you? This Cyber Virtual Learning Event is completely free, and will give you key insights into what a career in cyber security would actually look like.

View all Cyber Security courses with e-Careers


Why study with e-Careers?

e-Careers is an award winning EdTech institution, offering both online and traditional classroom-based courses, depending on which one works best for you. So whether you want to study alongside others, or from the comfort of your own home, the choice is yours.

Their training videos are led by experts within their field, many of whom possess at least 15 years’ experience in their profession.

And aside from competitive prices and excellent customer support, they offer, visual presentations, quizzes and exam simulators to help make your course as interactive and supportive as possible.


Find out more



Ready to start studying? Find a Cyber Security course with e-Careers today.



e-Careers support 590,000 students across the world, helping them fulfil their potential and earn qualifications in everything from project management through to IT, accountancy and more. Reach your goals by taking an e-Careers course today.