Private Sector Security Jobs
Many private companies understand the value of strong cyber security, and qualified cyber security professionals are in great demand. Professionals looking for a higher cyber security salary, and other benefits, may want to move from the public sector to the private sector.
While cyber security is obviously important for government agencies and not-for-profit organizations that work on the public’s behalf, private companies have their own security concerns.
These concerns are rapidly rising in the midst of a recent spate of cyber breaches within the private sector, with attacks on Anthem, Dailymotion, MySpace, Minecraft, Lynda, Tesco Bank and many others.
Unfortunately, cyber security professionals, especially well-qualified ones, are in short supply. A Vanson Bourne report found that 82 percent of respondents believe their organization lacks cyber security salary increases and basic cyber security skills.
Part of this problem relates to lapses in the educational system, including not enough emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses in elementary schools and high schools.
Cyber security is best suited to those with a certain personality that includes a strong desire to solve problems and a willingness to work through behavioral, legal, logistical, technical and financial issues.
Many private companies are looking to the public sphere to find qualified candidates to fill cyber security jobs. Some professionals have chosen to move from the public sphere to the private sector due to the range in cyber security salary and package benefits they can offer, with federal employees earning on average 35 percent less than private sector professionals.
Private Sector Cyber Security Salary and Benefits
One of the biggest benefits of the private sector is the higher cyber security salary potential. It is not uncommon for an analyst, for example, to earn between $70,000 and $120,000 per year, whereas those in the public sector average an average salary of $48,000 for an entry level role.
However, salary is not the only motivating factor. Cyber security jobs offer interesting challenges and the opportunity for leadership and accomplishment. Individuals in this field can work with the latest technology, which adds an excitement factor to the job.
There is also great job satisfaction in knowing that one is working at the cutting edge of cyber security to protect large amounts of customer data and information, often at very high stakes.
Cyber security professionals actively seek private sector employers that are leaders in their field and that boast strong reputations. They also appreciate opportunities to address leading cyber security challenges and forge new paths for professional growth.
In addition, those holding cyber security jobs enjoy a dynamic industry and the opportunity to work with other people with equal education, experience, and problem-solving abilities. Despite the efforts of recruiters to poach professionals, many in this industry tend to stay with a single employer for many years.
Challenges of Private Sector Security Jobs
Cyber threats are constantly changing, and those who try to combat them must not only adapt but also attempt to predict what’s on the horizon. These professionals must be able to work closely with others to develop rigorous, relevant solutions.
Cyber fraud is a growing concern, as are ransomware and email scams. In addition, as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, ways to counteract threats to its security must expand as well.
The number of connected devices in our everyday lives is expected to grow to 200 billion by 2020, giving hackers more opportunities to disrupt devices and privacy.
The past few years have highlighted numerous private sector organizations that failed to adapt and address cyber security concerns. Target’s infamous 2013 breach, where more than 40 million credit and debit card accounts were comprised, resulted in the retail giant paying $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit.
Ensuring your private sector organization is prepared for ever-evolving cyber threats is a critical concern for cyber security professionals, and it’s a concern that could have wide-ranging ramifications for the company, its customers, and its stakeholders.
Making the Transition from Public to Private Sector
Those with cyber security jobs in the public sector are well positioned to make the transition to the private sector, particularly military personnel. Veterans and military personnel may lack corporate experience, but they typically have a wealth of security talent and a valuable ability to see cyber security in terms of defense.
In addition, those with military experience are accustomed to strict policies and guidelines.
Teri Matzkin, a military relations manager at Lockheed Martin, says veterans made up 36 percent of the company’s new hires in 2015.
“In addition to understanding and sharing the national security and defense mission, many have worked on or beside our systems and platforms while in the military. Such skills and knowledge make veterans immediately valuable to our programs and also enhance their own personal continued success.”
Cyber security professionals in the public sector also have the benefit of security clearance, which makes them good candidates for positions within private companies that contract with the government.
What You Need to Make the Switch
Private sector cyber security jobs typically require a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in computer science, cyber security or a similar field. Those looking to transition from the public sector to the private sector should take advantage of any rebates or government incentives for higher education. A
Those looking to transition from the public sector to the private sector should take advantage of any rebates or government incentives for higher education. A
A Master’s degree in cyber security could help those in the public sector invest in their skill development and transition into the private sector.
Discover the differences between the public and private sector for cyber security professionals by exploring our career roadmap.