Careers in Cyber Security

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In 2021, it was reported that there were around 3 million cyber security positions not filled. Could YOU be one of the skilled cyber professionals of the future, filling this skills gap?

The UK Government (DCMS) reported on cyber security skills gaps in 2020, and found that around 7 in 10 cyber sector businesses had tried to recruit someone in a cyber role within the last 3 years. These employers reported over one-third of their vacancies as being hard to fill.

Cyber security graduates earn a salary of around £35,000 a year, and in the South East, the average advertised salary for an experienced cyber security role is around £60,000, and some specialist, highly skilled roles pay £150,000+!

There are so many cyber security roles – a mix of technical and non-technical. Not all require you to be a code ninja… the majority suit excellent problem solvers and communicators rather than specific cyber skill. Lots of roles are around strategy, incident response, consulting and management – there’s a role which would fit almost everyone.

Currently, Inspired Careers lists over 80 cyber security roles. To find out more about the wide range of jobs available in the industry, and the skills required for each, check out their page. also have a useful page: What are cyber security roles? If you search on any jobsite for “cyber security”, you will soon see the number and variety of roles available for yourself!

Spotlight on…

Each month, we will put a spotlight on two different careers in the cyber security industry, looking at job roles, skills required, training routes in and salaries.

This month, we are looking at Penetration Testers and Cyber Security Analysts.

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Penetration Tester
  • A Penetration Tester’s job is to break into a system by simulating a cyber attack in order to identify and report on security vulnerabilities.
  • There are a variety of types of Pentester who work against different types of system, including web and web application, network, device and physical systems
  • Pentesting isn’t just a technical skill – it suits those who are problem solvers and lateral thinkers, with analytical skills and an attention to detail
  • Pentesters work for large or small companies as well as there being a lot of independent freelance workers
  • Starting Salary £20-£30,000
  • Typical Salary £40-£65,000 – more is not unusual
  • Often flexible working / working from home
  • Routes in include degrees, apprenticeships and industry qualification
  • Read more at Prospects
  • Read more at Inspired Careers
Cyber Security Analyst
  • Cyber security analysts help to protect an organisation by employing a range of technologies and processes to prevent, detect and manage cyber threats. This can include protection of computers, data, networks and programmes.
  • They work either for a specific company or on a consultancy basis
  • Starting Salary £25-£35,000
  • Typical Salary £35-£50,000 – senior analysts earn £70,000+
  • Routes in include degrees, apprenticeships and industry qualification
  • Read more at Prospects
  • Read more at Inspired Careers

Jobs in the Computer Games Industry

There are also lots of available careers in the computer games industry. Roles encompass the creative arts including idea generation, storyboard creation and graphical design to the physical coding and development of the game engine. As gaming has moved online there is also a massive industry around the technology and infrastructure required to support that and the cyber security of games and gaming platforms.

Read more about these kinds of jobs at Prospects:

The UK has a number of top-level Computer Games companies developing many of the latest releases. Some simple online searches can connect you with apprenticeships and internships with these companies.