Cybersecurity

Summary

Just about everything is online now—maybe even your doorbell or your refrigerator. Certainly your banking and healthcare data and email. And our public utilities. And in one way or another every company’s critical data, trade secrets, and operational infrastructure. The dramatic rise in connectivity delivers great consumer and economic benefits, but creates ever more vulnerabilities for bad actors to exploit. Attacks from criminals, corporate competitors, and foreign governments and their agents are constant. Every organization needs an active defense. And so cybersecurity professionals are in high demand in Chicago and around the country.

According to industry-leader Cisco, “Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These cyberattacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting normal business processes.” Effective cybersecurity requires an integrated strategy across technology, processes, and the behaviors of people within the organization. And it involves a range of positions from the architect to the professionals who make sure the systems are operating and the strategy is working.

Career examples

Below are a few examples of occupations within this career path that are expected to grow over the next 10 years in the U.S., including in Chicago. Jobs in this career path require expertise in programs that our renowned academic partners are offering.

Job title
Cybersecurity architect
Level
Senior

Works at a high level and creates a blueprint of systems that will protect the security of large databases, including databases with customer information and patient files.

Average salary
$115k
Chicago Jobs
267 jobs posted in the past 12 months
Expected U.S. growth

23% in the next 10 years

Desired skills
  • Information security, network security, and cryptography.
  • Typically requires a bachelor’s degree.
  • About 60% of job postings require 6+ years of experience.
Job title
Cybersecurity manager / administrator
Level
Mid-level to senior

Monitors, controls and maintains systems that protect the security of large databases, including databases with customer information and patient files. This job role manages and administers the examination of client computer systems; identifies weak points in security, development and the implementation of new systems; and monitors and responds to security issues.

Average salary
$106k
Chicago Jobs
611 jobs posted in the past 12 months
Expected U.S. growth
23% in the next 10 years
Desired skills
  • Information security, project management, information systems, customer service.
  • 40% of jobs require 3-5 years of past experience.
  • About 50% require 6+ years of experience.
Job title
Information security engineer/analyst
Level
Mid-level

Uses blueprint provided by a cybersecurity architect to build systems that protect the security of large databases, including databases with customer information and patient files.

Average salary
$96k
Chicago Jobs
5,000 jobs posted in the past 12 months
Expected U.S. growth
23% in the next 10 years
Desired skills
  • Information security, information systems, Linux, and network security.
  • This job usually requires a bachelor’s degree.
  • About 50% of job postings require 3-5 years of experience.
  • Sample Certificates: CISSP, SANS/GIAC Certification, CISA, and CompTIA Security+
Footnotes
  • Note on Credentials: Greater than 70% of all job postings in each pathway required a bachelor’s degree; certifications were only required occasionally.
  • Note on Occupations: This sample list of occupations within the career paths is not exhaustive.
  • Note on Data: Number of job postings in Chicago and expected job growth in Chicago includes data for the Chicago–Naperville-Elgin IL–IN–WI Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes the metropolitan area of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.
  • Sources: Burning Glass Technologies. (2020) “Labor Insight Real-Time Labor Market Information Tool.” [Data File]. https://laborinsight.burning-glass.com/us#dashboards/occupation-profile . Retrieved May 5, 2020; US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020) “Employment Projections.” Retrieved May 6, 2020.
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