How to Become a CyberSecurity Specialist

Cyber Security Specialist

Cybersecurity is an up and coming field; being a cybersecurity specialist involves keeping an eye on any potential harmful viruses and preventing them before they can impact a company.

Cybersecurity specialists can work across industries, but their job description remains the same – to protect businesses against harmful attacks.

People with a keen amount of technical knowledge and foundation of experience could excel in the cybersecurity field. It is a highly technical role, and one that is vital to a company’s well being – and with the rise in technology resulting in a rise of viruses and data attacks, this career will only become more in demand.

Cybersecurity specialists keep tabs on company data by analysing the business’s systems for cyber security, keeping updated with potential risks, assessing the probability of being a victim of a cyber attack or security breach, and tweaking the security situation to make sure it stays tightened.

While being a cybersecurity specialist is a relatively new role, any business that has a strong online presence recognises that it is a very important one. Cyber attacks are incredibly dangerous for a company’s reputation; Should there be a data breach, people can easily lose faith in the company. Cyber attacks can cause websites to fail, which can result in a direct loss of income, or they can indirectly halt production. The entire company can be impacted by any kind of cyber attack, which makes a cybersecurity specialist’s job crucial.

To become a cybersecurity specialist, an applicant would typically need to be a graduate in information security or another related degree (involving computing). Naturally, someone in this position should have a vast knowledge of technology and show a keen interest in cybersecurity. This can be proved through extra education and work experience. It is also beneficial if a candidate has experience in a certain industry. Cybersecurity specialists will often enter into the profession in internship roles and work their way up; security certifications are necessary for top roles.

As a cybersecurity specialist moves up the career ladder, their salary improves a great deal, and seniors can enjoy a very good wage. 


What degree is most commonly held by a Cyber Security Specialist?

  • BA / M of IT
  • BA / M of Cyber Security
  • BA / M of Computer Science

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: High
Due to the niche nature of a cybersecurity specialist’s job, and the need for them all over the world, they are hugely in demand. This, and the fact that it is not a people-focused role where another culture and language might need to be understood, makes it quite easy for the right person to work in another country. A cybersecurity specialist would have to spend some time building their skills before being applicable to overseas jobs.

What is the Salary of a Cyber Security Specialist?

Experience Average salary | year
Cyber Security Analyst $100,000 £62,881 $115,000
Cyber Security Consultant 1-4 Years $150,000 £82,018 $150,000
Information Technology Director 5+ Years $225,000 £92,954 $170,000

What skills are needed to become a Cyber Security Specialist?

  • Security
  • Management
  • Network Security
  • Information Security
  • Project Management
  • Networking
  • Leadership
  • Computer Security
  • ITIL
  • Information Security Management
  • Microsoft Office
  • Information Technology
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Cloud Computing
  • Customer Service
  • Active Directory
  • Team Leadership
  • Firewalls
  • Risk Management
  • Integration
  • IT Strategy
  • IT Service Management
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Troubleshooting
  • Windows Server

Cyber Security Specialist Courses

For those wondering how to become a cybersecurity specialist, It’s a really good idea to do some extra courses to supplement training. At FutureLearn, we have some good options: an introduction to cybersecurity or the cybersecurity landscape, to name a few for starters.
  • Introduction to Cyber Security

    Discover essential cyber security knowledge and skills and learn how you can better protect your digital life

  • The Cyber Security Landscape

    Understand cyber security today explore threats and the key functions of cyber security within a commercial organisation

  • Automotive Cyber Security: An Introduction

    Discover automotive cyber security and explore how cyber attacks and car hacking can expose security flaws in vehicles

  • Cyber Security for Small and Medium Enterprises: Identifying Threats and Preventing Attacks

    Discover what common cyber threats and attacks face small and medium enterprises and what you can do to prevent them

  • Cyber Security in the Software Development Life Cycle

    Examine security in the software development life cycle and discuss the legal and ethical aspects of secure systems

  • Introduction to Cybersecurity for Teachers

    Explore key concepts of cybersecurity to teach 14-16 year-old students with this online cybersecurity course supported by Google

  • Basics of Network Security

    Explore the basic concepts of networks and network security and the tools used by network engineers and attackers

  • Network Defence Management Overview

    Explore the basic requirements of network defence management

  • Security Operations

    Examine the role and composition of a security operations centre SOC and how it works within an organisation

Cyber Security Specialist Microcredentials

  • Cyber Security Operations (Cisco)

    Upskill in cyber security operations and enhance your working knowledge of cyber security with Cisco and The Open University

Need even more evidence about why you should learn on FutureLearn?

We partner with over 170 world-class universities, institutions and industry leaders to create world-class courses to help you with your career. Whether you’re just starting out, wanting to deepen your knowledge or change direction, FutureLearn and our partners can help. These are just a few of our world-leading partners.