8 Cyber Security Job Descriptions (+Interview Questions)

Mara Calvello
Mara Calvello  |  September 17, 2019

Cybercrime is on the rise, and it’s your job to protect us.

At least, you’d like it to be. With cyber security attacks and data breaches seemingly around every corner, cyber security jobs are a hot commodity and there’s never been a better time to capitalize on this sector.

If you’d like to join a team of professionals that work to stop these attacks in their tracks, then a career in cyber security is the perfect place for you. Unsure where to start or which jobs you should be applying for? Keep reading.

What are the most common cyber security jobs?

Whether you’re just beginning your search or looking to make a career change, the cyber security field is a great place to start. There are a lot of cyber security jobs that you can choose to apply for. Here’s a quick look at the most common titles in the industry.

Some of these roles may look familiar, and some may sound totally out of your wheelhouse - but that may not be the case! Keep reading to learn more about each role, their requirements, and their average salary.

Note: All salary information for the job titles listed below have been pulled from Payscale.com and represent the average annual salary for roles based in the US.

Systems Administrator

As a System Administrator, you’ll keep the company’s IT systems up and running. This role is vital as it ensures that employees can access the appropriate system when they need it most. Most employers looking for someone to fill this role will require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field.

Job requirements include:

  • Ensure the software and hardware that is used is working as intended
  • Install all applications needed to support the organization
  • Update systems with new software as it’s released
  • Maintain user accounts and access

Average annual salary for a Systems Administrator: $60,000

Data Security Analyst

As a Data Security Analyst, your job is to protect sensitive data the company stores or has access to. This could be anything from names, billing information or credit card information to Social Security Numbers. People within this role are employed through the information technology sector of a company and will have a strong understanding of programming and networking operations.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Build firewalls and switches for new remote notes
  • Track performance of network devices
  • Identify and resolve and issues
  • Respond to network and security escalations from all other departments
  • Build core data center network devices and integrate with other devices

Average annual salary for a Data Security Analyst: $67,000

Related: Learn more about data security and how to avoid a breach.

Software Developer

The role of a Software Developer is going to largely depend on the needs of the company or organization. Some build and maintain the systems that run devices and networks, while others develop various applications that make it possible for unique tasks on a computer or device. Usually, they either manage the front-end or back-end software, and a developer that manages both is called a full-stack developer. Software developers typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Modify software errors, adapting new software, and improving its performance
  • Consult engineering staff to evaluate software-hardware interfaces
  • Design and develop software systems to predict and measure outcomes
  • Resolve complex technical design issues
  • Install, customize, and integrated software packages
  • Facilitate root cause analysis of system issues

Average annual salary for a Software Developer: $70,000

Related: Beyond getting a job as a Software Developer, there are many other reasons why you should learn to code

Cyber Security Analyst

A Cyber Security Analyst strives to detect cyber threats and then works to implement changes to protect an organization against them. Companies looking for this type of role are looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, cyber security, programming, or a related field, in addition to a previous role of a Network or System Administrator.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Manage and configures tools to monitor activity surrounding the network
  • Apply patch management software to protect the network
  • Analyze reports from various antivirus software to identify unusual behavior on the network
  • Identify vulnerabilities within the network using penetration testing, vulnerability scans, and assessment reports

Average annual salary for a Cyber Security Analyst: $75,000

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Network Security Engineer

Network Security Engineers, sometimes also referred to as Network Architects, have the responsibility of building and designing communication networks, including local area networks, wide area networks, and intranets. While most Network Security Engineers only have a bachelor's degree, some also have a master’s degree in a computer-related field, such as computer science, programming, or engineering.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Manage and troubleshooting the network
  • Analyze network traffic and predicting future needs of the bandwidth
  • Understand cyber security and how it affects the network
  • Stay informed on the latest technology and tools that can be used within their organization

Average annual salary for a Network Security Engineer: $85,000

Cyber Security Engineer

Those in the role of a Cyber Security Engineer work to build and maintain a system that’s safe against cyber attacks. Their main focus is to fix and protect the systems, stay up to date on new technology, and work with the IT team to create an emergency plan should they need to recover from a cyber attack.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Develop new solutions to solve cyber security issues, both existing and as new ones present themselves
  • Define, implement, and maintain the cyber security policies of the corporation
  • Configure and install firewalls and other detection systems
  • Supervise all changes to hardware and software

Average annual salary for a Cyber Security Engineer: $95,000

Related: Looking for a cool new place to move to? We have a guide on the best cities for tech jobs to get you started with your search.

IT Security Engineer

As an IT Security Engineer, you’ll monitor and protect the networks and computer systems for any security threats or attacks. Most companies are looking to hire an IT Security Engineer with a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on computer science, management information systems, or business.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Establish communication and procedures to help IT staff understand basic security needs
  • Issue risk assessment reports and projects
  • Coordinate responses for security incidents
  • Monitor all domain change logs
  • Evaluate and recommend new security solutions and products
  • Monitor and manage web and content filtering
  • Review and evaluate service provider security reports

Average annual salary for an IT Security Engineer: $125,000

Chief Information Security Officer

The top-tier cyber security job would be the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). This C-level executive will oversee the organization's IT department and staff. These roles are needed across a variety of industries, from healthcare, education, technology, and publishing. They typically have their bachelor’s degree in technology, mathematics, computers, engineering, or network security. A master’s degree in science is typically also needed for such a role, emphasizing on cyber security, information assurance, information security, and fraud management.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Anticipate new threats and actively work to prevent them
  • Work with other executives across departments to ensure security systems are running smoothly
  • Reduce organizations operational risks in the face of a security attack
  • Conduct employee security awareness training
  • Choose and purchase security products and tools from vendors

Average annual salary for a Chief Information Security Officer: $175,000

Common cyber security interview questions

Like any job interview, someone interviewing for a cyber security role needs to be able to speak knowledgeably about the field and their experience, so be sure to prepare for the interview ahead of time. In addition to the common interview questions you’ll be asked, you’ll probably find yourself faced with answering some a little more technical. Below are some examples that you should be prepared for.

  1. What is on your home network?
  2. How do you go about securing a server?
  3. Why is DNS monitoring important?
  4. What is SSL?
  5. What does RDP stand for?

Tip: Looking for more questions, plus the answers? Check out our free asset to ensure you’re ready for your interview!

Going on a Cyber Security Job Interview? Download FREE Q & A One-Sheet

Best cities for cyber security professionals

There’s no denying that cyber security jobs are a hot commodity, but do you live in a city where they’re booming and around every corner? Sure, you’ll find them in every city, but some provide more opportunities than others. Here are the six best cities for cyber security professionals.

Top Cities for Cyber Security Professionals


As more and more companies see the need for cyber security jobs, this list is likely to change. So, before you pack up and move, check out what your city has to offer!

The right cyber security job is out there

All you have to do is find it. When you identify the one from this list that matches with your unique skill set, all you have to do is click apply! Then, put on your superhero cape and protect the people from an attack! Or at the very least, protect the network.

To learn more, read 50 noteworthy cybercrime statistics or prepare for a career in cyber security when you learn more about common terms and attacks.

Advance your career: Over 25 resources, FREE.    Explore now →

Mara Calvello
Author

Mara Calvello

Mara is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2. In her spare time, she's typically at the gym polishing off a run, reading a book from her overcrowded bookshelf, or right in the middle of a Netflix binge. Obsessions include the Chicago Cubs, Harry Potter, and all of the Italian food imaginable.