What does a career in Cyber look like?
Cyber – also known as cybersecurity – is an ever-changing industry, where there’s exciting employment opportunities across a huge range of industries! The cyber workforce helps protect organisations – business, government and not-for-profit – from cyber threats, including ransomware and hacking.
They help limit Australia’s national security risk from sophisticated cyber threats, protect online sales, financial transfers, fundraising and valuable online data and systems.
South Australia is already growing a strong cyber industry, as home to 25 cyber specialist companies, including large firms, supporting some of the nation’s largest defence contracts.
It is also home to the $10 million Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre at Lot Fourteen, in Adelaide’s CBD, where businesses and entrepreneurs alike go to test new products and services.
To meet growing demand for cybersecurity products and services it’s forecast that Australia will require about 17,000 more cybersecurity workers by 2026, including cyber security analysts, engineers and penetration testers.
Examples of jobs in Cyber?
Cyber is dynamic, diverse and specialised. Here are just a few examples of different jobs requiring a range of skill sets.
A Cybersecurity Analyst (also known as a vulnerability assessment analyst) is a mid-career role in the cyber security field, filled by critical thinkers who detect threats to an organisation’s networks and implement solutions to protect them.
The scope of a Cybersecurity Analyst’s role can vary depending on the size of the organisation they work for. At a small company, Analysts may be responsible for all information security analysis and detection. At a larger company, like a defence contractor or financial institution, an Analyst may be part of a larger team, where responsibilities are divided across protection and security. In South Australia Analysts are sought after by energy providers, the education sector, public service and consulting firms supporting the finance sector and many others.
- configuring tools and monitoring network activity
- analysing reports and data to identify threats
- proactively identifying vulnerabilities through testing, scanning and assessment reports
- planning and recommending changes in security measures
- applying security patches.
Average wage information is based on South Australian positions advertised with Seek.
A Cybersecurity Specialist or Technician is generally an entry-level role for graduates. They work as part of IT teams, dedicated to protecting the integrity of a organisation’s network and data.
Responsibilities may include:
- searching for vulnerabilities and risks in hardware and software.
- managing, monitoring and responding to attacks
- building firewalls and other infrastructure
- suggesting security measures
- designing strategies and defence systems.
Average wage information applies to 'Specialist' only.
A Cybersecurity Engineer or Consultant helps design and implement programs to keep an organisation’s online activity safe, often focusing on the software used to manage that.
A Cybersecurity Engineer is at the top of their game, with Consultant the mid-career pathway to this role. Cybersecurity threats change quickly, so it goes without saying that a Engineer needs to stay on top of trends and developments in the industry, new information, security protocols, guidelines and procedures.
It is this knowledge that equips them to manage security while building software systems, networks and data centres. Cybersecurity Engineers are often employed by large defence contracting companies or major consulting firms. South Australia is home to a multitude of defence contractors as well as an ever-growing list of global consulting firms, so passionate professionals can expect increasing demand for their skills as they climb the career ladder.
- developing, planning and implementing security measures that ensure the safety of data, systems and networks
- performing threat analysis and penetration testing
- troubleshooting security issues
- managing teams responding to security breaches
- evaluating the organisation’s security needs and communicating cybersecurity protocols and best practice.
While Consultant roles are generally the mid-career pathway to Cyber Security Engineering positions, Consultants may achieve a higher salary than Engineers, due to the temporary nature of consulting work. However, graduate entry-level ‘consultant’ roles are likely to reflect lower salaries around $50,000-$70,000.
A Security Administrator is an advanced career role, and involves advising organisations and guiding their internal security procedures as they relate to information technology infrastructure. A recent report about South Australia’s cybersecurity workforce, indicated this was one of the most in-demand roles in the cyber industry in South Australia – and also the hardest to fill. So, if you have adaptable skills in IT or cybersecurity and you’re looking for career advancement, you might want to consider education or training pathways to this role.
- defending systems against access from unauthorised users
- performing vulnerability and penetration tests
- monitoring for suspicious activity
- configuring and supporting security tools, such as firewalls and antivirus software
- identifying threats and defending against them
- developing security awareness and protocols.
The role of a Penetration Tester – also known as “ethical hacker” – is a popular one in the cybersecurity world. It’s a mid-career role and as the name suggests, they are the ultimate tester of security infrastructure! It is a Penetration Tester’s role to infiltrate a computer system to test for vulnerabilities. While the task of penetration testing is also often part of the responsibilities Cyber Security Engineers and Consultants, third-party Penetration Testers are often brought in to independently test security as they specialise in understanding new hacking techniques and may find vulnerabilities that someone directly involved in the project, had not yet considered.
- performing penetration tests on computer systems and applications
- identifying vulnerabilities through new testing approaches
- assessing systems, servers and networks
- understanding how hackers exploit vulnerabilities and their latest techniques
- searching for weaknesses, including those presented by users
- researching and documenting findings.
A Cybersecurity Architect, also called a Security Architect, protects an organisation’s network systems, including critical data. While similar to the role of Engineers, in that it is one of the most senior roles in the cyber industry, it is often defined more so by the focus on longer-term strategic planning to enhance cybersecurity.
- reviewing the security system and recommending enhancements
- planning and conducting regular tests
- developing project timelines for ongoing system upgrades
- establishing security protocols
- ensuring staff have IT system access that is appropriate to role requirements
- communicating security protocols to other departments.
Jobs available right now
Employers in the Cyber Industry
There's exciting employment opportunities across a number of specialised cyber businesses in South Australia. Check out a few of them here or visit the AUCyberscape national index of Australian cyber businesses and narrow the search field to South Australia. You can also visit the Employer Directory to see more employers in other industries too.
The information on this page is accurate at the time of original publish (September 2021). Job projections within the sectors are based on economic data and reporting over multiple years and is subject to fluctuation and change. Jobs featured on this site are a current list of advertised opportunities within the sectors featured and jobs available on external employers’ web links. Users are encouraged to independently check and research career opportunities as more job opportunities become available within the sector.