The Ultimate Guide: How to Become a Network Security Engineer
The demand for network security engineers and professionals is constantly increasing. According to ISC2, there is a gap in cybersecurity workers of almost 4.1 million. This would require an increase of 145% in current professionals (2.8million) to fill. This raises serious security concerns for companies and governments that work to protect data assets. It also highlights the need for increased training to become a network security engineer.
Data is a valuable asset in many industries including banking, healthcare, and retail. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their methods, which will increase the demand for network security engineers who can protect data. If you are a computer science professional looking to further your career in the highly-growth field of cybersecurity, then you should review the steps to becoming a network security expert.
Network Security Engineer Job Description
A network security engineer is responsible for designing and managing security systems that protect organizational networks. The network security engineer is responsible for protecting systems against cyber threats such as malware, bugs, and hacking attempts. An IT professional must be able to identify and fix existing problems as well as create safeguards to prevent future attacks. It involves testing and configuring hardware and software systems.
What does a Network Security Engineer do?
A network security engineer is responsible for maintaining data integrity in an organization. They monitor the network for security breaches and carry out simulation attacks to find vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity engineers deal with viruses, trojan horses, phishing attacks, and other common vulnerabilities.
Network security engineers may be interested in developing the skills necessary to secure data. This includes installing firewalls and data encryption software that protect sensitive data.
Become a Network Security Engineer
Get a Bachelor’s Degree Network Security Engineer
A bachelor’s degree is required for most positions in network security. This should be in a computer-related field such as programming or computer science. For example, management system (MIS) programs allow graduates to learn about new technologies and other information that could be useful in their career as network security engineers. The University of Maryville’s online graduate in cyber security provides a foundation for network security career training.
Other degrees can be used as stepping stones for careers in network security. Online business administration courses allow students to study the differences between organizations and businesses in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Graduates can use the foundational knowledge they have gained in business to expand their knowledge into more specific areas. Understanding the organizational structures can help you understand what data is generated and what data protection requirements are.
Get a Master’s Degree Network Security Engineer
Employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree. This can help prepare graduates for leadership roles. An online master’s degree in software development is one example. This allows graduates to acquire versatile skills that can be used for many career paths. The skills covered include programming skills, mastering cloud environments and databases, and designing and creating accessible interfaces. This curriculum is highly specialized and broad.
These courses are part of the University’s online 30-hour degree program. It can be completed in 12 months.
- Intro to Programming
- Database Principles
- Design of the User Interface
- Data Structures
- Object-Oriented Software Architecture
University’s online master of science in cybersecurity program is another option. It provides career-specificity and helps students who want to be network security engineers. University’s Virtual Lab allows students to train remotely from virtually anywhere on the planet and any device. This curriculum is intended to help students prepare for careers as network security engineers.
- The online master’s program in cybersecurity includes:
- Mobile Device Hacking and Forensics
- Handling Incidents and Breaches
- Forensic Examination and Analysis
- For Cyber Defense Effective Controls
Build on-the-Job Experience
On-the-job training and taking initiative to improve your skills are key factors in standing out from the crowd. To be a network security engineer, you must become fluent in the related fields of programming languages and data networking.
You can also take these steps to help your career progression:
Certification, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional, can legitimize network security skills.
Take the initiative to keep up with the trends that affect large quantities of data An internship or other on-the-job experience can give you some experience.
Network Security Engineer Skills
These are the skills and talents that are most suitable for network security careers:
- Analytical skills to thoroughly examine computer networks and systems, and for identifying potential vulnerabilities
- Attention to detail is key to preventing cyber-attacks that are stealthy.
- For security risks that are not yet known, you can use your creativity and ingenuity to anticipate them and find new ways to mitigate them.
- You can quickly identify and fix network problems by using problem-solving skills
- Communication skills are needed to train leaders and coworkers on protection protocols and threats.
Technical network security engineer skills include:
- Current information security trends
- Programming and IT networking skills
- Ability to track and identify threats, including attacks and malfunctions, and to resolve them
- Security protocols building skills, including authentication systems
- The administrator of firewalls, routers, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), or other security tools
- Ability to maintain server, network, and WAN architectures
- Event reporting and documentation of infrastructure
- Cyber laws and compliance
Network Security Engineer salaries and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 32% increase in network security engineer careers between 2018 and 2028. The field’s growth is driven by increased awareness of the importance and rise in ransomware attacks on institutions, from municipalities to hospitals, as well as large-scale data breaches.
Network security is a field that rewards those who have more experience. PayScale confirms that the following sliding pay scale applies to network security engineers.
- Experience of one to four years: $74,000
- Experience of five to nine years: $88,000
- Experience between 10 and 19 Years: $103,000
- Experience of more than 20 years: $114,000
Training in network security can also lead to higher-paying jobs such as chief information security officer and lead software security engineer.