The cybersecurity job market is evolving to meet the challenges of a rapidly growing industry. While the technical skills and characteristics of a cybersecurity engineer remain the same, a new set of communication and analytical skills are now helping candidates to be successful in the field.

Closing the job gap

According to the (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, 3.4 million jobs—and counting—are up for grabs. With supply and demand fueling this enormous shortfall, employers are reframing what it takes to land a cybersecurity job. Up until now, possessing strong technical skills has been a fundamental factor in working in the cybersecurity industry. Today, that is still true, but it is only part of the equation. Cyber leaders—or chief information security officers (CISOs)—now take a different approach when searching for new hires which may include a deeper analytical skillset as AI takes on more of the technical, automated tasks.

Elevating your skill set

As the likelihood of cyber threats increases, cybersecurity engineers are being asked to step out of their comfort zones to interact with customers. This means that these tech-experts—whose top strength is not always communication skills—are now in the spotlight and must incorporate this ability to succeed in the cybersecurity world. Today, candidates seeking to land a position in cybersecurity need to perfect their analytical/communication skills—along with their technical skills—to compete in this in-demand market. Here are some of the skills employers are looking for in a strong cybersecurity candidate:

  • Strong oral communication skills
  • Strong technical writing skills
  • Being collaborative
  • Problem solver
  • Critical thinker
  • Negotiator

Integrating AI—the shift from a reactive to a proactive approach

Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools, cybersecurity engineers are now shifting their roles—and mindsets—to take a more proactive approach to reducing cyber threats, rather than focusing and responding to them. AI can help analysts detect threats, identify anomalies, and create automated response systems. According to the Tines Voice of the SOC report, “nine out of 10 security teams are automating at least some of their work, and 93 percent of respondents believe that more automation would improve their work-life balance.” So, what does this mean for cybersecurity engineers working in the industry? For starters, these new automation tools allow them to prepare for threats before they occur. By actively looking internally and externally for threats, these professionals can now take a break from repetitive, mundane tasks and focus on developing policies and strategies (based on researching cyberattack incidents) to prevent cyberattacks from happening.

Here are some specific skills that cybersecurity engineers should acquire to keep up with a changing industry:

  • Design and implement secure systems.
  • Analyze data to understand cyber risks and create reports.
  • Use data and research to create strategies that block cyber-attacks.
  • Reinforce cybersecurity policies that will reduce vulnerabilities.
  • Stay educated on the latest industry skills and knowledge.

What it takes to become a cybersecurity engineer

Do you love a challenge? If your answer is “yes,” then you may be a great candidate to become a cybersecurity engineer. Even better news is that whether you’re searching for a new career or getting an early start thinking about your future, the job outlook for the cybersecurity field is wide open.

Here is a snapshot of a few key things you need to know:


Bachelor’s degree in computer science, IT Systems or a related field. Vaughn College offers two degrees in the field of cybersecurity, computer engineering and computer science.


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts earn a median salary of $112,000 a year. Over the next eight years, the job outlook is projected to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 32 percent, which makes this a superior and lucrative career choice.

Start with Vaughn’s Computer Engineering Summer Academy

What it’s about

Vaughn’s Computer Engineering Summer Academy is a free, in-person, four-week program that’s open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors as well as college students who are interested in the fields of computer engineering, cybersecurity and AI – to get a taste of what these fields are like and if you might want to explore pursuing a degree in them. It’s a great first step to explore and discover your interests in this emerging field.

Why you should attend

Industry professionals believe that one of the solutions to closing the gap on the shortage of cybersecurity engineers is to introduce the field to students as early as middle school and high school. Attending Vaughn’s Computer Engineering Summer Academy is a great way to gain theory and hands-on experience while learning about today’s most influential topics in the industry.

When it’s happening

The 2024 summer academy will run from July 8 through August 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a break for lunch. You can register here. Vaughn is offering many other STEM-focused summer programs – learn more about them and see which is right for you!

Discover the possibilities that a career in this in-demand field can bring you. Vaughn’s degree programs in computer engineering and computer science can be your gateway to a bright career path. It’s your future. Let’s make it work! Apply today.