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.

Cybercrime is a lucrative business that is predicted to cost companies—globally—an estimated $10.5 trillion by 2025. With a single cyberattack occurring every 11 seconds, organizations aren’t wasting time in hiring cybersecurity professionals to safeguard their data and computer networks. In fact, experts predict that companies could spend as much as $1.75 trillion for information security. So, who exactly are these professionals that companies are hiring to protect their data?

This month, Vaughn College explores the demand for cybersecurity professionals and the various jobs in this field. Read on to learn how a degree in computer engineering from Vaughn could be your pathway to cashing in on this futureproof career.

Demand for cybersecurity professionals

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts are among the fastest growing occupations in the country—with a projected growth rate of 35 percent over the next nine years. In the U.S. alone, it was reported there are more than 700,000 job openings in the cybersecurity-related field, with approximately 1.8 million positions worldwide that will go unfilled this year. With demand at an all-time high—and no end of sight for the need to protect company data—the future is bright for a career in cybersecurity.

Companies with the greatest need

Every industry—including banking, utility companies, government organizations and healthcare—has come to depend on the world’s cyber infrastructure in order to operate. Last year, the heads of industry giants Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon were among the leaders who met with President Biden at the White House to discuss how the nation’s cybersecurity might be improved through a collaboration with the government and private sector. It’s important to note that cybercrime doesn’t discriminate against big corporations. Were you aware that approximately 43 percent of cyberattacks are directed at small businesses? On any given day, owners of these businesses have their hands full in juggling several responsibilities, thus leaving their interests vulnerable to be exploited by cybercriminals. In fact, only about 14 percent of these small businesses are prepared to defend their data.

Cybersecurity careers to meet the demand

As you can imagine, there are several different cybersecurity careers—each with its own set of critical roles—to protect companies from cybercriminals. Here are some career paths to consider:

Cybersecurity engineer

These professionals are responsible for protecting a company’s network and data from unauthorized access—or cyberattack—by designing cybersecurity platforms and building emergency plans in the event of a disaster.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a cybersecurity engineer:
  • Develop and enforce security plans, standards and protocols
  • Collaborate with other teams to maintain overall security
  • Create and install firewalls and intrusion detection systems
  • Update security software, hardware and facilities
  • Running encryption programs
  • Moving data and information after a detected security issue
Required skills:
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to explain complex issues to management and offer solutions for current security plans and procedures
  • Ability and willingness to work with law enforcement following a cyberattack
  • Risk assessment
  • Computer forensics
  • Secure coding practices
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree—or higher—in computer engineering, cybersecurity, infosec or a related field is required to work as a cybersecurity engineer.

Cybersecurity analyst

Anyone in this role analyzes reports to identify and examine cyber threats that include viruses, worms, bots and Trojans. Cybersecurity analysts develop malware protection tools to ensure that practices are properly implemented and followed. The scope of their responsibilities is expansive.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a cybersecurity analyst:
  • Monitor security best practices, protocols and procedures to detect, contain and remediate threats
  • Control file access and credentialing, network updates and firewall maintenance
  • Perform penetration testing and vulnerability scans
  • Recommend relevant changes to improve security
  • May be enlisted to train employees on cybersecurity hygiene, due to their expertise in security risks and best practices
Required skills:
  • Solid understanding of how data is stored and managed
  • Solid understanding of various kinds of cybersecurity threats
  • Proprietary testing
  • Risk assessment
  • Data encryption
  • Firewall design, configuration, deployment and maintenance
  • Security incident triaging
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science, cybersecurity, infosec or a related field is required to work as a cybersecurity analyst.

Network security architect

Similar to an architect who designs plans for buildings and structures, a network security architect plays a critical role in the design of security structures that are used to prevent malware attacks. In addition to performing vulnerability tests, a network security architect maintains network productivity, efficiency, availability and performance to ensure ongoing security of the company.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a network security architect:
  • Helps translate business needs into functional systems
  • Defines appropriate policies and procedures for the systems
  • Monitors budgetary and operational constraints
  • Undertakes defensive measures such as firewall and antivirus configuration, as well as offensive measures like penetration testing
  • Oversees network changes
  • Stays aware of computer systems’ networking requirements such as routing, switching and trust domains
  • Has knowledge of security best practices, technologies and industry-standard frameworks.
Required skills:
  • Excellent people, managerial and presentation skills
  • Strong IT experience
  • Risk management experience
  • Knowledge of TCP/IP networking and networking security
  • ITIL and COBIT IT process models
  • Intrusion detection systems
  • Knowledge of VPN layers and connections
  • Open Systems Interconnection (OSI): 7-layer model
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is required, although a master’s degree in cybersecurity is preferred.

How Vaughn can get you there

As you’ve read in this blog, the ever-growing field of cybersecurity and computer engineering demands well-trained individuals for a broad range of industries. Vaughn’s degree program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills that are necessary, and where they each can play an important role in the technologies that define modern day life and society.

The computer engineering curriculum emphasizes two well-defined concentrations: cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI). These two concentrations work hand in hand to secure network systems. Although it’s believed that AI will never take the place of cybersecurity jobs, this concentration and machine learning are viable players in the growth of the industry.

Are you interested in an in-demand, high-paying job in cybersecurity? Vaughn’s computer engineering degree program could be your pathway to an exciting futureproof career. Apply today!