4 Entry-Level Cyber Security Roles You Can Land After Bootcamp

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Liz Eggleston

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on October 25, 2023

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What kinds of tech roles can you actually land after graduating from a cyber security bootcamp? We caught up with Deborah Gillam, a Career Services Advisor for Cyber Security Graduates at Lighthouse Labs, who lists the four, entry-level cyber security roles that bootcampers can land — and these roles don’t require a certification! Learn more about how Lighthouse Labs’ Cyber Security Bootcamp gives students the fundamentals and soft skills they will need to be immediately successful in the field, and what you can expect in the entry-level cyber security interview.

Meet the Expert: Deborah Gillam, Career Services Advisor for Cyber Security Graduates

  • As a Career Services Advisor, Deborah’s focus is assisting Lighthouse Labs students with their job search, setting them up for success in their job search once they graduate.

Is now a good time to get into Cybersecurity?

2024 is a great time to enter an exciting and growing industry! As technology continues to advance and evolve, the complexity of cyber attacks and the capabilities of cyber attackers will grow in parallel. Organizations across all sectors and industries deal with data and technology in some capacity and need to protect their information and how they operate, this creates a growing demand for talented and skilled cyber security professionals.

It is projected that the current global shortage of cybersecurity talent will continue to grow, reaching an estimated 3.5 million openings through 2025. 

Overall, what is the cybersecurity hiring landscape like right now? Are employers still looking for entry-level cybersecurity talent?

Employers are seeking cyber security talent at all levels, including entry-level right now. Mid and senior-level roles are most heavily in demand, with senior-level certifications like CISSP being one of the most requested qualifications for jobs at all levels. While that sort of senior-level certification makes sense for some positions, it can sometimes create issues where an entry-level position is asking for senior-level certifications combined with years of experience. There is still some education required for employers and hiring managers when it comes to crafting entry-level job postings and setting role requirements. That’s where it falls on our Career Services team at Lighthouse Labs and the bootcamp grad to position themselves as having the necessary skills and knowledge required by employers regardless of experience. Our grads have been hired in the industry and have achieved great success, so we know this is a proven method.   

What do you think the 2024 cybersecurity tech talent market could look like? 

Certain job sectors are seeing rapid growth despite the economic downturn, with IT taking the top spot. By 2025, ICTC's labour statistics forecasts employment in the Canadian digital economy to reach 2.26 million — triggering demand for an additional 250,000 jobs.

The Canadian IT sector grew by 5.3% in 2022, and it shows no signs of stopping. By 2024, the industry is expected to increase by 22.4%. The market is currently candidate-driven, meaning employers are pushing for employee retention by upping salary and starting offers and better long-term incentives to stick around. There is an increasing demand for security skills, as cyber threats grow. Cyber attacks are only increasing and becoming more sophisticated; businesses and consumers know this. If businesses can't keep customers' information safe, they'll go elsewhere. Companies need those who can design and upkeep digital safeguards, prevent attacks, and run post-mortems when the worst happens. Those with cyber security know-how are big-ticket employees.

Instead of specific tools, focus more on applying your craft, honing and expanding your skillset, and constantly practicing. While you may not have experience with a certain tool or software in your first role, your practice and extensive knowledge will give you a great starting point to learn and best set you up for success. 

4 Entry-Level Cybersecurity, Networking, and IT Roles for Bootcamp Grads

These four roles are all entry-level, which means that technical experience and certifications are not required, but they can give you an advantage in the job search: 

  1. Cyber Security Analyst
  2. SOC Analyst
  3. Security Researcher
  4. Incident Responder/Handler

1. Cyber Security Analyst

Responsibilities: A Cyber Security Analyst protects an organization's digital assets by identifying vulnerabilities, monitoring for threats, and responding to security incidents. Key responsibilities include:

    • Vulnerability Assessment: Conduct regular assessments and scans to identify system, application, and network infrastructure weaknesses.
    • Incident Detection and Response: Monitor security alerts and logs to detect and investigate suspicious activities and potential security breaches and respond swiftly to security incidents.
    • Security Monitoring: Continuously monitor network traffic and security systems for signs of unauthorized access or malicious behavior.
    • Threat Intelligence: Stay updated on the latest cyber security threats, vulnerabilities, and attack techniques to defend against emerging risks proactively.
    • Security Policy Compliance: Ensure that security policies, standards, and best practices are adhered to across the organization.
    • Firewall and Intrusion Detection/Prevention: Configure and manage firewalls, intrusion detection, and prevention systems to protect the network.
    • Patch Management: Apply security patches and updates to address known operating system and software vulnerabilities.
    • Security Reporting: Generate reports and insights on the organization's security posture, sharing findings with management and stakeholders.

Certifications: CompTIA Security+, GIAC Security Essentials
Average yearly salary: $82,286

2. Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst

Responsibilities: A Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst plays a critical role in monitoring an organization's security infrastructure, detecting and responding to security incidents, and ensuring the organization's overall cyber security. Key responsibilities include:

  • Security Monitoring: Continuously monitor security alerts and logs from various sources, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus solutions.
  • Incident Detection and Response: Detect and analyze security incidents and anomalies to determine their severity and potential impact on the organization and take immediate action on any possible threats.
  • Threat Intelligence: Stay updated on emerging threats and vulnerabilities by analyzing threat intelligence feeds and reports.
  • Vulnerability Assessment: Conduct periodic vulnerability assessments and penetration tests to identify weaknesses in the organization's systems.
  • Security Policies: Ensure compliance with security policies, procedures, and best practices throughout the organization.
  • Security Tools: Operate and maintain security tools such as SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) systems, IDS/IPS, and endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions.
  • Reporting: Prepare detailed reports on security incidents, investigations, and mitigation efforts for management and stakeholders.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate with other IT and security teams to resolve security issues and implement preventive measures.

Average yearly salary: $62,694

3. Security Researcher

Responsibilities: Security researchers hold one of the most essential roles in cyber security. They design security protocols and study the evolution of unique malware strains that allow other cyber security professionals to monitor and detect vulnerabilities in their networks.
Salary: $105,085 (per Glassdoor)

4. Incident Responder/Handler

Responsibilities: Incident Responders/Handlers are responsible for identifying, analyzing, and mitigating security breaches or incidents. They work to minimize damage to an organization's systems and data by investigating the cause and scope of an incident, as well as implementing measures to prevent future attacks.
Salary: $65,274 (per Glassdoor)

Learning Cyber Security at Lighthouse Labs

Whether you take the 12-Week Cyber Security Bootcamp or 30-Week Cyber Security Flex Program, students graduate with a diploma and get the fundamental knowledge, real-world experience, and critical soft skills needed to launch a rewarding career as a cyber security professional. 

Our curriculum is built around three pillars: fundamentals, industry relevance, and defensive security. Students dive into modules on network security, threat modeling and analysis, incident response, forensics, blue team fundamentals, and much more. They also have access to on-demand mentorship from industry experts in addition to the full support of our Student Success Coordinators and Career Services team.

Does Lighthouse Labs prepare students for certifications? 

Our curriculum is aligned with the NICE Framework, the same framework that is used to build many cyber security certifications, including CompTIA Security+ and GIAC Security Essentials. While our curriculum doesn’t include preparation for any one specific exam with prep tests or exam study guides, what you’re learning and practicing in the bootcamp is a great base for what is required for many of the most popular entry-level certifications. 

Does Lighthouse Labs recommend that students get certified before starting their job hunt to ensure they’re most employable? 

Graduates can start their job search immediately upon graduation, and gaining certifications during this time is a great way to validate your skills and knowledge, and keep your skillset sharp. 

For when to get certified, it can depend on what job students are seeking and what’s required by the employer. Entry-level certifications that cover a broad range of topics like CompTIA Security+ can be a great way to validate your fundamental skills and knowledge in cyber security and make you stand out in the talent pool. However, some roles deal with very specific micro-certifications from Amazon or Microsoft, depending on what type of work the organization is doing. In this scenario, waiting until you’re in the role is typically a better time to secure your certification. 

Cyber Security Jobs Landed by Lighthouse Labs’ Graduates

Cyber security bootcamp graduates from Lighthouse Labs are landing technical roles such as a security analyst, incident responder/handler, and security researcher. Some non-technical cyber security roles grads have landed include data protection officer and policy writer. Oftentimes graduates are leveraging their previous experience and skills to land cross-functional opportunities in technical sales or cyber security education. 

Most of Lighthouse Labs graduates will land entry-level positions, and those are the roles we’re targeting as outcomes with this program. Some grads may have extensive existing IT or tech experience or skills that they’re able to use to land more mid-level positions. While no experience in tech or coding is required to take this program, those with existing tech experience may have an easier time with some of the core concepts and, in turn, with their subsequent job search. Overall, it’s really exciting to follow where they’re landing and the success they’re finding!

What is the typical salary of Lighthouse Labs’ cybersecurity bootcamp graduates? 

Earlier this year, we released our 2022 Student Outcomes Report, which covers the outcomes of all of our programs. This was the first full year for our cyber security program, and the results were really encouraging! The average starting salary for our cyber security grads in 2022 was $56,520, with 22% of our grads earning over $70,000. 

In such a competitive tech talent pool, what sets bootcamp graduates from Lighthouse Labs apart?  

Lighthouse Labs cyber security grads enter the talent pool job-ready. They’ve completed an intense bootcamp experience and have been immersed in cyber security during that time. Our curriculum covers modules on network security, encryption, incident response, forensics, and blue team fundamentals, to name a few, with each module including hands-on practice, readings, lectures, quizzes, and projects. Our students also focus on developing soft skills by collaborating with their classmates, connecting with mentors and instructors, and preparing and presenting their demo day project at the end of the bootcamp.

What should job-seekers expect from an entry-level cyber security or networking interview process?

The interview will likely consist of a combination of proving your technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and your ability to effectively communicate your expertise. Depending on the role, there is likely to be multiple interview rounds. You may start by being interviewed by an HR representative, then proceed to a hiring manager, and then finally, your prospective boss. The amount of interviews can depend on the type of company and its size. Since cyber security is a multidisciplinary field, you may be assessed on a range of skills and knowledge areas.

Ensure you do your research on the company, get comfortable talking about your experience, think of practical examples to showcase your skills, rehearse answers to some common interview questions, have questions to ask, and be yourself.

Some questions you should be prepared to answer include:

  • Why are you interested in this position? 
  • What do you know about common cyber security threats? 
  • How do you secure a computer network? 
  • How would you respond to a security incident or breach? 
  • What tools or software are you familiar with in the Cybersecurity field?  
  • How do you stay up to date with cyber security threats? 
  • Do you have any other experience with programming or scripting languages? 
  • Give an example of a time you had to troubleshoot a technical issue

What are your tips for career changers on how to choose the best, first cybersecurity, networking, or IT role for them? 

  1. Do some research on the different roles out there. 
  2. Read reviews and discussions from people in those roles or watch day-in-the-life videos on YouTube. 
  3. Find organizations that you are passionate about who are doing things that excite you.
  4. Network with folks in that organization to form connections and ask questions about their experience. Networking is the key to getting your foot in the door to land that first role. 

However, your first role is not always going to complete your dream job checklist, so be prepared to make some concessions. If you’re set on a six-figure remote entry-level role with 8 weeks vacation and stock options, you may find yourself disappointed. Set realistic goals for your first entry-level position and adjust your goals as you gain experience in your first position.  

Ensure you are staying up to date with the rapidly changing tech landscape. Always keep learning, whether it be gaining certifications, attending cyber security events, connecting with peers, or just ensuring their LinkedIn is active and up to date. 

Find out more and read Lighthouse Labs reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Lighthouse Labs.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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