Guide to becoming a cybersecurity engineer

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What does a cybersecurity engineer do?

In an increasingly digitalized world, digital interfaces are taking a predominant place in our daily exchanges as well as in our professional lives.

The cybersecurity engineer plays a major role in protecting against intrusion threats. Whether it be on sites, applications or software, his role leads him to identify and prevent all types of security flaws. He is required to develop methods to counter any danger, as well as to make his employees aware of good digital security practices. In a world as evolving as that of information technology, it is also required to monitor all the new tools to make its protection methods more effective.

What are the responsibilities of the cybersecurity engineer?

As a true project manager, the cybersecurity engineer has several roles:

  • study and analyze the various threats of cyber attacks
  • Lead technical teams in a process of cyber defense of existing IT systems.
  • develop methods of securing adapted and exploitable by all
  • implement all the solutions of the Security Operating Center
  • participate in the drafting of activity reports
  • identify the mechanisms of cyberattacks, analyze their source, repair infected systems
  • set up a constant watch for possible threats

What are the educational requirements for working in cybersecurity?

It is essential to have a baccalaureate level to start studying engineering. Once obtained, the student can embark on a two-year preparatory cycle to harmonize his or her general knowledge before specializing at the end of the studies, via a Master’s degree or a License. He then follows a three-year engineering course, via the grandes écoles or at university. In this case, he will have to choose a major in Cybersecurity. His specialization is carried out by learning different subjects:

  • Network and system security
  • Management
  • Law and safety standard
  • secure programming

For a Bac + 3, the candidate has the choice between several computer science professional licenses. 3 options are available:

  • General degree in computer science, cyberdefense course
  • Licence pro Computer Science
  • Bachelor in computer science, specializing in “computer security”.

For a Bac +5, different cycles focused on cybersecurity are available:

  • CDSI – Master Cyberdefense and Information Security
  • MSC Cybersecurity
  • MBA – Digital Data Security Management

Of course, the teaching is not only theoretical, the practice holds a very important place to make the training professional and many major actors of the sector ensure the teaching. Group work and internships in companies validate what has been learned and place the student at the heart of professional reality. In alternating years, the student can do an internship for up to 15 months.

What are the compensation levels in the cybersecurity industry?

Engineering is one of the sectors least affected by unemployment. The demand is constantly increasing and the areas covered by the sector are extremely numerous. Thus, after an average of 3 months, a young graduate engineer in cybersecurity finds a job in his or her field. At the beginning of their career, an engineer can expect a salary of around 43,000 euros gross per year. With the many opportunities for advancement, this salary can double over the course of a career. Of course, this figure is relative to the level of experience, the schools attended and the size of the company.

What are the qualities of a good cybersecurity engineer?

  • Anchored in the heart of the IT world, the cybersecurity engineer must know the essential IT tools and platforms in order to make the most of them. The mastery of these softwares is therefore essential:
    – Windows OS
    – Linux
    – Wireshark
    – Python
    – Perl…
  • The engineer’s job requires a great deal of precision and meticulousness, and he or she must be rigorous, organized and ethical. Indeed, since security is at the heart of its activity, it must be as protective and discreet as possible with regard to the companies’ data.
  • Logic will allow him to analyze and identify the type of threats that may be present on a computer system. A general and precise vision allows him to determine the source of an incident and to react in the most effective and judicious way.

Teamwork is particularly present in the cybersecurity engineering profession. Thus, he/she must demonstrate pedagogy, listening skills and adaptability. His leadership role requires him to be clear, understanding and didactic. The smooth running of the protocols by his team depends on his ability to transmit and make himself understood.

What are the career development opportunities for a cybersecurity engineer?

Like any engineering profession, the function can evolve significantly during the course of a career. A cyber security engineer can usually move into managerial roles. As the years go by, cybersecurity engineers in turn train the newcomers and mentor them in their daily goals. In addition to the choice of working independently, the most experienced can become

  • information systems managers (CISO)
  • team leader
  • technical leader

Learn more about cybersecurity training

Updated 2 January 2024