General security

Overview of the CyberSeek Cybersecurity Career Pathway

Christine McKenzie
March 25, 2019 by
Christine McKenzie

Considering a career in the exciting cybersecurity field? Or have you worked diligently in an entry-level role and are curious about the next step in your career?

It’s no secret that cybersecurity jobs are exciting, fast-paced and best of all, in extremely high demand among employers. However, finding the perfect role for yourself can still be quite challenging. Which job best fits your skills? Do you need a college degree? Will the role meet your financial goals and match your long-term career objectives? These are all important questions to answer when navigating your career plan, whether you’re brand-new to the field or a seasoned pro looking to take to your career to the next level.

What should you learn next?

What should you learn next?

From SOC Analyst to Secure Coder to Security Manager — our team of experts has 12 free training plans to help you hit your goals. Get your free copy now.

CyberSeek’s Cybersecurity Career Pathway tool takes all of the key pieces of information you need in order to make an informed decision about your cybersecurity career and presents it in a format that is well-organized, user-friendly, and highly interactive. Take a look!

Jobs in Cybersecurity

Here’s some good news for those of you in the cybersecurity field: national employment projections indicate that the demand for cybersecurity specialists will grow by 28% between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s much faster than projected growth rates for other occupations. This means you’ll have an abundance of job openings to apply for when the time comes.

Despite the critical need for more cybersecurity professionals, a vast gap exists between the number of open positions and the number of qualified candidates available to fill those empty roles:

  • Between April 2017 and March 2018, there was a shortage of 17,000 information security analysts
  • There are almost 200,000 open positions in the cybersecurity field that employers are struggling to fill
  • Cloud security positions are open for an average of 79 days, the longest of nearly any IT skill

The hope is that tools like the CyberSeek Cybersecurity Career Pathway will help educate people who are interested in joining the cybersecurity field about what their career options are and what skills they need to enter the field.

Who Is the Cybersecurity Career Pathway Tool For?

CyberSeek’s Career Pathway tool is beneficial for anyone looking to gain a more nuanced understanding of the current employment landscape in the cybersecurity field.

  • Job seekers: The Career Pathway tool will you help you answer questions like “what roles should I focus on to get my career in cybersecurity started?” and “which cybersecurity jobs are in demand in my area?” Job seekers will find features like Total Job Openings and Top Skills Requested especially useful
  • Working professionals: At some point during your cybersecurity career, you may decide you want to transition to a new role to advance your career. The pathway tool is built like a roadmap to guide you through entry-level to advanced-level career options. Each pathway is geared towards a specific cybersecurity skills cluster, like networking or systems engineering, so you can easily pick out the pathway that best fits your area of expertise
  • Students: If you’re currently in college and just beginning to dip your toes into the cybersecurity field, CyberSeek can shed light on what your career options are and what you need in terms of skills and educational requirements to break into the field. Best of all, the platform includes lots of relevant data about current hiring trends so you can feel confident that you’re making an informed decision about your future. Features like Common Job Titles and Average Salary can help you narrow down your preferred cybersecurity career path

How to Use the Cybersecurity Career Pathway Tool

(Click images to enlarge)

The Career Pathway tool is a highly interactive “roadmap” depicting common roles in the cybersecurity field and how they connect with one another for a seamless career progression. There are a couple of ways you can interact with the Career Pathway map. The first is through the Common Cybersecurity Feeder Roles bar located on the far left-hand side of the screen.

CyberSeek breaks down each job “family” into one of five categories: networking, software development systems engineering, financial and risk analysis and security intelligence. Click on each feeder role bubble to access valuable information about that job group, including common job titles, average salary, required skills and the number of job openings. The map will also light up to show you which careers fall into your chosen category so you can easily visualize how your career will evolve over your lifetime.

The second way to interact with the Career Pathway roadmap is to dive in and start exploring the Core Cybersecurity Roles. Broken up into three distinct categories, each vertical pillar represents a different stage of your career: entry-level, mid-level and advanced. Clicking on a career bubble in the entry-level category will illustrate which pathways you can follow to take your career to the next level. Simply hovering over a bubble as opposed to clicking it will give you a convenient snapshot of key data points like the average salary and number of job openings.

The second major feature of the Cybersecurity Career Pathway tool is the detailed breakdown it provides for each career group. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and you’ll find this section located just below the Career Pathway visual map. You’ll need to first click on one of the career bubbles to activate this feature. Once activated, the site will provide a highly-detailed deep dive into your chosen career group.

The information provided is designed to help you make informed decisions about your career. Information you can explore includes common job titles, degree requirements, top certifications and core skills. You’ll also find helpful statistics about salary and job openings.

NICE Framework

The NICE Framework was put together by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) to sort cybersecurity jobs into one of seven groups, depending on factors like core job duties and required technical skills. The seven groups are:

  1. Analyze
  2. Collect and Operate
  3. Investigate
  4. Operate and Maintain
  5. Oversee and Govern
  6. Protect and Defend
  7. Securely Provision

Stemming from the categories are 33 Specialty Areas and 52 Work Roles. You can visualize the framework as a funnel or upside-down pyramid, with the general categories at the top and the specific roles at the bottom.

The NICE Framework is built into CyberSeek’s tool so you can easily visualize and interact with the data. Simply click on a role in the Career Pathway flowchart to see the corresponding NICE Group, Specialty Area and Work Roles. You can go further by clicking a specific Work Role, which will open a list of knowledge, skills, abilities and tasks directly related to that role.


And there you have it, a quick reference guide on how to take advantage of the new CyberSeek Cybersecurity Career Pathway tool. Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of how to use the tool, we recommend jumping into CyberSeek and exploring it yourself. You’re bound to learn something new and valuable about the cybersecurity field, as well as developing a stronger understanding of how you personally fit into the cybersecurity landscape.

Whether you’re a student just starting out your cybersecurity journey or a seasoned professional looking for a way to advance your career, the CyberSeek Career Pathway tool will help illuminate your path.

What should you learn next?

What should you learn next?

From SOC Analyst to Secure Coder to Security Manager — our team of experts has 12 free training plans to help you hit your goals. Get your free copy now.



  1. About CyberSeek, CyberSeek
  2. Information Security Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Christine McKenzie
Christine McKenzie

Christine McKenzie is a professional writer with a Master of Science in International Relations. She enjoys writing about career and professional development topics in the Information Security discipline. She has also produced academic research about the influence of disruptive Information and Communication Technologies on human rights in China. Previously, she was a university Career Advisor where she worked extensively with students in the Information Technology and Computer Programming fields.