Main image of article Cybersecurity Analyst: Average Salary, Top Locations, and More

Let’s say you’ve gone to school to become a cybersecurity analyst. You’ve graduated, but you have no idea what the market looks like—or what kinds of skills and certifications you might need to actually land a job. Let’s break down this role's salary, certifications, job prospects, and more!

Are cybersecurity analysts in demand?

According to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, employers posted some 36,817 cybersecurity analyst jobs over the past 12 months. Based on its data, Emsi Burning Glass expects the position to grow 22 percent over the next 10 years.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you that this role is in high demand, consider this: the average time to fill an open cybersecurity analyst role is 43 days, roughly the same as in-demand tech roles such as software developer. Organizations everywhere need cybersecurity analysts who can accurately determine external and internal threats to the network.

What’s the average salary for a cybersecurity analyst?

Cybersecurity analysts can make a median salary of $83,891, according to Emsi Burning Glass. With the right mix of experience and skills (especially specialized skills), overall compensation can easily climb into the six-figure range. Nor do you need to secure an advanced degree to unlock these upper pay tiers; some 84 percent of these jobs ask for a bachelor’s degree.

What certifications do you need to become a cybersecurity analyst?

The following certifications pop up with fair frequency in job postings for cybersecurity analysts:

But do you actually need a certification (or two, or three) to actually land a cybersecurity analyst position? That’s an excellent question. According to experts who have spoken to Dice, certifications provide a level of “credibility” to a resume, and assure recruiters and hiring managers that you actually have the right skills for the position. That being said, a resume full of experience can often (but not always) overcome a lack of certifications.

Where do cybersecurity analysts make the most money?

Location can influence salary (although the so-called “geography gap” in salary is narrowing noticeably, thanks to the rise of remote work). When it comes to cybersecurity analysts, it seems the nation’s top-paying location is Virginia, which makes sense—the federal government (and contractors for the government) do an immense amount of hiring in the region, in addition to massive companies such as Amazon building out their respective footprints.

Here’s the complete list:

As with anything else salary-related, keep in mind that demand for talent in a particular geography is just one of several factors impacting compensation. Your skills and experience matter just as much, especially if you’ve specialized in a hard-to-find skill.