How Do I Become a Cybersecurity Data Analyst?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn how to become a cybersecurity data analyst and the benefits of working in cybersecurity.

[Featured image] A cybersecurity data analyst wearing headphones sits at a desk with three computer screens, working diligently to monitor and assess cybersecurity threats.

The cybersecurity industry is currently worth $172.32 billion and continues to grow at a fast rate [1]. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an industry growth rate of 32 percent between now and 2032, creating more than 168,00 jobs for cybersecurity analysts [2]. Additionally, data from the 2023 Cybersecurity Workforce Study conducted by ISC2 revealed a significant gap between the number of skilled cybersecurity professionals and the demand in the US and abroad [3]. In an industry so in demand, salary and career progression are excellent if you have the skills, experience, and education you need to work as a cybersecurity data analyst. 

In this article, learn more about the role of a cybersecurity data analyst, the salary, and the steps you can take to start your career in cybersecurity. 

Read more: 5 Cybersecurity Career Paths (and How to Get Started)

What is a cybersecurity data analyst?

A cybersecurity data analyst, also known as an information security analyst, protects organizations from cyberattacks and security breaches by analyzing data to assess vulnerabilities in infrastructure and computer networks. 

Hackers and prevented attacks leave information behind that a cybersecurity data analyst can use to determine future threats, types of attacks, and any specialist software to be aware of. Knowing what to look for and developing familiarity with bad actors' tactics allows cybersecurity data analysts to implement more robust security measures.

Read more: Information Security Analyst: Salary and Job Outlook

Duties and responsibilities 

The typical tasks you will perform as a cybersecurity data analyst are similar to those of a general data analyst. However, in this role, you will analyze and interpret data specifically relevant to cybersecurity and the safety of a company. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Analyzing and assessing security systems and infrastructure

  • Monitoring website traffic and potential threats as they happen

  • Using encryption and firewalls for protection and restricting access

  • Undertaking risk analysis

  • Conducting penetration tests

  • Writing reports and incident logs

  • Strengthening security vulnerabilities 

Read more: What Does a Cybersecurity Analyst Do? Job Guide

Salary and job outlook

As mentioned, a cybersecurity data analyst's job outlook and career progression are excellent, with an expected growth rate of 32 percent [2]. The average annual US salary for information security analysts, another name for the cybersecurity data analyst role, is 119,693.51, according to data from Lightcast™ [4]. In comparison, Glassdoor suggests that a data analyst outside of the cybersecurity industry earns significantly less, with an average base salary of $76,983 [5].

How do I become a data analyst in cybersecurity?

Working as a cybersecurity data analyst involves demonstrating your skills in data analysis and putting that into the context of cybersecurity, along with relevant experience, qualifications, and certifications. 

Let’s examine each step in more detail to help you envision the path forward.

Step 1: Get a degree.

Earning a degree is an excellent way to learn the skills and knowledge you need to work as a cybersecurity data analyst. Consider earning your degree in computer science or a similar field. Sometimes, employers may look for professionals with a master’s degree. In some colleges, you may find specialist cybersecurity degrees to help you focus your studies further. Examples include a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity and information assurance and a master’s in information security. 

However, a degree is only one of your options. According to Zippia, 61 percent of cybersecurity data analysts have a bachelor’s degree [6]. In other cases, employers value skills over education and look favorably on boot camps where you learn up-to-date skills in a hands-on setting and in a shorter time than a degree. 

Step 2: Gain experience.

Experience is crucial in getting hired as a cybersecurity analyst; in some cases, experience and certifications can be enough without a degree. Working in an IT role, in an entry-level information security job, taking an internship, or coming from a data analysis role outside cybersecurity—you have many options to gain valuable experience you can use. 

Step 3: Obtain certification.

In a fast-moving technical industry like cybersecurity, certifications are of high importance. They are a way of learning and consolidating relevant, up-to-date skills essential to certain positions. Some employers ask for specific certifications, but even if it’s not required, having these credentials can be a helpful addition to your resume, particularly when applying for a competitive role. For a cybersecurity data analyst role, you might consider credentials such as:

Step 4: Put yourself out there.

Leverage your professional network to help find opportunities. Attend industry events, enroll in boot camps, network, and work on personal projects with others. You might also consider connecting with a mentor to guide you based on their experience. 

Skills of a cybersecurity data analyst

Cybersecurity data analysts have a specific skill set that blends both technical skills and workplace skills. To secure a role, you must build and demonstrate these skills:

Technical skills

  • Network security

  • Cloud security

  • Data modeling and management

  • Data analysis

  • Risk analysis

  • Data modeling 

  • Python and other programming languages

  • Intrusion detection

  • Incident response

  • Scripting 

Workplace skills

  • Analytical skills

  • Communication skills

  • Problem-solving

  • Critical thinking

  • Adaptability

  • Collaboration

  • Time management

  • Creativity

  • Detail oriented 

How to transition from data analyst to cybersecurity data analyst

Although you already have many foundational skills necessary for working as a cybersecurity data analyst, you will need to engage in additional training or earn cybersecurity-specific certifications for an effective transition from a more generalized data analyst role. For example, you’ll need to develop a robust understanding of privacy issues, regulatory standards and compliance strategies, and how to work with threat models.  

Perks of working in cybersecurity

Working in cybersecurity has many perks, many of which you’ll find outlined above. Let's recap.

  • High salary: The cybersecurity industry offers high salaries, averaging over $100,000 [3]. Top-level roles in cybersecurity come with even higher wages. For example, a chief information security officer earns an average of $202,717, with bonuses and additional pay upwards of $100,000, according to February 2024 data from Glassdoor [7].

  • Growing industry: The BLS anticipates a growth rate of 32 percent in the decade leading up to 2032 [1].

  • Career growth: Due to the industry’s rapid rate of expansion and significant skills gap, available jobs outweigh the number of suitable candidates. If you have the right skills, this translates to professional opportunities. 

Getting started with Coursera

To start a career in the cybersecurity industry, begin building your skills and knowledge. Getting a degree is only one of your available options. You might also earn a resume-building credential by taking courses such as the Google Cybersecurity Professional Certificate or the IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate—both available on Coursera. 

Article sources


Fortune Business Insights. “Cybersecurity Market,” Accessed February 26, 2024. 

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