August 25, 2021

Questions about a career in Cyber Security from a self taught developer

Hello I’m looking to get in Cyber Security, because I hear the demand is higher compared to software developers.

About Me:

– I’m a self taught software developer with about 4 years of professional experience and I’ve worked at some two big fortune 100 companies (Not FAANG) .



– I plan on taking a 19 week Cyber Security Bootcamp, it’s fairly cheap only costs around 2k and is taught by a Former security team leader in the Israeli Military Intelligence

– The course does not pay for: ● CompTIA – Security+ / PenTest+ ● EC-Council – CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) but will prepare students to take these courses at the end.

– Also the course will have group and real world projects that can be added to a resume such as: Building an Intrusion Detection System from Scratch Working with Scapy (Packet manipulation tool)



– Will there be a pay cut going into cyber security?

– What path should I take based on my background?

– What’s the typical starting salary for a person in Cyber Security?

– Are cyber security jobs more in demand than software developer jobs?

– Is a bootcamp + certs the best route to enter this industry?


Please some help would be amazing I have only a few days until the course begins and I have to pay the bootcamp tuition.



There is no “one true answer.” Cybersecurity isn’t a single field, it’s very broad with many subdisciplines. If you want to get into *software security*, I can tell you right now I doubt this bootcamp is going to be the best option. Security+, PenTest+, and CEH are not high impact for software security roles. Building and IDS from scratch and working with scapy aren’t bad but neither one would be part of traditional responsibilities in software security. I’d be much more interested as a hiring party to find out what you think about SAST/DAST, how do you integrate security into an SDLC, can you find and fix all of the OWASP Top 10, etc.

If you wanted to look at security engineering outside of software security, then sure, this will be more applicable.

As for your questions, I have super broad answers:

* **Will there be a pay cut going into cyber security?** Not possible to answer. How quickly are you trying to move in, and would you take a low paying job to move faster, or would you wait/build skills/move in laterally?
* **What path should I take based on my background?** IMHO, software security (i.e. Product Security, DevSecOps) is a better play if you want to move soon, since you won’t be building that many skills from scratch.
* **What’s the typical starting salary for a person in Cyber Security?** Impossible to answer, again this is *not* a single field. Greater than minimum wage but less than $150k. Different roles will have different clusters (starting in a SOC maybe $50k, starting in AppSec maybe $80k, all depends on location too).
* **Are cyber security jobs more in demand than software developer jobs?** They’re similar, but both trend towards hiring people with seniority in the field. You will have a harder time getting hired as a 0-year experienced security candidate than a 4-year experienced software engineer. If you get up the ranks, security roles will usually win out as highest demand – but that’s a long term play (and therefore dependent on market factors), *not* a short term one.
* **Is a bootcamp + certs the best route to enter this industry?** There is no *best* route – it depends on what you want to do, your personal situation, finances available, risk tolerance, etc. Our job is to equip you with context so you can find the best choice for *you*.


I just want to start by saying that your first sentence is really true.

There is demand for cybersecurity. But I definitely would not say more so than developers.

Bootcamps have some stigma with certain people, but honestly they are probably the best and most affordable option to get started quickly, they are aimed at getting you employment ready. What some don’t take into consideration is that a lot of learning is on the job. so the sooner you get the job, sooner you can start learning. Not everyone from bootcamps get jobs though, it does take work on your part, not really any different than traditional school or self taught.

There would likely be a pay cut if you go from developer -> cybersecurity analyst / soc analyst. You’d need to be like security engineer to probably be similar salary. Much like with many tech positions, the salary ranges are very wide. So you could be a low or high paid developer now, I don’t know. Some developers make more than CISO which is like the top security position. But some security people make a lot more doing consulting etc.

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