Interested in a cybersecurity career that puts you on the cutting edge of computer forensics and fighting cybercrime? If you answered “yes,” then the Cyber Crime Analyst/Investigator role might be the exact fit for you.
Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field with an ever-increasing demand for skilled cybersecurity experts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2016 and 2026, the number of jobs in the cybersecurity field will grow by 28%. Statistics like this one are an excellent indicator that job opportunities will be plentiful for many years to come. Think about it this way: as long as there’s crime, you’ll have a job!
In this article, we’ll look at the nuts and bolts of what it’s like to be a Cyber Crime Analyst/Investigator. What the job is like, how you become one, and what your long-term career may look like are just a few characteristics we’ll explore using CyberSeek’s Career Pathways tool. This entry-level role is a great foothold for breaking into the cybersecurity field. The technical skills you develop as a Cyber Crime Analyst/Investigator will open doors to mid-level careers like Cybersecurity Analyst, Cybersecurity Consultant, and Penetration & Vulnerability Tester.
The CyberSeek Career Pathway Tool
The Career Pathway tool from CyberSeek will teach us the ins and outs of the Cyber Crime Analyst/Investigator position. The Career Pathway tool is an interactive website where you can explore the latest information for cybersecurity jobs.
So who benefits most from using the Career Pathway tool?
Students: Are you in school and trying to plan out your future? The CyberSeek Career Pathway tool is the perfect place to start. The interactive tool teaches you everything you need to know about making informed decisions about your future career. What you should major in, how much money you can expect to make and what skills you should pick up to excel in the field are just a few key facts featured on CyberSeek.
Job Seekers and Cybersecurity Professionals: If you’ve been in the cybersecurity field for some time and are looking to make a career change or advance to the next stage of your career, you can also benefit from the CyberSeek Career Pathways tool. The site can shed light on what your career options are and what core skills or certifications you need to make a smooth transition. The tool can also help you visualize what your long-term career journey will look like, from the entry-level to senior-level management positions.
What Does a Cyber Crime Analyst/Investigator Do?
Common duties for this position include recovering sensitive information stored on computers or other devices used by criminals, retrieving files lost or damaged through hacking, testing computer security systems, collecting evidence for proving and prosecuting crimes, working with law enforcement officers and testifying in court.
Common Job Titles
Job titles for Cyber Crime Analysts/Investigators may vary based on the company and the specific job duties the position entails. Here are a few of the most common titles:
- Digital Forensics Analyst
- Cyber IT/Forensic/Security Incident Responder
- Cyber Forensics Analyst
- Digital Forensics Technician
- Cyber Security Forensic Analyst
How Much Do Cyber Crime Analysts/Investigators Make?
According to CyberSeek, you can anticipate making an average salary of $85,000/year. Keep in mind that this number is just an average, so your specific salary may differ when you factor in your experience, the company you work for and even the area of the country you work in.
Another big factor that impacts salary is your education level. Scroll down to the Education, Skills and Certifications section and you’ll see that a quarter of Cyber Crime Analysts have master’s degrees. Grad school usually means a pay bump!
Cyber Crime Analyst/Investigator Career Paths
Your experience as a Crime Analyst/Investigator will you teach you the skills and expertise necessary to eventually transition into one of a few select career paths in the cybersecurity field.
Once you reach a point in your career where you’re ready to advance to mid-level roles, you have several pathways to choose from:
- Cybersecurity Analyst
- Cybersecurity Consultant
- Penetration & Vulnerability Tester
Education, Skills and Certifications
Education: The majority of job postings for Cyber Crime Analysts/Investigators require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems or a related discipline. About 25% of job postings would like to see a master’s degree. Only a very small number of postings (7% to be exact) request less than a bachelor’s degree, meaning it’s probably not very easy to break into the field until you complete your B.S. or higher.
Top Certifications: In cybersecurity, certifications teach you new skills and update skills you already know to keep up with changes in this fast-paced field. If you look over job postings for Cyber Crime Analysts/Investigators, you’ll see that most require certain certifications directly related to your day-to-day duties and tasks. According to CyberSeek, the most common certifications for Cyber Crime Analysts/Investigators are:
- GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
- GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst
- EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE)
- GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner
Top Skills: Successful Cyber Crime Analysts have a strong understanding of technical skills related to computer programming and security in addition to investigative and forensics skills. According to CyberSeek, you should focus on gaining skills such as computer forensics, network security, malware analysis, malware engineering and more.
CyberSeek also recommends experience working with specific operating systems and programming languages like Linux and Python. For the full list, check out the Top Skills Requested box in the bottom right-hand corner of the CyberSeek page for Cyber Crime Analysts.
Common NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework Categories
If you’re not familiar with this term, no worries — we’ll explain it here. The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) put together a framework that lumps cybersecurity jobs into seven different clusters based on the core job duties and technical skills used in each one.
According to CyberSeek, the Cyber Crime Analyst/Investigator job falls into the Investigative category. No real surprise there!
Grouped under the Investigative heading are two core skills: Cyber Investigation and Digital Forensics. Clicking on either skill heading in the Career Pathways tool will show you a (very, very extensive) drop-down list of core competencies that Cyber Crime Analysts master on the job.
Ready to take your cybersecurity career to the next level? Awesome! As cybercriminals develop sophisticated, increasingly effective methods of attack, people like you are on the front lines protecting businesses and consumers who are at risk of having their data stolen.
Now what? First, check out the CyberSeek Career Pathways tool and learn everything there is to know about Cyber Crime Analysts/Investigators. Next, take a look at which certifications CyberSeek recommends you add to your repertoire. Certifications are an industry-recognized way to learn key skills and demonstrate your knowledge. Whether you’re brand-new to the cybersecurity field or a seasoned expert looking to diversify your skillset, certifications will attract the attention you need for job offers, promotions and raises.
Take a look at the list of certifications that CyberSeek recommends you earn to become a Cyber Crime Analyst/Investigator. Infosec offers award-winning training bootcamps for the following certifications:
- CISSP – Infosec CISSP Training Boot Camp
- GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) Boot Camp
- GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst Boot Camp
- GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner Boot Camps
Ready to take your next certification exam? Infosec is here to help! Our boot camp has a 93% exam pass rate driven by over 20 years of award-winning training in the information security field.