80+ Back Doors Into Cyber Careers

The million dollar question people always ask: how do I get a job in cyber? Unfortunately, the industry is not yet mature with established paths to entry or career growth like other professions, so your entry may still be by accident or brute force. It could also happen via a job title that does not seem security related. Let me tell you why.

I sat on a Women in Security Panel a few years ago and was surprised to discover that most of the women in the audience and on the panel fell into their roles by inadvertently or deliberately creating their own opportunities. Some of the stories included people who:

  • Did work that most technical people hate: DOCUMENTATION.
  • Helped their company pass an audit.
  • Produced an SSL Labs report showing a failing website security grade.
  • Taught themselves the new security product their company purchased.
  • Were system administrators.
  • Stumbled upon holes or weaknesses in their company’s systems.
  • Presented research at conferences or local ISSA chapter meetings.
  • Asked for cyber related project work.
  • Published articles about domains of interest.
  • Saved the network guy from drowning.

If you are trying to break into cyber as a graduate or transitioning from another career, your strategy should include uncovering hidden job opportunities. You may have to pivot into the field in an unconventional way.

Also consider this: depending on the company, their descriptions do not have cyber OR security in the job title because HR is often misinformed about what the role is actually about.

Some people are also under the impression that security is all about hacking. I assure you, it is not. BUT, you can hack your way into the industry.

Here are 80 back doors into cyber careers to help you expand your search:

  1. Miracle Worker
  2. IT Specialist
  3. IT Advisor
  4. Network Advisor
  5. Fortune Teller
  6. Architect
  7. System Administrator
  8. Systems Analyst
  9. IT Analyst
  10. Magician
  11. IT Administrator
  12. IT Coordinator
  13. IT Manager
  14. Systems Manager
  15. Spin Doctor
  16. Network Specialist
  17. Network Operator
  18. Network Engineer
  19. Network Administrator
  20. Fall Guy
  21. Professional Services Consultant
  22. Product Specialist
  23. Product Manager
  24. System Specialist
  25. Psychologist
  26. Administrator
  27. Analyst
  28. Sales Engineer
  29. Computer Operator
  30. Warm Body
  31. IT Consultant
  32. Consultant
  33. Operations Lead
  34. Operations Specialist
  35. Guinea Pig
  36. Operations Analyst
  37. Vulnerability Management
  38. Vulnerability Analyst
  39. Vulnerability Specialist
  40. Functional Alcoholic
  41. Incident Specialist
  42. Incident Responder
  43. Incident Analyst
  44. Systems Engineer
  45. Security Guy
  46. Malware analyst
  47. Reverse engineer
  48. Intelligence officer
  49. Threat analyst
  50. The Corner Cubicle
  51. Compliance analyst
  52. Compliance administrator
  53. Compliance specialist
  54. IT Compliance analyst
  55. IT Auditor
  56. Audit specialist
  57. Control specialist
  58. Identity and access management specialist
  59. Policy Analyst
  60. SOC analyst
  61. SOC engineer
  62. Application specialist
  63. Cloud specialist
  64. Application engineer
  65. Application Support
  66. Cloud engineer
  67. Cloud architect
  68. Server administrator
  69. PEN tester
  70. Infrastructure lead
  71. Infrastructure specialist
  72. Infrastructure engineer
  73. Infrastructure administrator
  74. Continuity Specialist
  75. Systems investigator
  76. Program Manager
  77. Project Manager
  78. Forensics analyst
  79. Forensics investigator
  80. Technical Account Manager

While some of these are obviously just for humor (although you could actually end up really playing those roles), the fact still remains that your job search may need to be expanded to include the real titles that are not comedy relief.

Depending on your interest, you could be overlooking the role you want because an HR person has it mislabeled.

Or they still use standard titles from the 1980s because that’s what they’ve always done.

You also may need to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself in positions where people want to talk to you. I’ll discuss ways to do that in a future post.


Speaking of jobs, one of my contacts is trying to recruit a Security Engineer for a major international airline in Atlanta. Here is the job description:


  • 2 plus years of cyber security engineering experience preferred
  • 5 plus years of IT experience preferred
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred
  • ITIL preferred
  • Experience with Bit9, Cylance, FireEye HX, SEP, Tripwire, BitLocker, MegaCryption, Bit9, TuFin, Tokens, and PKI Operations preferred

Responsibilities: This job requisition is for a “Domestic” position in ATL. Function as a member of the CyberThreat Unit’s (CTU) Engineering (E) function Responsible for operating EndPoint security technologies

  • Shares responsibility for maintaining CTU Eng SOPs
  • Accountable for managing Encryption, FIM, Firewall Rule Management, and MFA Technologies.
  • Responsible for engineering and executing BitLocker, MegaCryption, Bit9, Tripwire, TuFin, Tokens, and PKI Operations
  • Shares responsibility for audit support and CTU E SOPs

If interested, please send your cover letter and resume to David McCollum at  [email protected].

Oh and tell him where you found this role.

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