Cyber security analyst

Computing and ICT
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Career outlook for cyber security analyst

Average UK salary

No salary information is available.

Currently employed in Scotland

Information is unavailable

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

Picture yourself as a digital defender of Scotland's businesses and organisations. You'll be on the front line, analysing suspicious activity and stopping cyber attacks.

Every day is different. You could be coming up with creative solutions to fix vulnerabilities. Or you might work with colleagues to develop robust security protocols. Ethical hacking is another important task, you'd try to breach security systems to identify weaknesses.

This role is perfect for someone who thrives on a challenge and enjoys puzzles. You'll need a keen eye for detail, a logical mind and to be handy with technology. Ready to make a real difference in the world? Cyber security could be your calling.

Your tasks might include:

  • investigating suspicious activity and security breaches
  • using analytics tools to spot emerging threats and vulnerabilities
  • implementing security solutions
  • monitoring and looking after security systems
  • working with IT teams to improve cyber resilience
  • simulating security breaches to improve protocols
  • advising colleagues on best practice to reduce risk
  • creating contingency plans in the event of security breaches
  • exploring ways technologies such as artificial intelligence can reduce cyber threats

Working conditions


You'd likely work 35 to 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday. In some roles, you might work on a shift basis, including evening and weekend work. Cyber security incidents can happen at any time and need a quick response. This means you could be on-call for an organisation. If you work self-employed as a consultant, you can choose more flexible hours.


You'd work in an office, or from home at times, and spend long periods sitting at a desk.


You may have to travel to different places to meet with clients if you work as a consultant.

UK employment status


Information is unavailable


Information is unavailable

Self employed

Information is unavailable

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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Ethical
  • Analysing

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


A degree is not always needed in this career but many employers will value one. You might need a degree for senior roles. For some employers, your experience and knowledge will be more important.

There are lots more qualifications you can get to help you build skills and bolster your CV. Check out the UK Cyber Security site. They list common entry routes and qualifications that can help in this career. Here are some routes you can take to become a cyber security analyst.

Apprenticeship routes to a cyber career 

Foundation Apprenticeships

You can start learning the skills you'll need through a Foundation Apprenticeship (FA). While you're in S5 or S6, you'll gain work experience while you study.

You can browse FAs on This one in IT: Hardware and System Support is an ideal first step towards a cyber career.

Modern Apprenticeships

If you’re aged 16 or older, a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) will let you work and earn while you study for a qualification. After you qualify, you'd be able to study further or move into a role where you can build experience.

You might find these MAs helpful:

Graduate Apprenticeships

You could also earn a degree level qualification through a Graduate Apprenticeship (GA).

Check out this GA in Cyber Security.


A college course could get work experience and help you progress to further study or even into a full-time role. Common qualifications you can get at college include:

  • National Progression Awards (NPA)
  • National Qualifications (NQ)
  • National Certificates (NC)
  • Higher National Certificates (HNC)
  • Higher National Diplomas (HND)

What you need to enter a Cyber Security course will differ depending on the level of study. For an HNC or HND, you'll likely need either:

  • at least one Higher at C, preferably two
  • a relevant NC or NQ
  • a relevant Access course or NPA

An FA in a relevant subject may count as Higher. Some courses may ask for National 5s or Highers in subjects such as Maths, Computing Science, Physics, Chemistry or English.


A Cyber Security degree will increase the number of roles you can apply for.

To get into a relevant course, you'll likely need at least:

  • four Highers at BBCC or three Advanced Highers at BBB
  • National 5s in English and Maths at C

Some courses will ask for Maths, Computing or a science subject at Higher or Advanced Higher. If you have an HNC or HND in a relevant subject, this might also get you into a degree course.

Degrees in other subjects are also useful for a career in cyber security. For example:

  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Systems Engineering

If you want to continue studying at postgraduate level, there are courses in Cyber Security. You'll need at least a 2.2 honours degree in a relevant subject to apply.


There are trainee roles available that you don't need experience for. You'll get training on the job and could work your way towards more senior positions.

Use our job search to explore roles in Scotland.

Useful subjects

  • Computer Science
  • Maths
  • Application of Maths
  • Physics
  • English
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Foundation Apprenticeship: Business Skills
  • Foundation Apprenticeship: IT Hardware and Systems Support

You will also need

You might need different certifications for some roles. This shows your knowledge is up-to-date in certain areas.

Browse a list of recognised industry certifications on the ICS2 site. They're the world's leading member association for cyber security professionals.

Helpful to have

Knowledge and experience is very important in this career.

Check out the UK Cyber Security Council site. They've gathered a list of learning resources to help you develop your skills.