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Top Cybersecurity Jobs & Salaries in Chicago: How Much Do They Make?

By The Fullstack Academy Team

Cybersecurity Salaries in Chicago

Chicago, a city with its iconic skyline, stands as a testament to progress and innovation. Amidst the architectural marvels, Chicago's cybersecurity landscape thrives, offering a wide range of opportunities for professionals seeking impactful careers. In this article, we’ll navigate the city's cybersecurity space, unveiling some of the top cybersecurity jobs in Chicago like computer support specialist, IT support specialist, cybersecurity analyst, and information security analyst, and providing insights into their salaries for both emerging talents and seasoned experts.

Let’s uncover the range of cybersecurity salaries in Chicago—answering the question: How much do cybersecurity professionals make in Chicago?

Why Choose a Cybersecurity Career in Chicago?

Deciding to seek a cybersecurity job in Chicago is not just a professional decision; it's a strategic move for you to break into a dynamic and essential field. Here's why:

  1. Booming Demand: From healthcare to financial institutions, just about every industry in Chicago relies on secure systems. This translates to a rising need for cybersecurity professionals, with companies actively seeking talent to protect their sensitive data and infrastructure. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will be a 32% growth rate in demand for cybersecurity roles from 2022 to 2032—far above the average for all occupations.

  2. Lucrative Salaries: Protecting the city's digital assets comes with an opportunity for attractive salaries. Cybersecurity professionals in Chicago command competitive compensation, with average pay ranging from $107,670 for entry-level roles to $135,165 for experienced professionals (Glassdoor, Jan 2024).

  3. Opportunities with Top Companies: Chicago isn't just any tech hub; it's home to globally recognized names like Boeing, Abbott Laboratories, and McDonald's, all with robust cybersecurity needs. Alongside these leading organizations, a vibrant startup ecosystem fuels innovation and opens doors to exciting, cutting-edge projects. With such a diverse job landscape, you'll find numerous companies and opportunities that align with your interests and career aspirations.

Make Your Move.

Take the first step in your journey by submitting an application to one of UIC Tech bootcamp's immersive programs.

Top Cybersecurity Jobs & Salaries in Chicago

Here are several cybersecurity jobs in Chicago, each with unique responsibilities and earning potential.

1. Computer Support Specialist

Computer support specialists are frontline troubleshooters, resolving hardware and software issues for users. They ensure smooth operations, equipped with a blend of technical proficiency and excellent customer service skills.

Essential Skills to Become a Computer Support Specialist:

  • Troubleshooting

  • Customer Support

Computer Support Specialist Salaries in Chicago:

According to Glassdoor, here is how much computer support specialists make in Chicago annually on average:

  • Entry-level: $65,128

  • Experienced: $79,871

2. IT Support Specialist

IT support specialists address and resolve IT-related issues within organizations. Their responsibilities include troubleshooting technical problems and ensuring the seamless operation of various technological systems.

Essential Skills to Become an IT Support Specialist:

  • Technical Troubleshooting

  • System Maintenance

IT Support Specialist Salaries in Chicago:

Glassdoor data shows that IT support specialists in Chicago earn these average salaries annually:

  • Entry-level: $61,962

  • Experienced: $74,861

3. Systems Specialist

Systems specialists are responsible for managing and optimizing computer systems. They oversee system configurations, ensuring reliable performance and troubleshooting issues as they arise.

Essential Skills to Become a Systems Specialist:

  • System Administration

  • Problem-solving and Analytical Thinking

Systems Specialist Salaries in Chicago:

Here are the average systems specialist salaries in Chicago annually, according to Glassdoor:

  • Entry-level: $107,771

  • Experienced: $133,530

4. Network Specialist

Network specialists design, implement, and manage computer networks. They focus on providing connectivity, implementing security protocols, and troubleshooting network issues.

Essential Skills to Become a Network Specialist:

  • Networking

  • Security Protocols

Network Specialist Salaries in Chicago:

Based on Glassdoor data, the yearly network specialist salaries in Chicago are in the range of:

  • Entry-level: $96,978

  • Experienced: $120,826

5. Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts are tasked with safeguarding an organization's data from cyber threats. They analyze security measures, implement protective solutions, and aim to stay ahead of constantly emerging and evolving risks.

Essential Skills to Become an Information Security Analyst:

  • Cybersecurity Acumen

  • Risk Analysis

Information Security Analyst Salaries in Chicago:

Here are the average information security analyst salaries in Chicago annually (Glassdoor, Jan 2024):

  • Entry-Level: $107,670

  • Experienced: $135,165

6. Cybersecurity Analyst

Cybersecurity analysts are on the frontline of defense against cyber threats. They analyze and implement security measures, respond to incidents, and proactively identify vulnerabilities to fortify an organization's cybersecurity posture.

Essential Skills to Become a Cybersecurity Analyst:

  • Threat Analysis

  • Incident Response

Cybersecurity Analyst Salaries in Chicago:

Glassdoor data shows the cybersecurity analyst salaries in Chicago to be:

  • Entry-Level: $100,825

  • Experienced: $129,534

Make Your Move.

Take the first step in your journey by submitting an application to one of UIC Tech bootcamp's immersive programs.

How to Get a Cybersecurity Job in Chicago

To secure one of these top cybersecurity jobs in Chicago, you should start by understanding the industry's demands and preparing accordingly. Here's a roadmap:

How to Acquire In-Demand Cybersecurity Skills in Chicago

Hone your cybersecurity skills in Chicago using a strategic blend of learning and hands-on experience in the following ways:

1. Cybersecurity Bootcamps:

A cybersecurity bootcamp is an immersive training program designed to equip individuals with practical skills that tech employers are seeking. For aspiring cyber professionals considering a bootcamp, the University of Illinois Chicago Cybersecurity Bootcamp powered by Fullstack Academy is a prominent option. Spanning 12 weeks for full-time or 26 weeks for part-time, this intensive program provides hands-on experience, tackling real-world projects under the guidance of seasoned professionals, and preparing aspiring cybersecurity professionals like you for Chicago's dynamic industry. You can gain the in-demand skills required to become a cybersecurity professional and unlock the attractive cybersecurity salaries in Chicago.

2. Online Learning Platforms: Exploring online platforms like Coursera or Udemy for flexible, self-paced cybersecurity courses can help you build initial cyber skills. These platforms offer diverse modules to enhance your knowledge, allowing you to tailor your learning journey.

3. Industry-Recognized Certifications: Validating your cybersecurity know-how with certifications like CompTIA or Amazon Web Services is a compelling way to showcase your skills. These certifications not only elevate your expertise but can also enhance your marketability when seeking a cybersecurity job in Chicago. You can stay ahead of the curve by acquiring certifications that align with your career aspirations, and position yourself as a standout candidate in this growing field.

You can start your career transformation journey with a strategic mix of these hands-on cybersecurity bootcamps, online courses, and certifications. However, you can consider the University of Illinois Chicago Cybersecurity Bootcamp powered by Fullstack Academy as your first step in your path to gaining the skills needed to secure cybersecurity jobs in Chicago.

Find the program that fits your life.

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How to Build a Long-Term Successful Cybersecurity Career

Having a long-lasting and successful cybersecurity career in Chicago requires continuous learning and networking. To secure lasting success, consider the following strategies:

1. Cybersecurity Events/Conferences:

Participate in local cybersecurity events and conferences to stay current with industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices. Chicago hosts in-person and online events like Events Powered by Fullstack Academy, Data Connectors Chicago Cybersecurity Conference, and SecureWorld Chicago, offering valuable opportunities to network with professionals, learn from experts, and gain insights into the evolving cybersecurity landscape.

2. Cybersecurity Meetups:

Engage with local cybersecurity meetups in Chicago such as Chicagoland Cybersecurity Exchange, CSNP - Chicago CyberSecurity, EvolveSec Chicago Cybersecurity, and ISSA Chicago Chapter to connect with like-minded professionals and expand your network. These meetup gatherings provide a platform to discuss challenges, share experiences, and stay updated on the latest industry developments. Active participation in meetups fosters meaningful connections within Chicago's vibrant cybersecurity community, contributing to your long-term career growth.

Future Trends and Growth Opportunities in Your Cybersecurity Career

As you chart your cybersecurity career path in Chicago, be attuned to future trends that shape the industry. The increasing prevalence of IoT, cloud security challenges, and the evolution of AI in cyber threats present continuous learning opportunities. You can seize growth prospects by specializing in areas like threat intelligence and penetration testing. In Chicago's dynamic cybersecurity landscape, adaptability to emerging technologies and a proactive approach to skill development will be key factors propelling your career forward. Stay informed, embrace new challenges, and position yourself at the forefront of cybersecurity innovation in the Windy City.

You can start your career transformation in cybersecurity with the University of Illinois Chicago Cybersecurity Bootcamp powered by Fullstack Academy. With its rigorous curriculum, hands-on learning, and career success coaching, this bootcamp can act as a solid foundation for you to thrive in Chicago’s rapidly growing tech scene. Apply now!

Make Your Move.

Take the first step in your journey by submitting an application to one of UIC Tech bootcamp's immersive programs.