Cyber intelligence officer

Cyber intelligence officers gather information about where threats to information technology (IT) systems come from and how they work.

Average salary (a year)

£38,480 Starter

to

£45,760 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become a Cyber intelligence officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

University

Many people get into this job with a degree. Useful subjects include:

  • computer science
  • computer or cyber security
  • mathematics
  • network engineering/security

If your degree isn't in a relevant subject, you could take a postgraduate course in computing or cyber security.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

Apprenticeship

You could do an advanced, higher or degree apprenticeship in:

  • IT infrastructure
  • cyber security
  • cyber intrusion
  • network engineering

Advanced apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships take from 1 to 2 years and degree apprenticeships take around 4 to 5 years.

GCHQ runs a cyber security degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a higher or a degree apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could start work with a security firm, for example as an IT support technician after doing GCSEs or A levels, then work your way up while studying for further qualifications.

Direct application

If you have a degree or relevant work experience, you could apply for MI5's Intelligence and Data Analyst Development Programme.

More information

Further information

The Chartered Institute for IT has more details about computing careers, qualifications and training.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • broadcasting and telecommunications knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • this job requires a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • be a British or Commonwealth citizen, a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen, or a foreign national with the right to stay and work in the UK for an indefinite period

For public sector work, you may need to go through UK vetting for a:

  • security check (SC) - for access to information classified as 'secret'
  • developed vetting (DV) - for access to information classified as 'top secret'

For private sector work, you may not need to be vetted unless you're working on government systems.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you'll often be:

  • identifying common weaknesses in IT structures (threats)
  • using digital resources to gather information and evidence
  • using computer forensics to identify attackers, their motivations and typical techniques
  • analysing threats to major security systems
  • monitoring new and evolving threats and assessing their potential impact
  • keeping databases of threats and actors
  • producing threat assessment reports with recommendations for protective action
  • developing relationships with other organisations to safely share security knowledge
  • updating your skills and knowledge

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a client's business.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a specialised cyber security lead and then head of cyber security.

You could also be a freelance contractor.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Cyber Intrusion Analyst Apprentice - 17032

  • Wage : £18,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Oxford OX4 2JY

GSK Cyber Security Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £16,500.00 Annually
  • Location: Brentford TW8 9GS

Courses In England

Level 3 IT Cyber Security and Security Administration

  • Provider: WALSALL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: WALSALL

AQA L3 FOUNDATION TECHICAL LEVEL IT: CYBER SECURITY (L3 LE)

  • Provider: CHESTERFIELD COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: CHESTERFIELD

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