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Data & network

Cyber intelligence officer

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

Annual Salary

£31,500 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; occasionally

Future employment

There will be 3% more Cyber intelligence officer jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

In this role you'll often be:

  • identifying common weaknesses in IT networks
  • using digital resources to gather information and evidence
  • using computer forensics to identify attackers, their motivations and techniques
  • analysing threats to major security systems
  • monitoring new and evolving threats and assessing their potential impact
  • keeping databases of threats and hackers
  • 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.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme

You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in one of the following subjects:

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

You could take a postgraduate course in computing or cyber security if your first degree is not in a related subject, or if you have a lot of industry experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You could do a higher or degree apprenticeship in:

  • cyber security
  • cyber intrusion
  • network engineering

GCHQ also runs a cyber security degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

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

Other routes

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

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • For public sector work, you may need to go through UK Security Vetting. This includes:a counter terrorist check; 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.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working in digital security from the National Cyber Security Centre and Security Service MI5.

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

You could also work as a freelance security contractor.

There are lots of opportunities in cyber security in the future.

You can find out more about working in digital security from the National Cyber Security Centre and Security Service MI5.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • telecommunications knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • maths skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
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