Careers Newsletter: March 2024

Careers Spotlight: Cyber Security

Cybersecurity Professionals detect cyber threats and implement changes to protect an organisation. A security operations centre (SOC) team likely has several tiers of cybersecurity professionals that are responsible for monitoring, directing, containing and remediating IT threats. Cybersecurity Professionals may be tasked with anything from installing, administering and troubleshooting security solutions to writing up security policies and training documents for colleagues. While other job roles are responsible for specific part of the overall system, Cybersecurity Professionals must be able to take a step back and see the big picture to keep it secure from threats.

Careers in cyber security

If you are wondering how to get into cyber security, here is a selection of 10 popular careers in cyber security in the UK, including outlines of their primary duties and estimates of their average salaries:

1. Cyber security intern

National average salary: £30,094 per year

Primary responsibilities: Not all jobs in cyber security require a university degree. Many large companies offer apprenticeships to people leaving school. This is particularly common in the energy industry and in telecommunications companies. These apprenticeships focus on developing real-world cyber security skills through a mixture of classroom and online training and hands-on experience, learning on the job.

Other organisations offer graduate trainee schemes focusing on cyber security. These may be an option for people from a wide range of technical backgrounds, for example, those with maths, engineering or computing degrees. The purpose of these schemes is to provide the necessary skills and qualifications to lead to a full career in cyber security. This could also involve professional qualifications and certifications which allow graduates to develop a specialism in a particular area of cyber security, such as network defence qualifications or CompTIA certification in high-risk cyber security threats.

2. Cyber security advisor

National average salary: £50,637 per year

Primary responsibilities: A number of bodies exist to provide strategic advice to the public and private sectors about cyber security. The largest of these is the National Cyber Security Centre, but various other organisations employ cyber security advisors whose role includes providing advice on protecting the organisation and its data online. The role of an advisor involves working with technical specialists to take detailed technical knowledge and make it accessible. This can include developing and launching public security awareness campaigns.

Cyber security advisors often work with industries under particular threat from cyber attacks. For example, the nuclear energy industry, research laboratories, weapons manufacturers and others working in advanced technology may find themselves under threat. Attacks may seek to steal intellectual property, such as blueprints or designs. Cyber security expert advisors help these kinds of companies keep their data, their customers and the industry safe.

3. Cyber security project manager

National average salary: £64,870 per year

Primary responsibilities: Some companies routinely undertake a review of their cyber security measures and put in place new strategies to improve their overall security going forward. A specific cyber security project manager is likely to oversee these projects. As with any project management job, the role involves a significant focus on overseeing a budget and managing a specific project to achieve the desired goals within a specific time frame. It may also involve managing employed contractors for specific aspects of the project.

4. IT manager

National average salary: £45,527 per year

Primary responsibilities: An IT manager oversees the IT systems a company uses. This could involve procuring new equipment, updating existing equipment and using IT solutions to solve problems the company faces. Cyber security is integral to all of these duties. Whilst it is not the sole focus of an IT manager, ensuring that all updates and new systems are storing data safely and securely is fundamental to the job.

5. Systems integration engineer

National average salary: £43,932 per year

Primary responsibilities: Systems integration engineers and administrators oversee the maintenance and configuration of various IT systems. In particular, they can have responsibility for installing cyber security software on local networks. They may also play a role in managing the human side of cyber security, that is – system access processes, so a company has a clear way of tracking which staff have access to sensitive files and folders.

6. Information security architect

National average salary: £75,524 per year

Primary responsibilities: Information architects are responsible for designing the structure and layout of a website or network. Those with a focus on security help a company by building the necessary security protocols into the IT networks a company uses. This could include implementing security software, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and firewalls. They are also likely to play a role in vulnerability testing, to understand which aspects of a company's IT networks are most vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

7. Chief information officer

National average salary: £34,656 per year

Primary responsibilities: A chief information officer has overall responsibility for a company's IT department. They put in place the cyber security strategies and make decisions about the best way for a company to implement technological solutions to upcoming issues. Whilst they have wider responsibility for the usage and functionality of the IT systems, cyber security is an important part of their role.

8. Security consultant

National average salary: £54,039 per year

Primary responsibilities: A security consultant works for a consultancy company or they may be self-employed. They work with multiple companies, under contract, to provide specialist cyber security advice. As part of their role, they may audit a company's existing cyber security measures to understand where there are issues or concerns. They study the measures in place and assess where breaches would be most likely. Finally, they provide advice to the company on how to remedy these issues.

9. Cyber threat intelligence analyst

National average salary: £36,212 per year

Primary responsibilities: Cyber intelligence analysts use intelligence and patterns of data to understand threats and put processes in place to mitigate them. They have a proactive role in writing reports and providing advice that helps a company look to the future and prepare for potential threats. Other IT specialists then implement the advice they provide, for example, by implementing access controls on particularly vulnerable parts of a company's IT system or adding firewalls.

10. Penetration tester

National average salary: £52,294 per year

Primary responsibilities: Penetration testing, or 'white hat hacking', involves testing the security measures a company has in place. A penetration tester uses hacking skills to attempt to break into networks and computer systems or compromise websites. This kind of 'friendly' hacking allows a company to identify and fix security issues that leave their systems vulnerable. People with this speciality often work for specialist IT security consultancy firms, which offer their services to client organisations. This means they may gain a broad range of experience as they spend time working with different IT teams in various sectors.

The role may also involve testing the human aspects of cyber security. For example, a company may hire a specialist firm offering penetration testing, to send targeted phishing emails to members of staff, to understand how staff react and whether their actions (opening a suspicious email, clicking a link) would leave the company vulnerable to a cyber attack. A company uses this insight to implement cyber security training or new policies, where necessary.

If you want to learn more about working in cyber security click on the links below

Boosting your CV

In this section we have looked at how boost your CV.  A good CV will get you noticed and invited for an interview, but no further.  The key to a successful interview lies in soft skills.  Over the next few editions we will look at each of the different soft skills and how you can improve them


Communication, while complex, is a vital part of succeeding in just about every avenue of life. It’s one thing to know what’s right or know what to do, but it’s another thing entirely to be able to clearly communicate that to the right people at the right time. Developing strong communication skills, both verbally and in writing, is an essential soft skill for the modern workplace.

Interpersonal Skills

Closely related to communication, interpersonal skills are all those intangibles you need to relate well to others, build relationships, and generate the necessary rapport to make inroads and win discussions.

If you’ve ever been in a discussion and emerged from it unsure how the other person convinced you to agree, you were dealing with someone with exceptional interpersonal skills. While some people are born with naturally strong interpersonal skills, everyone can learn strategies to improve in this area.

Help for Parents and Carers

When it comes to education and careers, parents and carers have a large influence on a students choices. As an adult you are expected to have all the answers, but in a constantly evolving world it can be a struggle to keep up with the latest options out there.  In this section we will highlight resources that will help keep you up to date with careers and the choices available to young people.

This month we look at common questions parents have about apprenticeships.


An apprenticeship is a paid job where the employee learns and gains valuable experiences.

Alongside on-the-job training, apprentices spend at least 20% of their working hours completing classroom-based learning with a college, university or training provider which leads to a nationally recognised qualification.

An apprenticeship includes:

paid employment with holiday leave.

hands-on-experience in a sector/role of interest.

at least 20% off-the-job training.

formal assessment which leads to a nationally recognised qualification.


Apprenticeships are for anyone above the age of 16 who isn't in full-time education. There isn't an age limit but they're normally aimed at 16-24 year olds.


Apprenticeships are categorised by the level of qualification that you gain on completion.

Level 2 apprenticeships (Intermediate) - Level 2 apprenticeships are the first step on the apprenticeship ladder. As a level 2 apprentice, you’ll gain on-the-job experience alongside qualifications equivalent to five GCSEs. You’ll get a full-time wage for the duration of your apprenticeship as well.  Level 2 apprenticeships take around 12 – 18 months to complete.

Level 3 apprenticeships (Advanced) - Similarly to a level 2 apprenticeship, level 3 apprentices combine work training with academic study. You’ll earn a wage and gain qualifications equivalent to two A-Levels.  Level 3 apprenticeships take up to 2 years to complete. However, the length of your programme will depend on your employer and capabilities.

Level 4/5 apprenticeships (Higher) - Higher apprenticeships, also referred to as level 4 or level 5 apprenticeships, are designed for school leavers aged 18+.  They’ll give you work experience, qualifications equivalent to a foundation degree, Higher National Diploma (HND), or Higher National Certificate (HNC). These apprenticeships can last anywhere between 3-4 years. The academic modules are usually spent in a further or higher education institution. The rest of a higher apprentice’s time is spent working for a company.

Degree apprenticeships - Degree apprenticeships are the pinnacle of apprenticeships and offer the opportunity to earn a degree. Degree apprenticeships take between 3 and 6 years to complete.


There are lots of great websites to help you learn about apprenticeships. We particularly like Amazing Apprenticeships,  RateMyApprenticeship and Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP) links to all three are at the bottom of this section


The process for applying for an apprenticeship is very much like applying for a job.

Apprenticeships Guide for Parents

The National Audit Office have launched a brand new Apprenticeships Guide for parents and carers – and it’s free for you to download now. The new digital guide is packed full of vital information to help you guide your child as they decide whether an apprenticeship could be for them. The guide contains insider insights from employers, interviews with today’s apprentices – and in-depth information about apprenticeship programmes across 17 industries. 

To download a copy of the guide please click on the link below 

Careers in Hertfordshire: Retrofit

Retrofit demand is booming, but Hertfordshire’s skills capacity and capability is still in its infancy stage. This presents a fantastic opportunity for local businesses and tradespeople looking to secure new contracts and explore new avenues to growth, as well as for residents seeking an in-demand career with high growing prospects. 


Retrofit can be defined as any work done to an existing building to improve its energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. Retrofit is key to achieving Government’s 2050 Net Zero target, and delivering warmer homes, improved health and lower energy bills for local residents.

With 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions coming from the built environment, and 80% of the homes that will be occupied in 2050 already in existence, the decarbonisation of the county’s building stock is a major priority.


The majority of Hertfordshire’s housing stock in old, built circa 1945. 3 in 5 Hertfordshire homes possess an average Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘C’ and there are more failing certificates than passing in most districts. The retrofit roles most needed to improve these dwellings relate to the installation of energy efficiency measures, including:

There is strong demand for both technical roles, e.g. retrofit assessors, installers and heat specialists, and non-technical roles, e.g. project managers, customer service and finance professionals. With only 157 certified retrofit installers in the county, we urgently need more!

For more information please go to 

Current Opportunities

This month we have an opportunity for students who are considering a career in medicine or dentistry to attend a virtual talk.  We also have an opportunity to learn about careers available in the jewellery sector.  In addition The Careers and Enterprise Company are hosting two careers webinars, one on construction and the other on air traffic control.

Getting into Medicine or Dentistry

As the excitement and nerves surrounding the UCAT exam builds, I want to ensure that your students receive the support they need as they navigate this critical aspect of the medical and dental school admissions process.

To that end, I highly recommend that they take advantage of the upcoming virtual Get Into Medicine Conference or Get into Dentistry Conference. These conferences are facilitated by seasoned Chief Mentors who specialise in guiding students through the application process, including comprehensive UCAT exam preparation.

Register for the Get Into Medicine Conference on Saturday 9th March, 9:30am - 3:30pm:

Register for the Get Into Dentistry Conference on Saturday 23rd March, 9:30am - 3:30pm:

During the conference sessions, students will receive an introductory overview of the UCAT, gain insights into its various sections, and delve into example questions along with effective answering strategies. Chief Mentors will also give a thorough overview of:

- Selecting your universities

- Personal statements

- Medical/Dental school interview skills

- Medical Leadership Programmes

- Awards Programmes

- Extracurricular activities

- Work experience

- Building a CV

- Applying for scholarships

Our aim is to equip aspiring medical and dental students with the tools to sidestep common mistakes and pitfalls and ace their application to university. Students aged 14 - 18 are invited to attend with a parent or guardian, equipped with a working camera and microphone.

For those who can't make it to the next upcoming conference, don't worry. We host these events nearly every weekend to ensure everyone has access to vital information for their applications.

For aspiring Doctors: FREE LIVE VIRTUAL Get Into Medicine conference dates:

Saturday 9th March from 9:30am - 3:30pm

Sunday 17th March from 9:30am - 3:30pm

Sunday 24th March from 9:30am - 3:30pm

Medical Registration Link:

For aspiring Dentists: FREE LIVE VIRTUAL Get Into Dentistry conference date:

Saturday 23rd March from 9:30am - 3:30pm

Dental Registration Link:

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to drop me an email or call our team on 01530 417299. Thank you for working with us to make a difference to your students. 

Careers in Jewellery

I’m writing from Birmingham Assay Office in relation to a careers event we are hosting on 21st March 2024 at our central location within the Jewelry Quarter in Birmingham.


There's a whole host of exhibitors including the National Association of Jewellers, Goldsmiths, Cooksongold and many more! We also have apprenticeship talks going on throughout the day so your students can find the next step in their future.


If you would like to attend, please book per person using the link below:

Careers Event 2024

Perfect for apprentices, hobbyists, students and graduates of the jewellery trade!


We hope to see you there!




Kind Regards,

Beth Smyth

Customer Experience Specialist


The Careers and Enterprise Company have two webinars coming up.  On 14th March from 4:30 to 5:30 there is a webinar on careers in sustainable construction.  Then on 18th April from 4:30 to 5:30 here is a webinar about careers in air traffic control

Virtual Employer Encounters