Making the Most of Your Cybersecurity Internship

Internships can be incredibly beneficial for students as they prepare to enter the realm of professional paid employment. An internship can provide students the opportunity to work in a real-world setting in the field they study. Students can gain hands-on experience and support the lessons they’ve previously learned in an online degree program.

According to data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers and College Recruiter, millions of internship positions are filled by post-secondary students annually. Overall, more than 75% of graduating students participated in at least one internship before completing their degree programs.

An internship position comes with considerable advantages. Students pursuing a degree in cyber security, information security or a related field can enhance their learning, support the development of new skills and put themselves on the fast track toward an exciting career.

What does a cyber security intern do? A brief look

Depending on the organization a student interns with, and the products or services the company provides, an internship position in cyber security can vary. As educational and job search resource Cyber Intern Academy pointed out, cyber security internships can incorporate both basic administrative tasks related to technology and data security. This includes tasks like reading and responding to emails, organizing documents or other digital resources, researching and reviewing the company’s current IT policies, and researching new security products and strategies.

In addition, interns may also take part in projects that are more specific to cyber security. This work might encompass things like assisting in building a new digital system or platform, maintaining the network, participating or helping to lead security awareness training, and system auditing.

Both administrative tasks and cyber security projects can benefit students in an internship program. Interns can improve their professional communication skills, while working side-by-side with industry professionals on functioning information systems.

What to know about cyber security internships

Before students look into available cyber security internship opportunities, there are a few important things to know:

Is experience required?

While some internship opportunities require candidates to have experience in the cyber security field, this is not a prerequisite for all internships. There are programs created just for undergraduates who have not yet worked in a professional capacity. Some internship opportunities are designed especially for students still completing their degree program.

As CyberInternAcademy noted, applicants that demonstrate a passion for the world of cyber security, information technology and related fields increase their chances of being considered, even without previous experience.

Can students get an internship before they graduate?

As noted, there are internship programs specifically created with the needs of students in mind. Many internships last one to three months, and can fit perfectly into students’ break between semesters. Additionally, some internship programs are flexible enough so that students can complete them while simultaneously working on their degree program studies.

Do interns get paid?

Paid internship programs are increasingly popular, particularly in cyber security and information technology. While there are unpaid positions, a rising number of businesses are creating full-time, paid internship positions that provide students with more hands-on experience and opportunities to build their skills. The NACE and Investopedia found that students who held paid internships were more likely to achieve employment after graduation than those who participated in an unpaid internship program.

The level of pay can vary, however. ZipRecruiter reported that as of February 2020, the national average salary for cyber security interns was an impressive $96,675 annually. CyberInternAcademy noted that compensation can range from $10 to $25 per hour, depending on the business, its location and the internship program’s requirements.

Top types of cyber security internships

There are several different types of positions offered for cyber security internship programs, including roles like:

  • Cyber security analyst internship: Interns work side-by-side with professional security analysts to pinpoint important digital assets, and the ways in which these could be exploited by threats or cybercriminals.
  • Security assurance internship: This role enables interns to get experience in security gap analysis, risk assessment and reporting, as well as risk documentation.
  • Application security internship: These internships might also be called “penetration testing,” and allow students to practice testing and reviewing business’ internal applications. Interns review the safeguards and application security policies in place, helps identify any gaps or weaknesses and assist in resolving these cyber security issues.
  • Security management internship: Here, interns help professionals review existing documentation of their security policies, and assist in developing new policy documentation. Interns may also help create security awareness training assets and support internal training efforts.
  • Network management internship: Interns in this type of program help create and install network hardware, while also establishing and maintaining physical and digital network security.

While these roles can vary or change based on a company’s internship program and its requirements, these are some of the popular opportunities that students will come across as they seek out internships.

Preparing for a career in cyber security

An internship is a highly beneficial way for students to support the lessons they learn, and is particularly advantageous in an online degree program. Students pursuing a degree in cyber security, information security or a related sector can be exposed to the latest industry strategies and best practices while improving their professional communication skills and networking in the field.

To find out more about the advantages of a cyber security internship and how it can help you prepare for a career in cyber security, check out our website. And connect with one of our expert enrollment advisors about the Online Master of Science in Cyber Security today.

Recommended Readings:

What Can Cyber Security Professionals Earn in Salary with a Master’s Degree?

Should You Become a Cyber Security Analyst?


Cyber Intern Academy – What do cyber security interns do?

Cyber Intern Academy – Applying for a cyber security internship with no experience

Cyber Intern Academy – Everything you need to know about cyber security internships


College Recruiter