What Does a Web Developer Do?

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes while browsing the web? Think of a broken website you have come across. Or, one that had a button on a page that did not function. Or, one that was visually unappealing and poorly organized. If you have ever wondered what a web developer does, maintaining websites—and fixing broken items on a website—are just two of the core duties of a web developer’s job. 

Responsibilities of a Web Developer 

Here’s a more robust description of what web developers do: They use code to design, create, and maintain websites or web applications. Web developers guarantee users a smooth and friendly experience by continuously testing and debugging the functionality of the web application. 

Often, web developers will work alongside web designers, who primarily focus on the visual aspect of the website—making sure things look pretty (for example, the layout) and making sure things check out from a usability standpoint. Web developers must be open to accepting constructive feedback on how the site can improve or be more visually appealing to the users.

In this article, we will answer the question “What does a web developer do?” by providing an overview of the key responsibilities of the role. We will look at the three primary types of web developer roles and the tech skills those roles require. We’ll close the article by looking at career opportunities (and average salaries) for web developer professionals.

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The Three Types of Web Developers

There are three primary types of web developers: front-end developers, back-end developers, and full-stack developers. Let’s take a closer look at each role, plus the technical skills for web development that each role requires.  

Back-end developers 

Back-end developers create and maintain the server-side logic that powers the web application that allows the front end (what a user sees on a screen) and back end (the behind-the-scenes inner workings) to communicate with each other. 

An example of this would be Spotify, the music streaming service that allows users to create accounts and playlists they can manage. It’s the back-end developers who use the Spotify Application Programming Interface (API) to power these features. Developers will handle tasks like authenticating users accounts, storing the users preferences in a database, and interacting with Spotify’s servers to stream a user’s song requests.

Additional responsibilities of a back-end developer include managing servers, databases, and applications, and guaranteeing secure authentication and authorization. They also integrate APIs and document the functionality of the code. 

Depending on the size of the web development team, back-end developers will collaborate on different versions of the application using GitHub. Below are profiles of common programming languages, frameworks, and databases that many back-end developers use today.

Back-end development programming languages 

Developers use back-end programming languages to power the internal functionality of web applications. They handle operations that are invisible to the users. These include, for example, managing databases, handling requests from the servers, and interacting with APIs to deliver data and features that users will use and see on the website. 

Some popular back-end programming languages include:

  • Python is an easy-to-learn-and-use object-oriented programming language. It is commonly used in building software applications, as well as for automating tasks and analyzing data. Netflix, Spotify, and many other big-name companies use Python.
  • NodeJS allows developers to build server-side applications using JavaScript.
  • Ruby is a programming language used to build web applications.
  • PHP is a scripting language commonly used to create server-side logic for dynamic web pages.
  • Java is another programming language commonly used in building web and mobile applications.

Back-end development frameworks 

To enhance security and efficiency, back-end developers will often use back-end development frameworks. These are pre built tools that provide a foundation for developers to construct the server-side functionality of the website. They include pre-built functions and libraries that help speed up development tasks like user authentication, database integration, and API development. 

Some common back-end development frameworks include: 

  • Flask is a Python framework commonly used to build web applications. It is known for its simplicity and flexibility, which allows users to build small or large applications. Netflix uses Flask for parts of its back-end application.
  • Ruby on Rails is a web development tool that adds server-side logic to a back end. It is built on the Ruby programming language, and has helped startups build web applications quickly. Rails is known for its DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) concept, which allows developers to reuse and organize code efficiently. 
  • Django is a back-end framework primarily used with Python. It allows developers to build web applications quickly and efficiently.
  • Spring Boot is a framework primarily used to develop web applications and microservices (which are large applications being separated into smaller applications, each having its own responsibilities). Spring Boot is built on top of the Java programming language. 

Back-end development databases

A database stores, manages, and retrieves crucial information that is useful to the users or web application. This can include user information, transaction history, and more. Back-end databases can handle retrieving the data or creating new instances in the database. This helps ensure data integrity, security, and scalability. 

Common databases include: 

  • PostgreSQL is a relational database management system. It helps developers build reliable applications and protects user data. It can be scalable, storing any size of data no matter how large or small. Instagram, Uber, and many other companies use PostgreSQL.
  • SQLite is a lightweight relational database. It is a great choice for developers who need a simple relational database. It is common for embedded systems like TVs or mobile devices to use SQLite.
  • MongoDB is a non-relational database that allows developers to store structured or unstructured data. 

Front-end developers 

Front-end developers are responsible for designing and coding the visual aspects of the web application. This includes what users will see and how they will navigate to different pages, plus the graphical design of the application. Front-end developers also implement responsive design, which ensures the application looks appealing and is functional on both desktop and mobile devices. Front-end developers will often collaborate across teams and manage different versions of the application using GitHub. 

Below are brief profiles of common programming languages and tools that many front-end developers use today.

Front-end developer programming languages 

  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the primary language for building web applications. 
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a programming language used for structuring and styling the layout of a web page (for example, the font size of letters on the page).
  • JavaScript is a programming language used to create dynamic web applications. It is commonly used with HTML and CSS. 

Front-end developer tools

  • React is a JavaScript library known for creating dynamic user interfaces for web applications.
  • Angular is a JavaScript framework written in Typescript. It allows users to develop web applications; primarily single page applications.
  • Vue is a popular JavaScript framework used to develop web applications. It is known for its ease of use and flexibility. 

Full-stack developers 

Full-stack developers create and maintain both the front end and back end of a web application. They need skills in both front-end and back-end programming languages and frameworks, plus version control management, server communication, and deployment applications. Full-stack developers need to be proficient in various programming languages and frameworks.

A full-stack development stack may include:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • React
  • Python
  • Flask
  • PostgreSQL

Career Opportunities for Web Developers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 25% national growth in software engineering roles through the year 2031. So the future looks bright for those in the field. According to ZipRecruiter, the yearly average salary for a web developer in the United States is $93,848. Depending on the role, industry, and experience you have when you enter the field, the average salary may vary. 

Let’s take a look at the average salaries for the three developer roles we’ve profiled in this article.

Back-end web developer

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a back-end developer in the United States is about $120,000 per year (May 2024). There are a few jobs related to the back-end web developer job category that have even higher average pay. Those jobs include senior Java software engineer, back-end infrastructure engineer, back-end architect, and senior back-end developer. 

As of May 2024, the average salary for a back-end web developer in the U.S. is around 120,000 dollars, according to ZipRecruiter
Source: ZipRecruiter
The average salary for a back-end web developer in the U.S. according to ZipRecruiter (May 2024)

Front-end web developer

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a front-end developer in the United States is about $110,000 per year (May 2024). There are a few jobs related to the front-end web developer job category that have even higher average pay. Those jobs include front-end architect, front-end engineer, and senior front-end engineer. 

As of May 2024, the average salary for a front-end web developer in the U.S. is around 110,000 dollars, according to ZipRecruiter
Source: ZipRecruiter
The average salary for a front-end web developer in the U.S. according to ZipRecruiter (May 2024)

Full-stack web developer

The average salary for a full-stack developer in the United States is about $118,000 per year. There are a few jobs related to the full-stack developer job category that have even higher average pay. Those jobs include full-stack technical lead, stack developer, and Python web developer. 

As of May 2024, the average salary for a full-stack web developer in the U.S. is around 118,000 dollars, according to ZipRecruiter
Source: ZipRecruiter
The average salary for a full-stack web developer in the U.S. according to ZipRecruiter (May 2024)

How to Become a Web Developer

The world of web development offers exciting paths, each with its own set of languages and tools to master. Whether the visual appeal of front-end development, the intricate logic of back-end development, or the well-rounded mastery of full-stack development appeals to you, the first step is building a strong foundation. You’ll need to dive into the core languages that power the web. Front-end developers will conquer the trifecta of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Back-end developers will delve into languages like Python and frameworks like Flask. Full-stack developers? You’ll need to absorb it all. 

Flatiron’s Software Engineering Bootcamp can equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in web development. We’ve helped students from a diverse array of backgrounds—including events management and medicine—successfully change career paths. Take the first step toward a new career today and book a 10-minute call with our Admissions team to learn more. 

Why a Cybersecurity Career Change Might be the Perfect Move

Cybersecurity presents itself as a compelling career change for numerous reasons, notably due to the ever-growing demand for professionals equipped with cybersecurity knowledge and skills across various industries. In today’s digital age, where data breaches, cyber attacks, and privacy concerns are rampant, organizations worldwide are prioritizing strong cybersecurity measures to safeguard their sensitive information and infrastructure. This escalating threat landscape has led to a significant shortage of cybersecurity experts, creating abundant opportunities for career transitioners interested in a potential cybersecurity career change. Regardless of one’s previous professional background, individuals with a passion for problem-solving, critical thinking, and a knack for technology can seamlessly pivot into cybersecurity roles.

Industries Seeking Cybersecurity Professionals

Industries ranging from finance and healthcare to government agencies and e-commerce are actively seeking cybersecurity professionals to strengthen their defenses against cyber threats. Financial institutions require experts to protect customer data and financial transactions, while healthcare organizations need to secure patient records and medical devices from potential breaches.

Similarly, government entities rely on cybersecurity specialists to safeguard sensitive information and critical infrastructure from cyber espionage and attacks at a larger purview. Moreover, the booming e-commerce sector depends on cybersecurity experts to ensure the security of online transactions and customer data, fostering trust among consumers.

Furthermore, the versatility of cybersecurity skills enables professionals to explore diverse career paths within the field. From ethical hacking and penetration testing to risk assessment and security analysis, individuals can specialize in various domains based on their interests and aptitudes.

Additionally, the continuous evolution of technology and the emergence of new cyber threats guarantee a dynamic and intellectually stimulating career in cybersecurity, offering endless opportunities for learning and growth.The burgeoning demand for cybersecurity expertise across different industries, coupled with the flexibility and constant innovation within the field, makes it an ideal career change for individuals seeking rewarding and future-proof professions. Whether making a cybersecurity career change from a technical or non-technical background, embarking on a cybersecurity career path promises both professional fulfillment and the chance to make a significant impact in safeguarding digital assets and preserving online privacy and security.

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Cybersecurity Career Opportunities

A diverse array of career opportunities exists for individuals possessing cybersecurity knowledge and skills, extending beyond traditional roles to encompass non-traditional paths in various industries. 

Traditional cybersecurity careers

Firstly, traditional careers in cybersecurity include roles such as cybersecurity analysts, penetration testers, security engineers, and incident responders. These professionals are responsible for protecting organizations from cyber threats, conducting vulnerability assessments, implementing security measures, and responding to security incidents.

Non-traditional cybersecurity careers

Moreover, the demand for cybersecurity expertise has proliferated into non-traditional sectors, offering unique cyber career opportunities. In the healthcare industry, for instance, healthcare cybersecurity specialists focus on safeguarding patient records, medical devices, and hospital networks from cyber attacks. Similarly, the automotive industry has seen a rise in automotive cybersecurity engineers tasked with securing connected vehicles and autonomous driving systems against potential cyber threats.

Furthermore, the rapidly expanding field of Internet of Things (IoT) presents unconventional career opportunities in IoT security. The IoT provides a unique landscape of career opportunities as it opens doors to industries outside of directly working with computers. IoT refers to the world of devices that connect to the cloud, such as smartwatches and smart home devices. 

IoT security specialists work to secure interconnected devices and networks, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of data transmitted through IoT ecosystems. Additionally, the gaming industry has witnessed a surge in demand for cybersecurity professionals specializing in gaming security, protecting online gaming platforms and digital assets from hackers and cyber attacks.

Beyond industry-specific roles, non-traditional careers in cybersecurity also include positions in academia, policy-making, and law enforcement. Cybersecurity educators and researchers contribute to advancing the field through academic institutions, while cybersecurity consultants provide specialized expertise to businesses and governments. Moreover, cybersecurity policy analysts and law enforcement agents play crucial roles in shaping cybersecurity regulations, enforcing cyber laws, and investigating cyber crimes.

Cybersecurity career change and the job landscape

The career landscape for individuals with cybersecurity knowledge and skills is vast and diverse, encompassing traditional roles in cybersecurity as well as non-traditional opportunities across various industries and sectors. Whether pursuing a career as a cybersecurity analyst, IoT security specialist, or cybersecurity policy analyst, professionals in this field have the flexibility to explore a wide range of career paths and make significant contributions to safeguarding digital assets and protecting against cyber threats.

blackbox hacker image

Diverse Backgrounds in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a field where diversity isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a necessity. In a world where cyber threats evolve at lightning speed, the need for individuals from diverse backgrounds in cybersecurity careers has never been more critical.

Diversity brings a multitude of benefits to the table. Firstly, it fosters innovation. When people from different backgrounds and age ranges collaborate, they bring unique perspectives and problem-solving approaches. This diversity of thought is essential for staying one step ahead of cyber threats and developing innovative solutions.

Moreover, cybersecurity is a global issue. Threats know no borders, and understanding global perspectives and cyber threats is crucial. By recruiting individuals from diverse cultural, linguistic, and geographical backgrounds, cybersecurity teams gain a deeper understanding of global challenges.

Effective communication and collaboration are also enhanced in diverse teams. Different communication styles and cultural norms create an environment of mutual respect and understanding, facilitating more effective collaboration towards common cybersecurity goals.

Additionally, diversity helps address the skills shortage in cybersecurity. By actively recruiting from non-traditional career paths and underrepresented groups, organizations can tap into a larger talent pool, promoting inclusivity and addressing the industry’s skill gap.

Furthermore, building trust and credibility is paramount in cybersecurity. By prioritizing diversity, organizations demonstrate their commitment to understanding and addressing diverse stakeholder needs. This fosters trust and enhances the organization’s reputation.

Diversity is not just a nice-to-have in cybersecurity—it’s a must-have. Embracing individuals from diverse backgrounds enriches cybersecurity teams, fostering innovation, understanding global perspectives, enhancing collaboration, addressing skill shortages, and building trust. In an interconnected world facing evolving cyber threats, diversity is the key to resilience and success in safeguarding digital assets and data.

 Learn Cybersecurity at Flatiron School in as Little as 15 Weeks

Embark on a transformative journey into cybersecurity with our comprehensive Cybersecurity Bootcamp course. Equip yourself with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career change into this high-demand field, where average salaries for many key roles are in the 100k range. Apply today or book a 10-minute chat with our Admissions team to learn more. 

A Career Coach in Your Corner

Considering a career change can be daunting. Even after extensive research about new career fields to pivot to, most still face the “devil you know versus the devil you don’t know” conundrum. Can I really learn a completely new skill? And even if I do, can I secure a job in my new field with a background in [fill in the blank]?

Most students at Flatiron School probably grapple with this line of thinking at some point. And if you too have grappled with this line of thinking, I’m glad you’ve landed on this post. I lead the Learning & Community teams at Flatiron School and have had front-row seat privileges to over 7,500 successful job searches over the last eight years.

What makes all the difference? Having a career coach from Flatiron’s Career Services department in your corner—until you get a job or for a full six months after you graduate. Many of you probably have some high school or college recollection of a Career Services office—somewhere down a dimly lit hallway with a friendly person there ready to review your paper resume or offer some general tips on how to interview at companies. This is not that.

If you’ve ever played a sport, you understand the impact of a great coach—someone who both challenges and supports you, expects you to bring your best, and provides invaluable insights to help you level up continuously. (If you’re not into sports or are skeptical about partnering with a Career Coach, I encourage you to check out this 2017 Ted Talk, by Atul Gwande.)

I like to think of coaching as a gift you give yourself. It’s the gift of undivided attention from a neutral job search expert who is dedicated to helping you secure a job you’re excited about. 

The Flatiron Career Coach Advantage

Flatiron provides 1:1 coaching to every graduate as part of their tuition. For six months from the time you graduate, you’ll meet with your coach regularly to assess your progress and tailor your job search efforts to your unique strengths.

Whether you’re hesitant about networking, struggling to find job leads, or nervous about technical interviews, your career coach is there to ask the right questions to get you thinking, and to provide guidance, practice, and honest, objective feedback. Many students also find coaching to be a helpful form of accountability in what can sometimes feel like a lonely or intimidating job search.

As a trained coach myself—Flatiron’s first-ever career coach, actually—I can attest that our school’s coaching methodology is rooted in setting clear goals, understanding your reality, exploring options, and making steady forward progress toward landing you a job. We also help you develop professional skills you’ll use throughout your career. In fact, one of the best parts of my job is hearing from our alumni who often share that the practice they gained from working with their career coach in skills like summarizing their work to different audiences; narrating a thought process or a project demo using screen recording tools like Loom; presenting themselves and their background authentically; and staying focused and creative in their approach to problem-solving has been invaluable to them as they’ve advanced their careers after Flatiron School.

Exclusive Access As A Grad

As a grad, you’ll also have access to:

  • A Flatiron-only job board curated by our Employer Partnerships Team, offering insider tips from select employer partners
  • Weekly community events, including Employer Spotlights and Alumni AMAs, providing invaluable networking opportunities
  • A comprehensive Career Prep course with over 50 lessons tailored specifically for career changers breaking into technical roles

Now, whether to go for it? Only you can decide that. Just know if you do, you’ll have a career coach in your corner cheering you on every step of the way after graduation. As of today, we have helped over 8,000 Flatiron graduates land jobs in cybersecurity, data science, product design, and software engineering fields. Know that we’re prepared to help you should you decide to enroll!

Troy Hendrickson: From Sales to Stats Auditor for the NBA

Driven by a passion for sports and a desire to leverage data for deeper insights, Troy Hendrickson attended Flatiron School’s Data Science bootcamp in the hopes of joining his dream industry – professional sports. Read his inspiring story of transformation from coach and salesperson to Stats Auditor at the National Basketball Association (NBA)!

Before Flatiron: What were you doing and why did you decide to switch gears?

Troy’s background in sports management and sales success hinted at his potential in the data-driven world of sports analytics. However, the lack of technical skills held him back from his dream career. “I knew data science could one day lead me to work for a sports franchise,” he says, “and sales wasn’t my passion.”

During Flatiron: What surprised you most about yourself and the learning process during your time at Flatiron School?

Flatiron wasn’t just about learning new skills; it was about self-discovery. “I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed the learning process,” Troy admits. The supportive community and emphasis on practical application fueled his drive. “Flatiron’s values aligned perfectly with mine,” he says, highlighting the school’s focus on grit and a growth mindset.

After Flatiron: What are you most proud of in your new tech career?

After 277 days of dedicated job search, Troy landed his dream role at the NBA. His journey wasn’t without challenges. “Initially, I applied too often,” he reflects. But by strategically leveraging his network and continuously learning, he landed interviews and impressed hiring managers with his data-driven insights and passion for sports. “My NBA Prediction Capstone project was a clincher,” he reveals, showcasing the power of project-based learning at Flatiron.

Inspired by Troy’s story?

Flatiron School can equip you with the skills and confidence to pursue your tech dreams, no matter your background. Join a supportive community of learners and experienced instructors, and step outside your comfort zone like Troy. The future of tech awaits you!

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Troy in a program that sets you apart from the competition. Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

The Best-Paying Cybersecurity Careers in 2024

Cybersecurity threats continue to evolve and organizations are looking for skilled cybersecurity professionals that can help them secure critical data and services. In fact, security misconfigurations are one of the top threats to cloud environments, and cloud security engineers help organizations protect against these threats. If you’re considering a career in the field and want to know which cybersecurity careers offer the highest earning potential, you’ve come to the right place.

In this blog post, we break down several cybersecurity careers, including overviews of the roles, common certifications recommended for the roles, and the average salary for the roles. 

The total compensation for these careers can vary based on experience level, geographic location, type of industry, and any specialized skills or training that you may have.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts are on the front lines of protecting an organization’s networks, systems, and data from cyber threats. They use a variety of tools and processes to identify, assess, and respond to cybersecurity incidents, and to implement security controls to help protect against future attacks.

Information security analysts may conduct tasks like vulnerability scanning, analyzing log data through security information and event management (SIEM) tools, and implementing incident response (IR) playbooks.

Cybersecurity careers for this job title can include the following:

  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Specialist
  • Network Security Analyst
  • Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst
  • Incident Response Analyst

Growth and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) estimates employment growth for this role to grow over 32% in the next 10 years. The average salary for an information security analyst is around $112,000 in the United States. Total compensation will vary based on geographic location, education, and the company you work for. 


While cybersecurity certifications are not always required for an information security analyst career, some popular ones include the CompTIA Security+, the Google Cybersecurity Certificate, and the ISC2 Certified in Cybersecurity certifications. 

After gaining a few years of experience as an information security analyst, some other certifications that are popular include the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) from EC-Council and the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Depending on the organization, certifications can help you command higher compensation and get promoted.

Key Skills

While there are many skills that information security analysts hold, some of the key skills include having a solid grasp of computer networking and how data moves around an organization; the ability to analyze network traffic for anomalies; and the ability to be adaptable to changing situations.  

Information security analysts will also use a variety of tools, like Splunk, but the exact tools you use will depend on the organization.

Cybersecurity Engineer

Cybersecurity engineers focus on designing secure architecture for an organization’s network and systems to help protect critical data and business processes. They take data from past incidents to build better, stronger security across an organization.  

Cybersecurity engineers also work on developing security protocols, conducting vulnerability assessments, and responding to security incidents. They may also work closely with software development teams to help them build more secure software applications.

Cybersecurity careers for this job title can include the following:

  • Security Engineer
  • Product Security Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Architect
  • Information Security Engineer
  • Security Automation Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Platform Engineer
  • DevSecOps Engineer

Growth and Salary

The BLS estimates employment growth for this role to be around 9% over the next 10 years. In the United States, the average salary for a cybersecurity engineer is around $101,000 but this can vary based on location and the organization.


While certifications are not required to get a job as a cybersecurity engineer, some popular certifications are the CompTIA Security+, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) from EC-Council, the CompTIA CySA+, and the CompTIA CASP+. Holding certifications can help employers validate your skills and allow you to earn more compensation throughout your career.

Key Skills

Cybersecurity engineers need to have strong technical skills that include hands-on experience in conducting vulnerability assessments and analyzing security tool log data. They also need skills in building security policies, plus project management, threat analysis, threat modeling, and secure architecture design skills. Besides these technical skills, cybersecurity engineers need to have strong communication, critical thinking, and conflict resolution skills.

Many cybersecurity engineers also have computer programming skills because this helps them understand the challenges of software development teams.

Cybersecurity Software Developer

Cybersecurity software developers focus on combining security knowledge and skills to build more secure software applications. They use their knowledge of cybersecurity threats to fix issues in the software code, like logic flaws and bugs, as well as removing hard-coded login credentials. Cybersecurity software developers can also use their skills to build security tools at leading cybersecurity companies.   

Cybersecurity careers for this job title can include the following:

  • DevSecOps Engineer
  • Secure Code Developer
  • Software Security Architect
  • Secure Software Development Engineer

Growth and Salary

Career growth for software developers over the next 10 years is estimated at 25%. The average annual salary for a cybersecurity software developer is around $75,000; however, compensation will vary depending on the employer and geographic location.


There are no certification requirements for a career in cybersecurity software development, but a few common certifications are the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) from ISC2 and the EC-Council Certified Secure Programmer (ECSP). Earning a certification in secure software development practices can help you earn more compensation and accelerate your career growth.

Key Skills

Two technical skills a cybersecurity software developer needs are the ability to write software code and knowledge of secure coding best practices. Good soft skills to have for this job include public speaking skills, project management skills, and critical thinking skills.

If you have already gone through a software engineering program to learn the fundamentals of software development, a career in secure software development could be a solid match for you.

Penetration Tester

A penetration tester (also known by the title Ethical Hacker) is responsible for conducting security assessments of an organization. They identify vulnerabilities and the ways a threat actor could exploit those vulnerabilities, and then make recommendations to the organization on how to correct or mitigate the vulnerabilities.

Before conducting any penetration test, it’s important to have the rules of the engagement understood and signed. A penetration tester will work with their employer to ensure this document is signed by the employer and client before beginning the penetration test. Since unauthorized computer hacking is a crime in the United States, this rules of engagement documentation acts as a “get out of jail free” card when conducting a penetration test. In fact, some penetration testers were arrested several years ago in Iowa even though they had the correct legal paperwork in place.

The rules of engagement in a penetration test also map out what the penetration testers can test and what is off limits.  

For example, the penetration test might limit the range of IP addresses that can be scanned.  In the case of a manufacturing facility, the penetration tester might be blocked from running any scans on the Industrial Control System (ICS) network because this could cause malfunctions in the plant equipment, which could lead to a loss of human life.

Cybersecurity careers for this job title can include the following:

  • Security Tester
  • Red Teamer
  • Offensive Security Engineer
  • Web Application Penetration Tester
  • Network Penetration Tester
  • Mobile Penetration Tester

Growth and Salary

The demand for penetration testers is expected to grow by 9% over the next 10 years. The average salary for a penetration tester in the United States is $92,000 but varies based on the geographic location and organization.


Penetration tester is a career where certifications are not required. However, some popular certifications include the TCM Security Practical Network Penetration Tester (PNPT), the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), the INE Security Junior Penetration Tester, the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker, and the CompTIA Pentest+. While certifications are not required for a penetration testing career, holding certifications can help you get promoted and earn more compensation.

Key Skills

The top technical skill for a penetration tester is the ability to write comprehensive reports of the findings from the penetration test. Penetration testers should also have strong knowledge of computer networking, hardware, operating systems, vulnerability scanning, threat modeling, and critical thinking. Coding skills in scripting with Bash, PowerShell, and Python can be helpful, too. 

Application Security Engineer

Application security engineers work to identify vulnerabilities in applications and their architecture. They work closely with software development teams to integrate security practices into the software development lifecycle. Application security engineers also conduct code reviews, assess application vulnerabilities, and recommend security improvements.

Cybersecurity careers for this job title can include the following:

  • Product Security Engineer
  • DevSecOps Engineer

Growth and Salary

The demand for application security engineers will grow by approximately 9% over the next decade. The average salary for this role in the United States is around $136,000 but can vary depending on the organization and location.


Certifications are not required for this role, but many professionals hold a secure software development certification and/or a cybersecurity certification. Some of the most popular certifications are the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP),both from ISC2, and the EC-Council Certified Application Security Engineer (CASE). Obtaining certifications in secure software development best practices or application security can help you earn more compensation in your career. 

Key Skills

Application security engineers need to have solid technical skills in software development as well strong skills in vulnerability assessment and threat modeling.

Cloud Security Engineer

A cloud security engineer is a specialized cybersecurity professional responsible for ensuring the security of cloud-based systems, applications, and data. The role entails building and implementing security policies and controls; conducting risk assessments; identifying and addressing vulnerabilities; and monitoring and responding to security incidents in cloud environments (among other things).

Cybersecurity careers for this job title can include the following:

  • Cloud Security Architect
  • Cloud Security Administrator
  • Cloud Security Solutions Engineer
  • Cloud Security Consultant

Growth and Salary

The demand for qualified cloud security engineers is projected to grow by about 9% over the next 10 years. The average salary for a cloud security engineer in the United States is around $136,000. Again, this number can vary depending on the organization and geographic location. 


Certifications are not always required for cloud security engineer positions; however, most professionals have at least one certification from a major cloud service provider. Popular certifications include the AWS Solutions Architect, AWS Certified Security – Specialty, Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate, the Certificate in Cloud Security Knowledge from the Cloud Security Alliance, and the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) from ISC2. 

Holding certifications in cloud computing and cloud security can help you earn more in compensation and also help accelerate career growth.

Key Skills

Cloud security engineers need to have strong technical skills in IT fundamentals, cloud computing technologies, and the security and compliance risks of using cloud-based systems. They also need experience with security tools and techniques used for securing cloud environments. In addition to these technical skills, it’s important for a cloud security engineer to have strong soft skills like time management and critical thinking skills. 

Cloud security engineers need to have skills in at least one of the large cloud service provider platforms, like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud.

Cybersecurity Careers: Conclusion

The cybersecurity landscape offers diverse and lucrative careers for those with the right skills and drive. Regardless of the path you choose, remember that the cybersecurity field values passion, problem-solving prowess, and a commitment to protecting the digital world.

Flatiron School can help you discover cybersecurity career paths through our Cybersecurity Bootcamp program, where you can jumpstart a career in the field in as little as 15 weeks. Check out a tech prep course for free or download the course syllabus to see what you can learn. 

Logan Miller: Technical Consulting to Software Engineer

Logan Miller, a July 2022 Software Engineering graduate from Flatiron School, spent 5 years working as a pre-sales engineer for a technical consulting firm and another year in Iceland earning a Master’s degree before deciding to switch career paths into tech.

He shares his journey from consulting to tech – with a stop in Iceland – below.

Early Exposure To Tech

Logan Miller grew up around tech. From his early childhood, it was almost always nearby, either through family or the gadgets themselves, and credits this early exposure with his interest in the field.

“Many of my closest friends are in tech, my mom was in tech, and just growing up around computers and technology had a huge influence on me,” he said. “I was like 11 and started messing around with HTML.”

It wasn’t until he was pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in European History at university that an accidental class enrollment led him to pick up formal programming for the first time. 

“When I was a freshman at Pace University I somehow found my way into a senior-level game design class (don’t ask – I barely even know how it happened),” he explained. “It was pretty daunting when I found out we were going to have to actually program things in C++ considering I didn’t even know what javascript was. I leaned on pretty much everyone I knew to get through it – friends, mom, girlfriend’s dad – anyone who knew anything about coding was sure to hear from me at random hours with random questions.”

Technical Consulting By Way Of Iceland

After graduating, Logan worked as a technical writer and pre-sales engineer for a technical consulting firm in New York. He recalls having the opportunity to work with “impressive people,” but ultimately felt that the work lacked meaning.

“I spent a lot of time working on documents that were ten, twenty, ninety pages in length just skimming for compliance reasons,” he said. “I never really enjoyed what I was doing in a way that would make me, for example, actually want to work all day on a Saturday or something.”

It was the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 that made Logan, like many others, rethink his career and path in life. Unsure of what to do next, he applied to the University of Iceland and was accepted. 

“I didn’t feel like my career was going the way I wanted it to and applied on a whim […] because it was essentially free,” he explained. “My intention with grad school in Iceland was to try a few different classes and see what stuck.”

Logan continued to work remotely for the US-based technical consulting firm while attending the University of Iceland. It was during his time in the land of ice and fire that his interest in computer science reignited. 

“Some of my friends [at the University of Iceland] were in computer science programs so I would see what kind of problems they were working on and languages they were learning. It was a lot of fun just messing around with logic and talking about the kinds of bugs and problems they ran into.”

Committing To Changing Careers

Logan left Iceland and returned to the states in July 2021 with his eye set on a career in software engineering. He highlights the field’s range of opportunities as one of the reasons he decided to pursue the field. 

“There aren’t a ton of career paths out there that allow you to land a job in almost any company or vertical, but you can find a Software Engineer who works for Whole Foods just as easily as one who works for the Department of Defense,” he said. “It allows for so much creativity and opportunity since you get people from all walks of life and interests working at places they enjoy.”

After testing the waters with a short online course in Python, Logan applied to Flatiron School’s Software Engineering program.

“I felt that I should take it seriously and make an investment into changing my career. I knew that I wanted to go all in and see how I compared to my peers in a high-paced environment.”

His Experience At Flatiron School

Logan enrolled in Flatiron School full-time and joined a cohort of other students. His classmates and the community they built together, he recalled, were his favorite part of the program.

“Hands down the best part of the Flatiron School program is the people that you spend each day with and watching them grow as programmers,” he said. “There is a real camaraderie with your cohort and you’ll be surprised at how often you’re spending late nights just talking, working, and hanging out with these people you never knew until a few weeks ago.” 

But, the accelerated course was not without challenges. The speed at which the program covered material was intimidating, Logan recalled, but manageable. 

“As long as you trust in yourself, study, and lean on your teammates and cohort instructor you will be totally fine.”

The Job Search

Logan graduated from Flatiron School’s Software Engineering course in July 2022 and jumped right into the job search. The next six months, he admitted, were difficult at times. 

“My job search [was] a rollercoaster. There will be a lot of ups, downs, hopeful moments, tragic defeats, and everything in between.”

Throughout his tumultuous job search, however, Logan had his Career Coach Tracie Mazzu to support and cheer him on.

“It’s nice to have a career coach on your side that can provide advice and a wealth of experience to help you get through everything,” he said. “I started off doubting how much I would get out of a career coach as it just seemed like an additional chore to do but once my coach helped me redo my resume it became abundantly clear that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.”

Working In Tech

Logan accepted a Lead Developer role with My.Suit in December of 2022. So far, he has only good things to say about his new field. 

“I’m loving it. It’s awesome to be working with something that you enjoy and solving problems that no one else can. There is a ton of freedom and opportunity for you to explore and learn new things each day. The pay doesn’t hurt either.”

His takeaway from his Flatiron School experience is one of self-determination.

“Nothing in life will ever be handed to you. You need to take it and put in the time and effort to make whatever goals you have a reality. Just keep pushing and have fun!”

Inspired By Logan Miller’s Story?

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Logan Miller in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free Software Engineering Prep. Or, review the Software Engineering Course Syllabus that will set you up for success and can help launch you into a new and fulfilling career.

Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Hannah Kofkin: Design to Software Engineering

Hannah Kofkin, an August 2020 Software Engineering graduate from Flatiron School, began her career in design. But, just a few years in, she decided to pivot to where her true interest lay – tech. 

She shares her journey from design to engineering, all while maintaining a focus on creativity. 


Hannah Kofkin began her career pursuing her creative interests – first with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design, then spending 4 years managing the creative department in an event production company. But, a few years in, the desire “for a new challenge” had her reconsidering the path she was on and returning to an early curiosity in tech.

“I’d always been interested in tech and software engineering in particular because I wanted to understand how sites and apps were built,” she explained. “I wanted to know all about what goes on under the hood and how these platforms are built.” 

What’s more, she knew her background in design would transfer well from creating events to coding applications.

“I knew I could use my design experience combined with technical skills to build and develop applications from my unique perspective,” she said. “And once I discovered coding bootcamps, it was just a matter of finding the right opportunity to leave and focus on this career shift.”

Her Bootcamp Experience

Having decided to pursue her career change by way of a coding bootcamp, the next step was for Hannah to pick one to attend. It was a decision she put a lot of thought into, making her choice based on a variety of factors and feedback. 

“I talked to several bootcamp grads prior to making any decision to apply and I gathered feedback on many different schools,” she said. “Flatiron School ultimately felt like the best match for me given the full-stack program and the sense of community I felt from the beginning.” 

Having made her selection, Hannah enrolled in Flatiron School’s Software Engineering bootcamp. The immersive format of the program required full-time study hours – a time commitment that Hannah initially found challenging. 

“There were some very late nights and long hours, especially during the milestone projects throughout the program,” she recalled. “But, the time and effort you put in is directly correlated with what you get out of it.”

Despite the demanding schedule, throughout the program, Hannah found topics and experiences that she enjoyed. 

“I loved the variety of languages we learned and the structure of the program as a whole,” she said. “I also loved the collaborative projects so we could gain some real team dynamic experiences to apply in future roles.”

Job Search

Hannah completed her Flatiron School program in August 2020 – beginning her job search in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, an experience she remembers as “difficult”. Despite the challenge ahead of her, Hannah relied on the support of her dedicated Flatiron School career coach to keep her moving forward. 

“My career coach played a huge role! She kept me on a good schedule, gave very constructive feedback on each element of my application materials, and also notified me of any companies (including my current employer) who were looking to hire bootcamp grads.“

Ultimately, Hannah accepted an offer from Datadog, a cloud-scale monitoring and security company. She began working as a Solutions Engineer at the company in March 2021. 

Working In The Field

When we spoke with Hannah in August 2023, she’d been with Datadog for 2.5 years and had already received 2 promotions – now working as a Senior Solutions Engineer. Her experiences in the industry, she reported, have been overwhelmingly positive. 

“I absolutely love working in this industry at Datadog. I’m a Solutions Engineer so I’m not coding full time, however, having the solid base that I gained from Flatiron School is still helpful as I better understand different technologies and can debug or simply read and understand code as necessary. Reality definitely lives up to the dream for me!”

She reported that she is also particularly proud that she was brave enough to take the leap and change careers – especially during a global pandemic. 

“I am honestly proud of the career shift in general. It’s scary and difficult to leave a steady job, especially during covid, but I worked hard and persisted to ensure I found the right fit. It was all worth it in the end!”

Reflecting On Her Journey

Looking back on her Flatiron School experience, Hannah reminisces that the experience was one of difficulty and perseverance. 

“You get what you put in. It’s a difficult, tedious, time-consuming program,” she emphasizes, “but it really is worth it in the end to have a great baseline to build from and get a foot in the door to a competitive industry.”

As for her advice to others hoping to pursue the same program, Hannah recommends to lean into the difficulty and just keep moving forward because it’ll be worth it.

“Keep pushing, ask questions, and just do your best. Everyone has a different capacity to learn and everyone has a different learning style. Try to focus on your progress rather than comparing yourself to others. At the end of the program, it’ll feel very rewarding to see how far you’ve come.”

Ready For A Change, Just Like Hannah Kofkin?

Apply Now to join other career changers like Hannah Kofkin in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free Software Engineering Prep. Or, review the Software Engineering Course Syllabus that will set you up for success and can help launch you into a new and fulfilling career.

Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Qingsong Chen: Biology to Cybersecurity

Qingsong Chen, an October 2022 Cybersecurity graduate from Flatiron School, began his career working in the biological sciences. But, a short 4 years in, he made the decision to pivot to tech.

He shares his journey of crossing continents and changing careers below.


Qingsong Chen began his career in China, first earning a degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from the Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, then working for four years as a Laboratory Assistant. But, despite his burgeoning profession in the biological sciences, he felt that something had to change. 

“I wasn’t living the lifestyle I wanted and my field of interest was more in IT,” he explained. “After researching the fields of tech I found myself very interested and eager to learn more; working in tech also felt like ‘my type’ of lifestyle.”

He took his time exploring different aspects of tech, trying out coding languages and software to see what he liked most. 

“I pursued self-learning in all areas of tech including Java, front end development, python, and cybersecurity,” he said. “I found out that I was most interested in Cybersecurity. So, I decided to leave the medical field and pursue a career I would enjoy.”

Bootcamp Experience

To expedite his transition into Cybersecurity, Qingsong began looking into bootcamps that would teach him the skills he needed to land his first job in tech. Eventually, he decided to apply to the Flatiron School Cybersecurity program.

“I did a lot of research before choosing Flatiron School,” he recalled. “Ultimately, I made the decision primarily based on the feedback from some graduates and a little bit of instinct. I also hoped to network with other students entering the field.” 

Qingsong enrolled in Flatiron School’s full-time online Cybersecurity Engineering Live program. An accelerated course, it is designed to equip students with the foundational skills needed to break into the Cybersecurity industry. While he recalls initially finding it difficult to adjust to the “entry-level knowledge gap,” he appreciated the labs that equipped him with real-world skills. 

“My favorite part of the program was the hands-on labs,” he said. “Only by getting your hands dirty can you validate and truly understand what you have learned.”

The Job Search

Upon graduation in October 2022, Qingsong entered a tech job market that had recently been shaken by layoffs at big-name companies. But, despite the “hard” job search, Qingsong’s Flatiron School career coach supported him throughout. 

“My career coach helped a lot with my resume and my LinkedIn profile,” he said, “and we communicated regularly to discuss what I could improve in my job search.”

Ultimately, Qingsong accepted a tech-adjacent role at a technology company in Fremont, California. Though not the Cybersecurity role he’d initially set his sights on, he is confident that his current position will set him up for success moving forward.

“Though I was not yet able to land a job in Cybersecurity, I got an offer as a Server Repair Technician in a big company. In only 4 months I’ve become widely recognized as a reliable and capable person,” he said. “I’m hopeful I’ll be able to take the next step in my Cybersecurity career soon.”

Reflecting On His Journey

Looking back on where he began – a continent and a career ago – Qingsong’s takeaway is the importance of leaning into the challenge to get valuable experience. 

“I was able to complete tasks that were a bit over my experience level, as I learned a lot each time I got stuck. There were challenging tasks that took tons of time, but every minute was worth it. I am proud that I was able to hang in there and overcome the problems I’ve encountered.”

As for his advice to other upcoming graduates, he recommends considering a tech-adjacent job as a stepping stone.

“Breaking into the field of Cybersecurity is hard especially if you don’t have related experience,” he explained. “I would advise current students to consider other tech-related jobs to start with and build a way towards Cybersecurity. For example, if you’re offered a Network Engineer role but not a Cybersecurity role, consider taking it to start with.”

Ready For A Change, Just Like Qingsong Chen?

Apply Now to join other career changers like Qingsong Chen in a program that’ll give you the tech skills you need to land your first job in tech.

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free Cybersecurity Prep Work and test-run the material we teach in the course. Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Terry Threatt: Event Management to Software Engineering

Terry Threatt, a December 2020 graduate of Flatiron School’s Software Engineering program, began his career in sports event management, but a life-long interest in coding ultimately led him to tech. 

He shares his journey from planning events to writing code below.


Terry Threatt began his career in the world of sports, first as a college athlete and then as an event manager for athletic events. But, despite his fledgling career in athletics, Terry had a secret – he loved coding, and his interest in Software Engineering was drawing him in. 

“I’d been experimenting with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript since I was 14,” he said. “The allure of coding never left me, it felt like a calling that combined my love for problem-solving and a desire to make a big impact.”

It was in 2017, just short three years after earning an MBA in Sports Business, that Terry’s passion for the field was “reignited through an Angular book” and he decided to seriously pursue a career change. 

“The field of tech drew me in because of its boundless opportunities to engage in new problems and the chance to make lives easier,” he explained. “I realized that with coding I could craft tools that streamline processes and create efficiencies in many areas and industries. It felt like a canvas where I could continually create, innovate, and learn.”

He started learning on his own, but eventually hit a wall. He recognized he’d need external guidance and support to progress to a professional level. 

“After years of self-study, I recognized some knowledge gaps and realized I needed a structured approach to take my skills to the next level,” he explained. “Flatiron School offered exactly what I needed to streamline my learning and prepare me for the ever-evolving tech world.”

Bootcamp Experience

To break through his learning plateau, Terry enrolled in Flatiron School’s Part-Time Online Software Engineering program. While the program’s format allowed him the flexibility to learn at his own pace while continuing to work, balancing existing responsibilities while adapting to the course is a challenge for even the most organized students. 

“Juggling the part-time program while working a full-time job was no small feat. Long nights of debugging and intense focus were required,” he said. “The time commitment was challenging, but it taught me resilience and discipline—skills that now define my approach to my work and growth.”

Despite those long nights, Terry thoroughly enjoyed both his coursework and his classmate’s company. 

“My favorite part of Flatiron School was the project/assessment period and the people. The assessments allowed me to gauge my progress and set reachable goals, while my cohort mates and instructor made the learning process enriching and enjoyable. We grew together, and the bonds forged will last a lifetime.”

Job Search

After 10 months of study, Terry graduated in late 2020, right into the height of the COVID pandemic. Despite the circumstances, he says his job search “went well” and was supported by his dedicated Flatiron School career coach. 

“My career coach was instrumental in my job search. She provided endless resources and motivation, guiding me toward landing my first role. Her support made the transition into tech smooth and inspiring,” he said. “It was a challenging job market at the time but I was still able to land a role as a software engineer for a commercial real estate company.”

When we spoke with him in August 2023, Terry reported that he was thriving in his new career field.

“Working in tech has been everything I hoped for and more. As a Software Engineer, I’m continually learning and have the opportunity to develop software that enhances people’s work. It’s a field where my creativity and drive can flourish.”

To see what Terry is up to now, visit his LinkedIn and his blog

Reflecting On His Journey

Looking back on the path he’s taken, Terry’s takeaway is that of embracing the possibility of transformation.  

“The biggest lesson I learned is that change is within our grasp. My decision to attend Flatiron School created a profound change in my life. It reinforced my belief that with determination and the right choices, we can shape our destiny.”

As for his advice to others just beginning their Flatiron School programs, he recommends trusting the process and staying the course. 

“The journey may be tough, but the rewards are immeasurable. Believe in your goals, and you’ll find that everything falls into place. Your dreams are reachable, and Flatiron School is a stepping stone towards realizing them.”

Ready For A Change, Just Like Terry Threatt?

Apply Now to join other career changers like Terry Threatt in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Need more time to be ready to apply? Try out our Free Software Engineering Prep. Or, review the Software Engineering course Syllabus that will set you up for success and can help launch you into a new and fulfilling career.

Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023

2023 is the 20th anniversary of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. All October long, while Halloween candy fills stores, government agencies and private industry organizations collaborate to ensure every American has the resources to stay safe and secure online.

So, in honor of the Cybersecurity industry keeping individuals, companies, and governments safe on the web (and your yearly reminder that ‘Password’ should never be your actual password), we’re featuring 5 recent Cybersecurity grads and their reasons for pursuing a career in the field.

Usman Sikander: Mechanical Engineer to Cybersecurity Analyst

Usman Sikander

Usman Sikander, a May 2021 Cybersecurity Analytics* graduate from Flatiron School, began his career in mechanical engineering. Eventually, an interest in the digital world of cybersecurity led him to tech.

“I was drawn to the field […] due to its dynamic nature and the ever-growing importance of securing digital assets in our increasingly connected world,” he explained. “The constant evolution of technology presents both opportunities and challenges. I was captivated by the idea of playing a crucial role in safeguarding sensitive information and defending against cyber threats.”

When we spoke with Usman in June 2023, he’d been working as a Cybersecurity Analyst and White Hat Hacker at Warehouse Services, Inc. for just under 2 years. He has only good things to say about his new career.

“Working in cybersecurity has been a fulfilling and exciting experience. The opportunity to protect organizations and individuals from cyber threats, analyze vulnerabilities, and develop robust security strategies is deeply satisfying. The reality of the field certainly lives up to the initial allure and expectations.”

Read his full career change story

Igor Vlasenko: Air Traffic Control to Cybersecurity

Igor Vlasenko

Igor Vlasenko, an August 2022 Cybersecurity Engineering graduate from Flatiron School, grew up in Ukraine and went to university to be an air traffic controller. After moving to the USA as an adult, he decided to pursue Cybersecurity for a technical challenge.

“I didn’t feel challenged. When I asked myself if doing what I was doing every day at work helped me get where I want to be, I did not get a satisfactory answer,” he explained. “That was the primary reason I decided that I had to do something about it.”

As to why he settled on Cybersecurity, Igor cites a “curiosity” about the field. 

“I would read news articles about recent cybersecurity breaches throughout various industries around the world,” he said. “And I often found myself not understanding the specifics of adversary techniques and defense mechanisms. I wanted to understand it better and be able to protect myself and others.”

After graduating, Igor accepted a Senior Information Security Analyst position with Western Union, based in his new hometown of Denver, Colorado.

Read his full career change story.

Maxwell Wolfe: DJ to Cybersecurity

Maxwell Wolfe

Maxwell Wolfe, a May 2021 Cybersecurity graduate, says that he could easily fill the pages of a book to explain the winding career path he’s taken to get where he is today. He held a string of unrelated, hands-on positions until the pandemic left him without an income and casting about for his next move. 

But, in his search for a new career, Maxwell didn’t have to go far. He went back to his early curiosity in “gadgets,” renewing his interest in a tech career he’d long ago discounted as unrealistic. 

“Tech and video games always intrigued me,” he recalled. “But I never thought I was cut out for a career in tech until I stumbled upon some free online resources.” 

His decision to pursue Cybersecurity specifically, however, was driven by a more recent experience.  

“The TV show Mr. Robot was a significant catalyst, inspiring me to dive into tech and, more specifically, ethical hacking. The idea of protecting individuals or non-profit organizations sparked my desire to contribute positively to society and prompted me to embark on this new career path.”

After graduating, he worked as a SOC Analyst at a technology company for over a year. After taking some time off to earn additional certifications and enhance his skills, Maxwell opened Wolfhart IT, an IT service provider and consulting firm, in mid-2023. In early July he shared on LinkedIn that his company had signed its first contract.

Read his full career change story.

Roger Brown: Amazon Career Choice 2021

Roger Brown

Roger Brown, an October 2021 graduate of the Amazon Career Choice Cybersecurity Engineering program, transitioned into tech by way of Amazon’s Career Choice program. He began his career in hospitality, working in the field for several years before transitioning into tech.

“I was drawn to the constantly evolving nature of the tech industry and the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology.”

In early 2021, he’d been working as an Inbound Problem Solver at Amazon for two years when he learned about the Amazon Career Choice program. The program allows Amazon employees to receive technical training from partner institutions to pursue higher-paying career paths. 

Roger was accepted and enrolled with a cohort of fellow students from Amazon. The program ran for 32 weeks from February through October with the curriculum delivered online via live lectures. Students completed about 15 hours a week of classwork while continuing to work full-time, a logistical challenge for any new student. 

“Balancing the intense coursework with my other responsibilities was challenging,” Roger recalled. “But, my favorite part of the program was the hands-on projects, which allowed me to apply what I had learned and see the results firsthand.”

When we chatted with Roger in early 2023 he reported that he was “working as a Cybersecurity Specialist at a top tech company.”

Read his full career change story.

Travon Bryant: Amazon Career Choice 2022

Travon Bryant title card

Travon Bryant, an October 2022 graduate of the Amazon Career Choice Cybersecurity Engineering program, began his career by earning an Associate of Science degree and spent the next 11 years as a pharmacy technician. But, a decade in, Travon’s priorities had changed, and he decided it was time to pivot. 

“I chose to make the switch because the pharmacy wasn’t paying the bills,” he explained. “I wanted to get a good-paying job to be able to take care of my family.” 

It was while working for Pillpack – a pharmaceutical management service acquired by Amazon in 2018 – that Travon learned about the Amazon Career Choice program. The program allows Amazon employees to receive technical training from partner institutions to pursue higher-paying career paths. While exploring the program, Travon settled on applying for the Amazon Career Choice Cybersecurity Bootcamp taught by Flatiron School. 

“I was always interested in securing networks and the tools that were involved,” he said.  “I needed a change, so when presented with the opportunity [to change careers], I took it.”

Upon graduating in October 2022 with a brand new Cybersecurity skillset, Travon quickly secured his first opportunity. When we spoke with him in June 2023, he had only good things to say about working in his industry. 

“My job search was brief. I had 3 interviews before getting a job at a bank in a rotational program where I rotate every 8 months to a new cybersecurity team. I love my new field, it definitely lives up to my dream. I’m proud I’m in the field at a good company.”

Read his full career change story.

Secure The World With Cybersecurity

Has a career in cybersecurity always fascinated you? Do you often try to convince your family and friends to update their passwords? Then a career in cybersecurity might be the perfect fit for you!

Apply Now to join career changers like those featured above in a program that’ll give you the cybersecurity skills you’ll need to land your first job in tech.

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free Cybersecurity Prep Work and test-run the material we teach in the course. Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

*The Cybersecurity Analytics program is no longer available. For prospective students interested in this course of study, visit the Cybersecurity course page to learn more.