Cybercrimes are growing in frequency and complexity making cybersecurity a global priority. Recent high-profile breaches at Yahoo, Marriott, Verizon, and Facebook have brought cybersecurity in the limelight and added to the high demand for cybersecurity experts. If you are new to the field or pursuing an education, you may be wondering what is the cybersecurity jobs outlook. On the flip side, if you have been in this field for a few years, you may want to know the prospects of career growth. This article gives you a brief outlook on cybersecurity jobs starting with some quick facts.
What is a Cybersecurity Specialist?
Typically, a cybersecurity specialist’s main responsibility is to ensure the safety of computer networks and systems. They are tasked with the planning and implementation of security measures to protect the IT infrastructure of an organization shielding it from potential cyber threats. This is accomplished through testing, virus protection and regular updates to computer systems and networks. This role is required to come up with innovative solutions to prevent breach of critical information that could cost companies hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars. Without doubt, cybersecurity specialists have challenging responsibilities to shoulder.
Security analysts work for a variety of different industries from technology to financial, healthcare, retail, and several other businesses. With the growth in cybersecurity jobs being much faster than average, security analysts are progressively being hired by every industry in this digital age.
Jobs available to cybersecurity specialists include information security analyst, information security manager, information technology specialist or data security administrator. Another attractive option would be to become an independent security consultant. With more experience and additional certifications, advancement into management would be the next step.
Top Cybersecurity Job Titles
- Cyber Security Engineer
- Cyber Security Analyst
- Systems Engineer
- Systems Administrator
- Software Developer/Engineer
- Network Engineer/Architect
- Cyber Security Manager/Administrator
- Vulnerability Analyst/Penetration Tester
- Cyber Security Consultant
Qualifications needed to become a Cybersecurity Specialist
Cybersecurity specialists require to have a 4-year bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science, computer programming or computer engineering including courses in Mathematics, English, and Statistics. In some instances, relevant work experience combined with cybersecurity certifications may be sufficient. Besides a 4-year degree, there are several certification courses in cybersecurity that are offered at universities and training centers.
Reasons to consider a career in cybersecurity
Lack of awareness: Although cybersecurity is not a new field, its importance has gained popularity only recently. With high profile attacks in the news on a regular basis and the serious impact cyber threats have on businesses, awareness has grown ten-fold in recent times. Additionally, students looking for upcoming careers weren’t aware of careers in cybersecurity. As the job market expands, more college students are getting educated on this lucrative and fast-growing career option. Universities are also raising more awareness about the promising cybersecurity jobs outlook. Lack of awareness can give you a headstart while the profession is still gaining traction.
Unfilled positions: Every year in the U.S., approximately 40,000 cybersecurity jobs go unfilled implying the extreme shortage in cybersecurity talent. Since cyber threat spans across industries, organizations of all sizes and types are scrambling to hire qualified professionals. Additionally, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021. Needless to say, the unemployment rate in this profession is at 0% and is forecasted to remain there for several years to come.
Attractive Salary: Cybersecurity professionals make well above average workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics survey, in May 2018, the median annual wage for all workers was $38,640. In comparison, the median annual wage for Information Security Analysts was $98,350. Salaries can be even higher depending on the industry and skill level.
Career Growth: To reiterate the importance of cybersecurity, it is estimated that by 2021, 100% of large companies will have a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Additional career paths include Cybercrime Analyst and Incident Responder. Also as mentioned earlier in this article, management and consultancy are other career options to explore.
Cybersecurity is a great career option for anyone pursuing a challenge in the IT industry since the future of cybersecurity seems promising. As a top emerging field, the growth rate is phenomenal, and opportunities are endless. Increase your demand in this lucrative industry by learning top-skills employers are looking for. For more information on certification courses and opportunities that are available to you, read here.