Worldwide, the number of desktops, laptops and servers in operation is just north of two billion. Throw in five billion plus smartphones and one billion tablets and we’re talking vast numbers of networks and massive amounts of data that need protection from unauthorized access.
With so many computing devices working 24/7, there is an urgent and increasing need for cybersecurity pros. Here are eight reasons to pursue a career in cybersecurity:
Cybersecurity professionals can choose their industry. Jobs are available in business, governmental agencies including the military and NASA, medical, agricultural, natural resources, and transportation. If there is an industry, cyber pros are playing a critical role in its operations.
2. Increasing demand
Cybercrime is increasing in frequency and cost. Damages from cybercrime in the U.S. last year totaled $6 trillion. With so many cyber criminals hard at work, the demand for cybersecurity practitioners has never been higher. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 33 percent by 2030.
3. Upward mobility
Cybersecurity experts are doing their thing at all levels of an organization. You can begin your career as an entry level security analyst tracking suspicious activity on a network, work your way up to IT-security manager and, if you’re willing to work for it, one day become the Chief Information Officer for your organization. The sky is the limit.
4. New challenges
If you like solving difficult puzzles, cybersecurity is the career for you. Cybersecurity pros are locked in a constant war against bad actors who continuously alter their methods of attack. An intrusion you successfully prevented on Monday can return in a different form on Tuesday morning, requiring you to develop new methods of defense today. Malware one day, DDS the next—you won’t be bored.
The cybersecurity field includes a number of specializations. In addition to basic security work, you can specialize in other security domains like system design, software development, white-hat hacking, or forensic analysis.
6. Money, Money, Money
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a cybersecurity employee in the U.S. is $112,974. Starting salaries are typically somewhere between $60,000 and $70,000 and CIOs at large companies routinely earn between $500,000 and $1 million annually.
As with any job, experience matters and a great way to get experience is to earn a cybersecurity certification. Employers like certifications. According to a 2019 Burning Glass cybersecurity report, 60 percent of cybersecurity job postings require applicants to have at least one certification.
Certifications have several advantages over a computer science degree. They cost a fraction of a four-year degree and can be completed in months as opposed to years. Unlike degree programs, certifications are also more likely to include up-to-date information on industry challenges and practices.
The more popular cybersecurity certifications are Network+, Security+, Licensed Penetration Tester, Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
8. Public recognition
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. That means one month out of the year, businesses and other organization make data security a focus. What other job has its own month?
The job market for cybersecurity personnel is red hot. According to ISC2, there are 2.93 million cybersecurity positions open around the globe. Cybercrime is on the rise; organizations are recognizing the need to protect their networks and data. Earning a certification is a terrific way to become skilled, the money is great and there are oodles of jobs.