Why There’s a Bright Future for Cyber Professionals
Remember the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal of 2018? For millions, it would be difficult not to. But just in case your memory escapes you, it was a massive privacy scandal following allegations that data firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from millions of Facebook users to try to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Ring a bell now?
The point here being that we all like to think we can completely trust our online platforms, when the reality is that we don’t always know where our data is going or with whom we are revealing information. Because we are living more and more online, and are ever more dependent on digital technologies, the role of cyber security professionals is thus becoming increasingly important. It’s a skill set not to be overlooked if you’re searching for your next big opportunity.
IT and cybersecurity expert Dr. Roméo Farinacci describes in his TED Talk on cybersecurity the many hats a cyber pro may wear as careers in the field grow in demand. “You could be doing anything from protecting democratic data exchanged during elections and securing sensitive client medical records, to combating cyber terrorism and cyber espionage. You’ll be integral in stopping fraud, guarding against malicious attacks, and maintaining the integrity of important networks.”
In addition to the possibility of diverse responsibilities, here are a few more reasons why a career in cybersecurity could be a great move.
Cyber Attacks Aren’t Going Away
Data breaches, identity theft, and other cyber attacks seem to be here to stay. Identity theft alone claimed more than 16 million victims in 2017. In the same year, over 30 percent of American consumers learned of a data breach involving their personal information.
The high monetary loss associated with these breaches is bringing the value of cybersecurity to light. A growing arsenal of identity protection services is in need of pros to keep their corporate and individual customers safe. Other employers, both large and small, are needing to protect their interests as well.
High Demand = High Salaries
While testifying before the U.S. Congress in April 2018 in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to hire an additional 10,000 employees dedicated to cybersecurity and content moderation to protect user data from future breaches. Although noble, Facebook’s hiring pledge pales in comparison to the U.S. government’s allocation of more than a billion dollars to fighting the threat posed by cyber crimes.
The surge in demand for cybersecurity pros has left a skills gap in the workforce, with hundreds of thousands of jobs going unfilled. And, this demand is global. Because there aren’t enough experts to go around, a new entrant into the field can earn a lucrative starting salary. Plus, the possibilities exist to work almost anywhere. Undoubtedly, there’s job security in cybersecurity.
Education is Stepping Up to the Challenge
The reason cybersecurity pros are in such high demand is due in part to the fact that academia hasn’t kept up in offering relevant educational opportunities. But, that course is beginning to turn.
To combat the skills shortage in cybersecurity, many universities and colleges are expanding beyond traditional curricula in computer science to offer digital-defense learning through immersive learning experiences and other creative study options. The academic world is realizing that they must do more than ready students to land their first cyber roles. They must teach them how to apply what they learn to the real world in a variety of cyber capacities.
Beyond the classroom, cybersecurity newbies and experts alike can benefit from workshops and a growing abundance of certifications. As more and more universities now offer cybersecurity courses and training options, so too are an increasing number of organizations recognizing the need for knowledgeable personnel to safeguard their valuable data.
Admiration Comes with the Territory
The rise of the Internet of Things has changed the ways in which people and societies network, live, and work. A role in cybersecurity places you at the forefront of this pivotal shift. You’ll be revered for protecting people’s lives and livelihoods at a time when personal and private information is increasingly put at risk.
The best cybersecurity pros outsmart malicious hackers on a daily basis by being the good guys (white hats) of the hacking world. You’ll be able to blaze a trail as a cybersecurity strategist who can predict an attacker’s next move and move fast to patch up vulnerabilities before digital assets are put in jeopardy.
So where do you start if you’re interested in a career in cybersecurity, or your next big cyber opportunity?
There isn’t one right path to an amazing career in cybersecurity. Instead, you will find many different paths that offer diverse opportunities and long-term rewards. Explore our talent page to take control of your search and expand your reach.