If you look around, it’s obvious that we depend on technology in almost every facet of our lives. With each passing year – or sometimes month – the technology we rely on is more connected and interdependent. There are a wide variety of benefits and advantages to technology, but almost every aspect of technology that makes your life more convenient in some way also exposes you to additional risk from cyber attacks.
It seems there isn’t a week that goes by without a major data breach of some sort with millions of customer identities or financial profiles compromised or leaked online. The number of new malware threats and mobile malware threats discovered continues to grow every year. Spam and phishing attacks inundate email inboxes and mobile device text messaging. New zero-day vulnerabilities are discovered and exploits developed to compromise target systems. In a nutshell, it’s a bit of a war zone out there.
There is a silver lining in all of this doom and gloom: the continued rise in our use and dependence on technology–combined with the escalating threats to that technology from cyber criminals–means there is a huge demand for cybersecurity professionals to help defend and protect us. If you’re looking for a lucrative career field with growth potential, you’ve found the right place.
There are five reasons that demand for cybersecurity professionals won’t slow down any time soon:
1. Our use and reliance on technology is still growing
2. Cyber criminals continue to find and exploit weaknesses in technology
3. Nations and terrorist groups are using technology as a weapon
4. New technologies are being invented that will create new attack vectors
5. There are not enough qualified, skilled cybersecurity professionals available
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics projects significant growth in information security careers for at least the next seven years. “Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 37 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for information security analysts is expected to be very high as these analysts will be needed to come up with innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or creating havoc on computer networks.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also lists a bachelor’s degree as an entry-level requirement for working in cybersecurity. That isn’t absolutely true. There are IT and information security certifications like the CISSP that are sufficient for some careers. There is no denying, however, that a bachelor’s degree opens many more doors and possibilities.
The good news is that even if you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree, you can get one. There are a variety of reputable accredited institutions that give working adults the flexibility to pursue a degree on their own schedule without quitting their day job. If you’re not happy in the career you’re in, perhaps you should explore your options for moving into the cybersecurity field.
I’m compensated by University of Phoenix for this blog. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.