With digitalization increasing throughout the industry, organizations have moved their businesses to online platforms to avoid going out of business. This technological revolution has led to a significant rise in cyber-attacks.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that cyber-attacks had increased by 300% since the pandemic. And with companies now having an increased demand for cyber security solutions, it is a very lucrative field to choose from.
Google has also highlighted that its company has provided cyber security to its users, protecting them from cybercriminals. It has blocked over 18 million coronavirus cyber attacks per day since the start of the global pandemic.
Moreover, cyber threats have increased among firms and individuals that rely on the internet. With people's information often being the most valuable asset they have, effective cyber security measures have become a necessity.
5 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Career in Cybersecurity
Many consider cybersecurity to be a promising career because of its logistical advantages. Cyber security experts have a substantially high salary, but they also take on a lot more responsibility. If anything does get past their security, they need to be able to explain how and why it happened. So if you're curious about the job, here are five reasons why you should consider it as a career opportunity.
The market is ripe with jobs
Firms across the globe are in desperate need of skilled professionals to help prevent cyber threats. No wonder why Cybersecurity can change careers in the future.
The cybersecurity job market is very competitive, despite there being more cybersecurity jobs than individuals that can fill them. There were approximately 500,000 cybersecurity-related job postings in the United States in 2020 and 2021.
The Cybersecurity Skill Gap
As cyber-attacks are improving with time, they also require advancement in countering these threats and attacks. According to the study carried out by(ISC)2 cybersecurity workforce, the past two years have seen an increase in the skill gap as cybersecurity professionals have dropped from 3.12 million to 2.72 million.
So, the experts who can match their skills and expertise with these roles as quickly as possible have more job opportunities in the field. 61% of cyber security experts say that their team is highly understaffed. Studies also show that eliminating the cybersecurity skill gap can bring about a revolution in the cyber world.
Cybersecurity experts are in high demand
While cybersecurity was initially relegated to the tech industry alone, it has since grown into many other industries and markets. According to the cybersecurity statistics report 2021, nearly every industry requires cybersecurity professionals. The healthcare and finance industries especially need cybersecurity experts since patients' data is very vulnerable, and hackers can easily access their online finances, residence information, and much more.
The firms that have not been worried about cyber-attacks are also concerned for their safety and security. The internet of things (IoT) has been expanding its cybersecurity requirements as cars, and other household appliances will also start connecting to the internet. If you want to start your career in a technical field, Cybersecurity is in especially high demand at the time.
Cybersecurity has branching job opportunities
Keeping cyber criminals from accessing sensitive information is not a single person's job. It requires a team of experts based on various skills and knowledge. One can build their interests and strengths according to their skill set. The National Initiative for cybersecurity careers and studies (NICCS) offers multiple career choices in cybersecurity.
It defines 52 various cybersecurity roles across 5 different skill sets, with roles for the cyber workforce from entry-level to advanced. It may also lead to acquiring an I.T. industry certificate or degree. Hence, more opportunities are available for cybersecurity professionals.
Cybersecurity is a promising career
Cybersecurity may be future-proof and might offer a promising career. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that information security jobs in the U.S. will likely grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030. So despite many struggling to find professionals, this difference in skill gap is likely to change with time.
The future of Cybersecurity is bright and promising for people looking to specialize in the industry. As e-commerce platforms continue increasing, the increased need for protection is also a primary concern for these industries. It is safe to state that Cybersecurity has a future on its own and a promising one.
Pros of Cyber Security Careers
One of the significant benefits of a cybersecurity career is that almost all industries, individuals, companies, and firms need constant protection from cybercriminals. On the other hand, ransomware attacks are especially common these days. Every individual must have encountered a spam or phishing email in their daily routine.
According to the Center of Risk and Reliability study and Institute for Systems and Research, two cyber-attacks happen approximately every minute. Let's take a look at the pros of a career in cybersecurity.
Guaranteed Future Job Growth
People usually think about the future they will have before choosing a career. They usually want a particular job that they can see themselves doing years from now. And with the I.T. industry improving with each passing day, the demand for more employees is also increasing.
Let's not forget that technological changes also require advanced skill sets. It is necessary to have updated knowledge and an improved mindset to change someone as per their requirements to fit in the industry.
Salaries are high on this career path
The number of cyber-attacks has increased the demand for cybersecurity professionals. According to the Chief information officer (CIO), cybersecurity experts earn nearly $116,000 annually and $55.77 per hour. The salary exceeds as the need for professionals increases.
Cybersecurity is also seeing impressive growth, averaging out to 30%. But despite its growth, there will always be vacant positions for skilled professionals in this field.
Cybersecurity allows people to work from home
Working as a cyber security expert allows you to work from the comfort of your home as well. You do not need to be on-site to look out for the day-to-day operations. You can access your employer's system from your device, which means you can work anytime and anywhere. Another significant benefit it provides is that you will have various opportunities while working. You will likely have multiple clients at a time as well.
Security magazine reports that 80% of companies fell victim to some form of cybercrime in 2019. So with numbers that high, the job market for professionals is not going away any time soon.
According to the Bureau of labor statistics (BLS), 70% of U.S. citizens want to be self-employed. A cybersecurity career offers individuals the opportunity to be self-employed. Since a large portion of the industry works remotely, the experts get to choose their work hours and their wages.
Along with self-employment opportunities, the jobs also offer a lot more flexibility, as applicants can choose a career path in Cybersecurity that suits their interests.
The Publicand Private Sectors both Offer Jobsin Cybersecurity
Very few fields offer opportunities to individuals in both the public and private sectors. Undoubtedly, the U.S. federal government and state agencies hire different kinds of individuals. Although, cybersecurity professionals, in particular, are readily available in both market sectors.
Therefore, you can choose a government job with all of the advantages that comes with it or work with a private firm and all of the complexities that come with it.
Various Specializations within Cybersecurity
There are several specialties within cybersecurity, such as consultants, network engineers, forensic investigators, penetration testers, cybersecurity analysts, and systems architects. All of these career paths allow people entering the field to really choose where they would like to specialize. The number of specialties also shows that the field is growing, and there is still plenty of room to innovate.
Work-Life Balance is Possible
Many companies in various industries have a habit of overworking their employees. But even if the company doesn't have a policy for working late, most people would still work to make sure what they give is actually good. Finally, some people are just worried about losing their jobs, so they're willing to work a lot longer.
However, if you're looking to make a career in the cyber security field,it can be fairly easy to maintain a work-life balance. Many cybersecurity experts have been vocal about how they canmaintain a very healthy work-life balance. They canmaintain a 40-hour workweek (often less) and enjoy their free time as they please. They rarely have to work late since the system is in optimal condition to ward off threats.
Cons of Cyber Security Careers
Demanding and stressful hours
Since they have to handle more serious responsibilities, cybersecurity professionals frequently work long hours under intense workplace pressure. Cybercrime is constantly evolving, with potential attacks posing a severe risk to a firm's assets, productivity, and reputation. Cyber analysts need to be available at a moment's notice to handle problems as they come.
As a result, people could be called on the weekends, atnight, or even during their traveling. Often, hacking attempts against companies are so relentless that experts in the company have to give a daily brief on the current system's status.
Organizations lack resources andknowledge
Specializing in cybersecurity makes you much more desirable to employers. However, many organizationsdo not have the technical expertise or resources to support your work. They might not have a dedicated security system in place or an outdated one, or the firm itself might not know about the significance of the job.
As a result, management needs to navigate through many difficult situations.Furthermore, if the employees in the firm are not very tech-savvy, they will likely put the firm at a higher risk of a cyber attack.
Fortunately, businesses are now making an effort to educate their managers and staff on cybercrime. They are now actively taking personal security measures rather than depending solely on their I.T. or security team to reduce, manage, and handle risks.
Monotonous and Repetitive Tasks
Unfortunately, a job in cybersecurity does come with its fair share of monotony. Their job is rarely as fun or exciting as something you would find in Hollywood movies. According to experts, the job actually involves a lot more analytics, patience, and discipline.
Cybersecurity professionals often take on repetitive tests, use repetitive procedures, and analyze data to find and neutralize potential threats.
Fortunately, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) help cut down on that tedium. Since the ASI can take care of smaller security threats, the cybersecurity staff can then concentrate on more significant security measures.
Less Room for Error
The industry has zero tolerance for errors or accidents. Data breaches cost Australian organizations around $3 million annually (or about $160 per data unit).
Self-employment as a cybersecurity specialist means that even small mistakes can cost a business a lot.
Being attentive and communicating is essential if you want to succeed in the field. The capacity to perceive issues from all angles, from the perspectives of your employer, coworkers, and hackers, helps you weed out potential weaknesses. It also helps refine your ability to explain such issues (in non-technical language) when appropriate.
Having Difficulty Keeping Up with Rapidly Changing Trends and Emerging Knowledge
Of course, trying to keep up with an environment that is constantly changing so quickly can be challenging. One needs to keep up with new and improved technology, new breaching strategies that other companies found, and harmful threats that appear alongside them.
Another thing to keep up with is the creation of emerging terminologies and technical jargon. For many, it is an intellectual arms race and an endless cycle of learning. But for most people in the industry, these difficulties heighten the daily thrill and excitement of an active, lucrative security job.
Cybersecurity insurance cost is high
In the past couple of years, the cyber insurance purchase rate has increased for a variety of competing factors. Ransomware remains on top in affecting cyber insurance premiums. According to 2021 statistics, the average ransomware payment soared to $570,000 compared to $312,000 in 2020.
Another reason is ineffective cybersecurity hygiene which has triggered cyber insurance costs. (ISC) 2reported 2.72 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs due to the ongoing I.T. security labor shortage.
A complex skillset is required
Cybersecurity is undeniably a high-paying job but also demands dedicated skills and training. Most professionals acquire certifications to stand out in the field. As trends and technologies change rapidly, experts in the industry need to stay on top of their game.
Cybersecurity professionals need to develop new skills according to the latest trends in the industry. Professionals need to update their knowledge to encounter emerging cyber-attacks.
Is a Career in Cybersecurity a Good Fit for You?
Cybersecurity is considered to be a great career opportunity right now. The demand for cyber security labor is increasing every day. The job can be a little stressful and challenging, but it is very satisfying and rewarding.
The career opportunities are diverse for cyber security professionals based on their level of knowledge and expertise. There are also roles for data and network protection that they have to fulfill. Below are some of the career paths in cybersecurity.
Levels of Career Paths
Entry-level jobs are suitable for beginners and will help improve their careers in the long run. These jobs help them gain experience that they can use as they progress up the corporate ladder. The roles at this level include system administrators, system engineers, web developers, I.T. techs, security specialists, and network engineers.
It is for cyber security experts with mid-level experience. The roles in this level are incident responder, security analyst, security technician, I.T. auditor, cybersecurity consultant, and penetration tester.
This level demands an advanced level of expertise and knowledge in the field. There are various great opportunities for experienced professionals in this field. The positions here may include cybersecurity architects, managers, chief information security officers, and engineers.
Different personalities for cybersecurity careers
Cybersecurity career paths are diverse and offer various opportunities to beginners. It is essential to understand these personalities, as they all contribute to making a firm safer from a possible attack. The following are the different personalities in cybersecurity.
The Quick Learner
If you are always inquisitive and looking for new ways to look into a situation for what cybercriminals are anticipating, then you are a quick learner. Quick learners perform well under pressure, are adaptive, and are what most companies look for in a cybersecurity expert.
A quick learner may fit as a security architect. These professionals are always looking out for threats and risks in the company's security structure.
The Problem Solver
The problem solvers use their critical thinking skills to address issues and manage incidents and risks threatening the security of the company and organization.
They solve the security issues within the organization thanks to their analytical perspective. They are the analytical brains of cyber security as they use cutting-edge tech to explore threats and prevent risks.
An avenger is the type of individual who is ready to encounter cybercrime. The avengers are always looking out for potential risks in the business's structure and discovering ways to mitigate them.
They work as front liners in securing the company's first line of defense against a security breach. They have an important part to play as security engineers and use their instincts and technical knowledge to address threats across the network.
The cybersecurity teacher will always try to determine what the problem is before assisting others in the team. They can be especially good listeners while acknowledging the problems and major concerns, then they step in and share their expertise and assistance with their team members.
This type of personality is motivated and passionate about their work as a cybersecurity professional. They are ambitious and enthusiastic about keeping the network structure safe from a possible breach or intrusion.
Penetration testers embody this personality very well. The firms hire them to hack their systems, allowing them to discover vulnerabilities in the company's network and find ways to mitigate these security threats.
Popular Career Paths
The cybersecurity field is evolving at a rapid pace as people recently entering the field are coming in with new perspectives. And as they come into the industry with high spirits, they end up making small changes and improvements that contribute to a larger change.
So depending on the career path that you choose, here is what you can expect:
Security engineers play a major role in protecting an employer's system and network from cyber threats. They build secure systems for organizations to secure sensitive data and address upcoming cyber threats.
They often work as security analysts and security engineers in the organization. Their defensive strategy protects the security infrastructure and resolves outside attacks. Security engineers will have a passive and defensive strategy, while a security analyst is more active in identifying security problems and performing penetration tests.
Roles and responsibilities
- Security engineer responsibilities involve planning, monitoring, upgrading, and implementing network security structures. Along with identifying them, he needs to find a solution for them too.
- They troubleshoot security issues of network and information technology.
- They solve intrusion and cyber-attacks.
- Protects network infrastructure and sensitive data of an organization.
A security administrator's role is to troubleshoot the organization's security issues. The security administrator checks if the provided security solution is working according to the plan and protecting the network and structure from data breaches and other malware or virus attacks.
Security administrator ensures blockage of unauthorized access, data modifications, and other cyber threats in the network structure.
Roles and responsibilities
- Installing, managing, and troubleshooting all I.T. security solutions.
- Update the organization about its security solutions.
- Configuration of security systems as per your requirements.
- Mentoring and consulting staff about the latest practices in cybersecurity.
Security architects design, build, test, and implement a security system and infrastructure for firms. They usually review the current security systems of the organization to identify security vulnerabilities.
They also carry out regular security tests to ensure the system is safe. They use the designed security system to mitigate incoming potential attacks and data breaches.
Roles and responsibilities
- They must have detailed familiarity and knowledge of the organization's network infrastructure.
- They Plan, identify objectives, design, research, and implement security architectures in the organization.
- They develop policies and installation requirements for network devices.
- They plan and set timelines to update the system.
Security Software Developer
A security software developer develops software to secure the network system. A security software developer may work with a company or might be working as an individual that the firm hired for a short time.
They build custom-tailored security solutions while working with a team. Their role is to include security analysis and design countermeasures for different phases of software development.
Roles and responsibilities
- They team up with other developers and create software solutions to secure the system in the organization.
- They are responsible for planning, designing, implementing, and testing software.
- They create a software security strategy.
- They design and build prototype solutions.
A cryptographer develops algorithms and ciphers texts to encrypt sensitive data and often works with a security software developer in building security systems. Increased risk of data breaches has increased the role of cryptographers in security.
They check and run tests on systems to ensure that sensitive data is in safe hands. They also analyze data to solve cybersecurity issues and statistical models.
Roles and responsibilities
- They identify vulnerabilities in the current system, mainly on which they perform cryptography, then update the system.
- They implement secure encryptions to protect the firm's private and confidential data and ensure data security.
- They test theories of cryptology and implement them as per organizations' requirements.
- They also mentor and consult their staff and train them as per skills needed to improve security.
Security analyst focuses on the digital security of a firm, as well as improving it. Their primary role is to examine the firm's security policies and protocols and anticipate potential risks and issues that may occur in the future.
A security analyst configures and customizes software. They also audit the organization's security budget when needed, including auditing contractors the firm hires for system security.
Roles and responsibilities
- A security analyst monitors the devices and networks of the organization to ensure security.
- If any cyber incident occurs, they investigate and measure the damage it causes.
- They install infrastructure and security measures whenever and wherever needed.
- They stay updated on the latest technologies and trends.
Cyber security consultant
A cyber security consultant mentors an organization's team to help them improve their cyber security measures. The cyber security consultant analyzes security systems, identify potential vulnerabilities, studies attack vectors, and proposes a solution.
The cyber security consultant also supervises the implementation of the provided solution. They design a security system and infrastructure to secure a client's firm or company.
Roles and responsibilities
- A cyber security consultant thoroughly assesses the client's existing cybersecurity infrastructure and current security measures.
- They conduct penetration tests to identify critical risks and vulnerabilities in the system and look for potential data breaches.
- They propose improvements to improve infrastructure based on their assessments and evaluations.
- They train staff in the organization to implement the best cybersecurity measures.
What degree do you Need?
People looking to get into cybersecurity might have a lot of questions on their minds. One of these questions is what degree they will need. Although an entry job may require a bachelor's degree, they will need one in computer science and information technology.
You might need to get a master's degree in computer engineering or data science for some expert-level jobs. A relevant certification or education level may help you stand out for better opportunities. The training and certifications help in building expertise for someone who wants to start a career in cyber security.
It is a well-known fact that in the I.T. industry, your skills and experience can take you a long way. So even though many companies want their cybersecurity analysts to have a degree, it does not count for much. Therefore, even people who get their bachelor's or master's degree will continue to update their skills and knowledge based on current situations and trends.
A degree alone is not enough, and every applicant needs to acquire a particular set of skills depending on the position they are looking for. Security engineers, security analysts, computer forensic experts, and chief information security officers all have unique requirements from an applicant.
Duties and responsibilities
A cybersecurity professional's core duties and responsibilities are to discover potential vulnerabilities and risks in a network's, software system's, or data center's infrastructure. These professionals monitor and scan network data and ensure software and hardware applications are updated.
- The security architect estimates the cost and budget for cyber security systems.
- They also perform tests and evaluations and update the security system whenever necessary.
- Cyber security professionals lead the security team, monitor their performance, and are also responsible for educating them.
- Security software developers schedule meetings with clients to discuss their preferences and requirements.
- They develop best practices, protocols, and policies across the organization.
Cybersecurity stands out as one of the best career paths for most people. Since the internet and the technology around it is continuously evolving, the threat of a cyber attack will continue to persist. It is a perfect time for people who want to pursue cybersecurity as a career. It is perfect for tech enthusiasts and people who are passionate about making a significant change in the industry. To sum up, everything we have demonstrated so far, cybersecurity is an incredible career opportunity for someone who wants to stay relevant in the tech industry.