Just about every American knows that the threat of cybercrime looms on a daily basis. Every time we use a computer that’s connected to the internet, there is at least a small chance of becoming the victim of a cyber-attack, such as a virus, ransomware, or phishing. In 2017 alone, an estimated 15 million Americans were victims of identity theft.
Corporations are even more likely to be targeted for data theft and other cyber-attacks. We’re becoming used to exciting headlines about data breaches and the concern that our personal data may have been compromised through an attack on a corporation or government agency. Unlike individuals, however, organizations have more resources to fight back and the cybersecurity is on the cusp of explosive growth.
Now that we use the internet in just about every facet of our lives, the issue of cyber-attacks is coming to the forefront of discussions about the economy, our security, and our privacy. It’s become big enough that thought leaders, lawyers, and even academics are weighing in. Let’s take a look at where this fast-growing industry is headed—and how ambitious people can find opportunities to succeed.
Up, up and Away: Cybersecurity Goes Big
Hackers have grown alongside the internet, ever since it reached consumer use. Simple systems were simpler to hack, and today’s cybercriminals are much more sophisticated than they were twenty years ago. The challenge for cybersecurity experts isn’t to stop cybercriminals for good—that simply isn’t possible or realistic—but to adapt and evolve on a continuous basis, staying several steps ahead of hackers.
Large corporations are starting to hire large security teams and are even employing the services of ethical hackers to identify their networks’ vulnerabilities through the eyes of potential cybercriminals. Innovations in the field include the use of new security technology like the blockchain and using psychology to trick, mislead, and confuse hackers before they ever reach sensitive data. Companies in a variety of industries are pouring resources into cybersecurity to protect their data and to protect themselves from the consequences of a data breach.
The Growing Demand for CyberSecurity Experts Among Government Agencies
With the increased cybersecurity workload across industries, the demand for cybersecurity experts is growing rapidly. From August 2017 to September 2018, there were around 313,735 job openings in the cybersecurity field in the private and public sectors. At that time, there were more than 700,000 people already working in the industry across the country.
Governments are especially desperate to hire security professionals since even local governments are responsible for important public and private data that can be sold by cybercriminals to other countries or individuals with bad intentions. Some cybercriminals target government agencies and hold their data hostage, demanding a ransom for its safe return.
Like major corporations, the United States government is pouring billions of dollars into security, allocating most of their resources to departments like Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, which are at high risk for cyber-attacks. These agencies, which protect the country and prepare for disasters, must be heavily protected from global hackers, which is boosting demand from the government for trained security experts.
There’s a Future in a Career in Cybersecurity
Because both the public and private sector now recognize the importance of cybersecurity, opportunities to work in this field are growing rapidly. Qualified professionals have the upper hand in their job hunt and often have a lot of choices when it comes to where they work and may need to decide between computer science vs cyber security. It’s a great time to break into the industry since the need for security experts isn’t likely to drop anytime soon.
Like many fields in the technology industry, cybersecurity jobs are growing much more quickly than across all industries. Information Security Analyst opportunities, for example, are growing 28% faster than average and offer salaries averaging $98,350 per year. There are many other careers within the field with similar high salaries and fast growth. You can take your pick of which industry you want to work in because just about every company needs to be concerned about the safety and security of their networks.
Industries like healthcare, government, and fintech offer extensive opportunities for those who want to work in cybersecurity as they need to be especially concerned with any security vulnerabilities. In fact, 90% of payment companies plan to switch over to blockchain technology by 2020 to increase security and accountability.
Get Started Now
If you want to work in the field of cybersecurity, don’t wait. Employers need qualified individuals to protect their assets, and it may take some time to get the skills and certifications you need to succeed. Take advantage of the massive growth coming in cybersecurity and launch your new career!
Author | Emily Forbes |
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!