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By Susan Hoffman
Note: This article is part of a university series for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. This week’s theme is Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity.
Within the next decade, there may be several million jobs available to cybersecurity professionals. California security company Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that there could be as many as 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021.
The rise in cybersecurity jobs is partly due to a dramatic rise in cybercrime. In 2017, for example, the global cost of cybercrime was up to $608 billion, due to factors such as ransomware, greater reliance on anonymization services such as Tor, identity theft and intellectual property theft.
What Career Fields Are Most Likely to Employ Cybersecurity Professionals in the Future?
Cybersecurity professionals are useful in virtually any organization. However, the industries most likely to have cybersecurity jobs available are the ones with sensitive data that hackers seek. According to Monster, these industries include:
- Banking, finance and insurance
- Information technology and management
- Government (defense and non-defense industries)
- Consulting and professional services
Healthcare is another area where cybersecurity threats are continuing to increase. Healthcare computer systems are vulnerable, because a hacker can redirect traffic to another domain or compromise a supplier’s software. Hackers can also attack third-party hosting services to gain access to patient data.
Preparing for a Career in Cybersecurity
Preparing for a cybersecurity career requires a considerable amount of effort. Diana Rodriguez of ClearanceJobs.com recommends the following ways to get ready:
- Pursue cybersecurity certifications.
- Pick a focus and become an expert in that area.
- Stay up to date with industry developments through constant reading.
- Build a solid educational foundation.
Conferences are also a useful way of furthering your professional education. These conferences are frequently attended by other cyber professionals, providing you with the chance to network.
A security clearance may be required for some cybersecurity jobs. The time needed for a security clearance investigation may take six months or longer, but a security clearance can also make you more marketable in areas such as New York or Washington, D.C.
Dr. Jarrod Sadulski, an instructor with the School of Security and Global Studies, notes that cybersecurity jobs are particularly important for national defense. He says, “Careers in cybersecurity are essential to the national security of our nation. Cybersecurity experts are on the front line of protecting our critical infrastructures from cyberattacks. This growing career field is important, because these professionals provide us with protection from evolving threats from worldwide criminal actors.”
Several Cybersecurity Student Organizations Are Available Online
If you are interested in learning more about cybersecurity-focused student organizations at the university, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to check out the following student organizations for more information:
- CompTIA Association of IT Professionals — an organization that promotes the IT field and supports and mentors IT students
- Epsilon Pi Tau — an honor society that promotes information technology understanding, awareness and education
- Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) — a group dedicated to expanding recognition of IT audit and assurance, security and IT governance