By: Kayla Matthews
There are cases for many careers stating that now is the best time to embark on a new career path in the field, but you can’t ignore the fact that the cybersecurity industry is worth looking into if you’re considering a new career path or deciding on a college major.
Read our six reasons that 2019 is the ideal time to begin a career in cybersecurity.
1. A Cybersecurity Shortage
In a survey by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, it was found that by 2022, there will be a shortage of 1.8 million information security employees worldwide. Virtually a zero percent unemployment rate cannot be ignored. Careers in cybersecurity may not be flashy, but you won’t be job hunting out of necessity.
The same survey also found that employers are struggling to find qualified help, only increasing the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals.
The career outlook for a cybersecurity engineer in the coming years is very positive. There’s an expected growth rate of 12 percent from now until 2026, and this number will only continue to grow as businesses rely more heavily on technology. This shortage of cybersecurity experts leads to many other benefits of this career path, such as high salaries and rapid growth potential.
2. Salaries That Continue to Rise
Being in demand comes with a tremendous upside in terms of pay and benefits. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual salary for cybersecurity professionals ranges from $70,000 to $118,000. This median is nine percent higher than other IT jobs.
Starting salaries are already well above average, but pair that with a seven percent salary growth rate, and you’re looking at a very hefty income during your career in cybersecurity.
3. Nearly Unlimited Growth Opportunities
As seen with salaries, career growth and advancement are not problems in the cybersecurity field. Common entry-level IT jobs — such as web developer, systems administrator, web administrator and network engineer — are all foundational starting points for careers in cybersecurity. These positions will ultimately lead to six-figure salaries in three to five years.
Some examples of cybersecurity positions that are in demand and can be obtained quickly with the right training and experience are security architect (average salary of $118,681), security consultant (average salary of $106,190), penetration tester (average salary of $79,000) and chief information security officer (average salary of $156,000).
Aside from just salary and job title, there are many opportunities for cybersecurity experts in the realm of networking, ongoing learning and resume building.
Being in an industry that demands ongoing learning, professionals have the opportunity to meet other successful and determined individuals who are also becoming industry leaders in the profession. Networking and continued learning open cybersecurity professionals up to more flexibility.
4. Job Satisfaction and Fulfillment
The worst place a newly hired employee can be is in a career they feel dissatisfied or undervalued. Working in the technology field, especially in cybersecurity, there’s never a doubt that your work is critical to business success and security. The job requires problem-solving skills to be successful, and challenges are always changing, creating a dynamic work environment.
A Princeton Review article on trends in computer science, IT, and cybersecurity states, “The most essential skill needed to be successful in this field is problem-solving.” People who enjoy solving puzzles and deciphering clues will have very successful careers in cybersecurity. These people will also find an abundant amount of job satisfaction.
The ability to have flexibility in location, career and lifestyle is becoming more attractive to millennials. A career in cybersecurity gives these professionals the ability to be in demand in a variety of IT and technical positions.
In the survey mentioned above by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, 28 percent of millennials voluntarily changed jobs in the past 12 months.
This high figure is not because of job dissatisfaction, but because of the desire to seek companies offering more rewarding salaries and perks. Having a skill set that’s in demand gives employees the ability to gain this flexibility when it comes to their careers.
6. Job Security
On the flip side of flexibility, experts in the cybersecurity field don’t have to worry about leaving their job involuntarily. Due to the industry craving more professionals in the tech field, employees are not often let go. Cybersecurity professionals provide their companies unimaginable value.
Without them leading the digital security, the company is at extremely high risk of theft or exposure. As a cybersecurity specialist, there’s never a question of value provided, thus making this profession highly rewarding.
Becoming a Cybersecurity Professional
If you’re a problem-solver eager to advance your career quickly for a firm that values your talents, cybersecurity could be the perfect career to pursue.
Many entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, IT, cybersecurity or a related field, and the opportunities are virtually endless after that.
Kayla Matthews writes about cybersecurity and technology for publications like Malwarebytes, Security Boulevard, InformationWeek and CloudTweaks. To read more from Kayla, visit her blog: ProductivityBytes.com.