Do you know where your sensitive information is or more importantly who is responsible safeguarding it? In all likelihood your personal, sensitive information is sitting in various computer database throughout the country in all types of organizations.
Hopefully your information is being guarded over by diligent and educated information security professionals whose mission in life is to ensure that this information does not fall into the wrong hands.
As you may have ascertained, the work that these men and women perform is critical to our economy, our businesses and our government.
Have you ever considered a career in cyber security? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those who work in cyber security will see rapid job growth and greater demand for skilled technicians at a 10 year projected growth rate of 16%. This of course will generate a greater demand for cyber security experts which will lead to increases in the expected earnings of those working within the field.
According to Payscale.com, the current median salary for a computer security specialist is $70,943.00 annually. Unlike many information technology jobs, outsourcing data integrity or cyber security work will likely remain ill-advised due to the various laws, policies and limitations placed on those organizations whose business it is to have access to such sensitive information. As a result, job security is expected to remain strong.
Education and training will of course remain vital to this industry. Those who have attained the proper credentials will not only be in the highest demand but also are expected to see the highest paying jobs.
For those considering earning a degree in cyber security, the opportunities in online education have never been better.
If you are considering a master’s degree in cyber security, try to begin with the end in mind. What level of degree do you wish to attain? An associate’s, bachelor’s or even a master’s degree?
An associate’s degree will likely impart a good amount of technical knowledge and allow for an entry level position to the graduate. Fortunately an associate’s degree can be acquired while working towards a bachelor’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree is generally considered the standard foundation from which a professional career is built and will of course open many more doors than what would be expected from a two year degree.
Finally a graduate degree would best serve those who already have a healthy amount of industry experience, for those seeking management positions or even for those who already have an unrelated undergraduate degree and that are looking at making a career change.
In addition to earning a degree, a student may also earn various vendor neutral certifications in cyber security such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) offered by (ISC) which is largely regarded as a standard in the industry. The Security certification offered by CompTIA would also be a good credential to attain.
There are of course specific certifications which are designed to capitalize on technologies provided for by vendors, such as Symantec or Cisco Systems. Some degree programs may even require or at least provide training specific for these certifications which will look great on a resume next to a degree. So consider this in evaluating potential schools.
Cyber security is an up and coming profession holding a bright future for those working within the information technology industry. Due to the specialized skills and training required combined with the increased demand for these skilled professionals job opportunities are expected steadily grow.
For those potential students who would like to work with technology and computers, cyber security is one specialization that should be strongly considered due to the culmination of industry growth, job security and compensation.