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The need for robust cybersecurity is apparent for business leaders in every sector. There is a widespread and growing awareness that cyber attackers are becoming more numerous and sophisticated, and they are focusing their efforts on a broader range of organizations than ever before.
Naturally, this is a troubling trend for business owners and operators. However, it presents tremendous opportunities for aspiring and established cybersecurity professionals. Careers in the cybersecurity field have never been more promising.
The scope of the opportunities now available to cybersecurity professionals was recently highlighted by The Huffington Post contributor Larry Alton. He asserted that IT workers should see cybersecurity as one of the most beneficial and advantageous specializations available to them.
“If you’ve never considered training in IT security, now is the time to reconsider,” Alton wrote.
There’s a great deal of evidence to support Alton’s claim. The writer pointed to a Network World report which estimated cybersecurity staffing shortages of between 20,000 and 40,000 at the end of last year – figures that have likely increased significantly in recent months. That same report found that 42 percent of organizations intended to hire more IT security employees in the near future.
“Every organization is a potential target.”
This demand for cybersecurity professionals is understandable. After all, the number of major data breaches seems to be increasing every week. From large-scale incidents, like the Target and Sony hacks, to less wide-ranging breaches at smaller firms, the takeaway is that every organization is a potential target, and investing in cybersecurity measures – including IT security personnel – is the best way to minimize risk.
All of this has combined to ensure that cybersecurity professionals command much higher salaries today than in years past. Network World reported that the average salary for U.S.-based IT security workers is now $116,000, which is three times the national median for full-time salaried employees.
Alton noted that the nearly universal demand for cybersecurity talent also enables professionals to work in essentially whatever industry they desire. Perhaps most notably, there is a great deal of demand among public sector organizations, from government agencies to aerospace firms. In particular, the Defense Department is eager to hire more personnel as IT security and national security become increasingly intertwined.
Heeding the call
As serious as the cybersecurity landscape has become, it’s likely to grow even more dire in the next few years. There is simply too much for these cyber criminals to potentially gain. Every organization now possesses, generates and collects massive quantities of data, and much of it is extremely sensitive – intellectual property, customers’ identifying information and more. Businesses cannot put an end to this practice or else they will fall behind their more agile, informed competitors.
This means that careers in cybersecurity are not likely to see opportunities dwindle anytime soon. On the contrary, the potential for these professionals will only grow.
Interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity? To learn more about Excelsior College degree programs, click here.