Have you considered a job in cybersecurity? Not sure what that means? The cool part is that it can mean a lot of different options, based in part on training and in part on preference. And it really is a field that offers something for everyone!
If you’re the kind of person who likes routine, then many businesses have IT staff that work Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. These individuals are responsible for running routine maintenance checks, managing firewalls and phishing emails, and consulting on new tech, running updates, and maybe even helping a fellow co-worker realize their number lock is on.
Maybe you’re the kind of person who prefers a more high-paced position. If that is the case, then working with one of the country’s three-letter agencies (CIA, FBI, DOD, etc.) would be a better fit. In these roles, you will have to be up-to-date on the cutting edge of technological advances. And while it may involve long hours at times, the pay can make up for it. This may also be a good fit for those who are fluent in a second language.
Or, are you someone who wants to work for yourself and set your own hours and challenges? If so, consulting may be a good fit. It can provide the best of either routine or it might be unpredictable, as your contracts could focus on paths like vetting existing systems, assessing threats, and recommending upgrades, or on tackling more involved systems where you may be learning as you go by using your own skills to assess and identify the problem and its solution.
Not sure which of those options would be the best fit for you? No problem. As a Brighton College student, you’ll take a behavioral assessment and work with the EmployAbility team to understand your inherent traits and tendencies. This will help you better assess the right options and allow our team to provide you with those that would be the most satisfying for you.
While the work setting that is best can be different for each individual, there are some key traits that make for a good cybersecurity professional, as identified in various interviews with SC Magazine. Hopefully, you find yourself possessing many of them:
- The mindset of a perpetual student, willing to read and study to stay abreast of changes and innovations.
- Persistence to see it through, because with constantly evolving technology you may not have the same problem twice.
- Curiosity, so you’re always looking for progress and change, like new approaches and tactics to stay ahead of trends and threats.
- A perceptive mind, so you can see the tech and the task from both sides, protecting the client while thinking like the bad guy.
- Strong critical thinking skills, for the ability to reason through a problem.
- Instincts to think on your feet and trust your innate beliefs.
- Working well under pressure, so when a threat presents itself you step up and are focused, fast, thorough, and accurate.
Now that you’ve seen that you have a variety of working options and know some of the traits necessary to be successful, is this a good time to enter this field or even make a career change? The Tech Republic says YES! These positions have become a requirement for businesses, and filling them has become a priority.
- Cybercrime has exploded in the past couple of years, with major ransomware attacks putting enterprises’ data at risk. To protect their information and that of their clients, companies across all industries are seeking cyber professionals to secure their networks.
- Top companies, including Apple, Lockheed Martin, General Motors, Capital One, and Cisco, have all been hiring in recent years. Industries such as healthcare, education, and government are most likely to suffer a cyberattack, which will probably lead to an increase in the number of IT security jobs in these sectors.
- The average salary for a cybersecurity professional depends on the position. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts earn a median salary of $98,350 per year. Meanwhile, according to Salary.com, CISOs (chief information security officers) earn a median salary of $221,991. Salaries are significantly higher in certain cities, such as San Francisco and New York.
So, as we enter a new decade, don’t hesitate in finding out if a career in cybersecurity is right for you. Let Brighton College know how we can get you started on that path to ensure you discover what job setting and career path will be the best fit for you.
Sources, retrieved on December 2, 2019: