Deciding to pursue an information technology (IT) career is only the beginning. Within the IT field, you’ll find many high-impact, hands-on roles you can pursue. Among them are jobs in cybersecurity – an area frequently discussed in the headlines and in boardrooms across the country.
Cybersecurity (also known as information technology security) encompasses the technologies, processes and practices involved in protecting computer networks and systems from digital attacks. Such attacks can include stealing or exposing sensitive data as well as disrupting or destroying technology systems and services. If you’re considering whether cybersecurity is right for you, here are a few factors that may influence your decision!
1. Cybersecurity is critical for the present and the future.
Information technology touches our lives in countless ways, and the same is true for businesses. The security of both consumer and business technology is imperative for businesses and governments alike, with experts warning that cybercrime could cost the global economy $6 trillion annually by 2021. In 2019, one report found that $2.9 million is lost every minute around the world to cybercrime, including loss of business assets and disruption of services. However, the right cybersecurity practices can help business to prevent such losses.
Looking to the future, the importance of cybersecurity is here to stay as we develop more ways to connect to everything around us (including cars, appliances and building control systems, to name a few). This increase will necessitate a greater focus on cybersecurity within organizations, and no matter how technology evolves, we will need to find ways to protect it.
2. Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand.
The rising demand for cybersecurity skills has surpassed the existing number of cybersecurity professionals in the marketplace. Demand doesn’t appear to be slowing either. As of October 2020, employers had more than 500,000 open cybersecurity jobs, and the BLS predicts a 31% increase in information security analyst employment from 2019 to 2029. By 2021, 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs may be unfilled globally. This demand means that individuals willing to put in the time and effort to build their cybersecurity skills are likely to find very strong potential job prospects.
3. Cybersecurity is important in every industry.
Interested in the healthcare field? Government? Education? You’re in luck. Every industry and every business has mission-critical assets they need to protect, and every IT role involves some security considerations. Especially in recent years, organizations of all types have invested in systems for data collection and storage, team and client collaboration, business analytics, and much more. For cybersecurity professionals, this has opened up new career choices and allowed individuals to find companies and jobs aligned to their goals, interests and values.
4. A cybersecurity career will keep you on your toes.
Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly devising new schemes and methods of attack. To be one step ahead, you’ll need to stay current on industry standards and tools. This field will require you to frequently learn and experiment with new technology and processes. Over time, you can hone your expertise and earn certifications in the areas of cybersecurity that most interest you. This ongoing learning process makes boredom rare for most cybersecurity professionals. Instead, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for professional growth along with puzzles to solve and challenges to conquer.
5. Cybersecurity can be a rewarding career with a clear impact.
Cybersecurity professionals protect private consumer data like social security numbers and birthdays. They ensure that technology like connected healthcare devices can’t be tampered with. They find and address vulnerabilities in business software before anyone else can. As a cybersecurity professional, you can use your skills for the greater good, with a tangible impact on businesses and people. For this reason and others, many cybersecurity professionals experience high job satisfaction and take pride in their work, knowing how much their efforts matter to their employers.
Start Building Your Skills for a Cybersecurity Career
At South University, our Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program offers a solid foundation in the core areas of IT along with the opportunity to pursue a specialization in Cybersecurity. Through virtual lab activities and interactive projects, our Cybersecurity specialization allows you to focus in on how to operate, maintain, protect and defend an organization’s technology in roles such as:
- Ethical hacker
- Forensic computer analyst
- Information security analyst
- IT security consultant
- IT security engineer
- Network security architect
- Penetration tester
- Security software developer
- Security architect
- Security systems administrator
Our BS in IT Cybersecurity specialization is aligned with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (CWF), a partnership between government, academia and the private sector focused on cybersecurity education and workforce development. To achieve direct relevancy with in-demand cybersecurity jobs, our learning outcomes are mapped to the NICE CWF work categories, specialty areas, work roles and knowledge areas. The program also aligns with best practices from professional certifications, such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) from the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)² and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) from EC-Council.