The Internet plays a dominating role in our lives today. It helps to make our lives easier, enables us to complete all required work on time as well as helps us to keep in touch with people both socially and professionally. But there are certain risks involved in its use in the form of internet frauds, identity theft, system hacking, etc.

In order to counter this ever-growing threat, colleges and universities have introduced a degree in cybersecurity in their curriculum. This degree has more than earned its worthiness by preparing students to face and eliminate instances of cybercrime. Statistically speaking more than 80% of companies in the United States have had to face threats from hackers. Due to the extensive amount of damage caused by them and other acts of cybercrimes, most companies employ personnel exclusively skilled in cybersecurity to prevent reoccurrence of the same. This has given rise to many career opportunities for people holding a degree in cybersecurity from recognized colleges and universities.

The worthiness of cybersecurity degrees

Studies and surveys conducted show that cyber crimes and cyber terrorism rank high in the list of threats faced by the world today. Hence with reliance on digital technology growing at an alarming rate, a degree in cybersecurity is a godsend because:

  • Availability of plenty of jobs: It is estimated that the global populace approximately spends a whopping $445million each year to counter this threat. This information, in itself, is enough to give a rough estimation of the numerous jobs that are available in this field. In fact, this field is estimated to show a 37% increase by the year 2022 which is about three times the average rate of growth in job opportunities for other occupations
  • Better opportunities for advancement:  With an increase in the education levels in this field, job opportunities increase. And in this field equal importance is given to both:
    • The education level of the candidate and
    • The experience of the candidate in this field.

While there are many opportunities even for people with little or no experience, this field is so dynamic that no one remains stuck in the same position forever. Opportunities for career advancements keep coming. Candidates with a combination of higher levels of education and a good amount of experience, find themselves going far ahead in this field within a shorter period of time than in any other field.

  • Jobs are with lucrative remunerations:  While getting jobs is certainly easy for candidates with appropriate qualifications, even lower-end jobs pay salaries which are much more lucrative than in any other field. In fact, the advancement of career results in getting job offers with salaries which only a handful of other occupations can even think of matching.

Thus a career in cybersecurity is not only aesthetically satisfying but it is also financially very rewarding. This win-win situation is only slated to increase as cyber crimes become reality organizations and countries are forced to accept and come up with methods to annihilate.

Common career paths in cybersecurity

With new cyber threats coming up every day, there is no dearth of cybersecurity jobs. In fact, there are numerous possibilities that exist for jobs in cybersecurity. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Information Security Analysts: These people are involved in
    • Scrutinizing the network of an organization,
    • Looking for vulnerable spots and possible security breaches,
    • Recommending the security measure most appropriate for the organization and
    • Ensuring its successful implementation
  • Cyber Security Software engineers: As the name suggests, they are in charge of the total maintenance of the installed cybersecurity software in an organization. They are professionals who:
    • Monitor the total cybersecurity system and
    • Suggest and implement the best measures to minimize security weaknesses.

Hence these people also have to be proficient in

  • Malware protection,
  • Firewalls,
  • Routers and
  • Systems that are used for intrusion prevention.
  • Chief Information Security Officer:  This mid-level executive job involves
    • Overseeing the operations of an organization’s IT division and
    • Planning and strategizing all the security requirements of a network and its associated devices.

They typically head a team of professionals proficient in the different aspects of cybersecurity so as to ensure each and every minute need of the cybersecurity system is met. He is thus involved in ensuring the cybersecurity strategy adopted remains as foolproof as possible.

  • Forensic Computer Analyst: As the name suggests these people act as detectives who help to investigate security breaches or other cybercrimes committed. Their work also involves the recovery of data either destroyed or damaged in the cybercrime committed. Thus they have to follow all privacy procedures involved and also keep a detailed log that serves as evidence during litigations.
  • Penetration Tester:  These people are legalized hackers who help to find possible vulnerabilities in a cybersecurity system of an organization. They try to hack into the system from outside the company’s network so that they are able to:
    • Test the strength of the cybersecurity system and
    • Look for possible loopholes which might weaken the system with regards to:
      • System vulnerabilities,
      • Service or application problems and
      • Improper configurations etc.

These testers have to think like hackers and use highly creative methods to attempt to break into the system. Of course, keeping a detailed record of their activities is also mandatory.

  • IT security Consultant: These people work as freelance consultants, often traveling to the client’s workplace to analyze their network system and advise them on the most appropriate security measure for their company. They are a great help for smaller companies who cannot afford to maintain their own team of cybersecurity experts. For larger companies, they work in corroboration with the company’s own cybersecurity team, thereby augmenting their output.

There are a number of other prevalent and upcoming jobs in the field of cybersecurity. As the law of demand and supply status, the demand for cybersecurity experts is so high that new degree courses are being regularly created to cater to this demand. This is, beyond any iota of doubt, one of the most lucrative career options both financially and professionally.

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