The year 2020 has changed our world in far too many ways. But it has also taught us many lessons that we should embrace. While our daily lives have changed perhaps permanently from events of politics and the seeming lack of social interaction caused by remote working, we can now perhaps more easily embrace the need to be grateful for what we have and also our ability to adapt to new norms brought on the COVID-19 pandemic.
An example of a lesson learned and our ability to adapt is found in the growing importance of cybersecurity. With a remote workforce that is likely somewhat permanent, the need for cybersecurity by any business and for any workforce regardless of business size has grown exponentially When we say any, we literally mean any, it does not matter how big or small, how much revenue it makes, or in which industry it is. Today, anyone, even a one-person business is at risk.
Before the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020, there were approximately 500,000 open cybersecurity jobs in the United States. Over the past few months with a remote workforce the new norm, that number has risen sharply. We have seen an increase in cyber-attacks that have left companies with growing urgency to hire the right candidates to take care of their cybersecurity needs — preventing, tackling, and mitigating cyber threats.
Beyond the fact that this is a field with a 0% unemployment rate since 2010 and an increasing talent gap and a constant demand for new hires, there are four more compelling reasons to pursue a career in cybersecurity.
1- Cybersecurity Professionals Earn Higher Than Average Salaries
The new norm of the COVID and Post-COVID workforce gives us all something to think about. This is especially true for those who are starting a new career and those thinking about a mid-career transition. The current economic crisis resulting from COVID and the remote workforce that might never change are just two things to consider. What skills are needed to be successful? How easy or not it is to land your first job? What are growing industries? What opportunities exist for professional growth? How many job openings are near you or will allow for remote working? And of course how are the salaries in the field.
The answers to these questions should lead many to understand that cybersecurity provides a user-friendly answer to many of the above questions.
An entry-level cybersecurity professional earns an estimated $75,000 per year but will vary somewhat by role and geography. But upward mobility will be everywhere for most workers. As a cybersecurity professional climbs in their career to become a Chief Security Officer or a Chief Information Security Officer their annual income can grow up to $270,000 and well beyond. This should make cybersecurity a very attractive career option for many individuals.
The takeaway is that cybersecurity is a field with an increasing demand for workers. Skilled cybersecurity workers are being offered great compensation packages as companies are “fighting” over who gets the best candidate to work for them. Plus, by definition, more and more cybersecurity jobs are remote, providing greater worker flexibility for where people want to live and what their family situation is.
2- It is a Rewarding Job
Every job can give you the satisfaction of accomplishing something, but in cybersecurity, you have the opportunity of making a real impact. With your time, dedication, and attention to detail you have the certainty of protecting private information, money, and the reputation of the company you work for, and perhaps even our democracy.
No wonder why the most recent survey conducted by (ISC)² reveals that the overall job satisfaction of cybersecurity workers worldwide is at 76%, a rate that has been increasing year after year.
3- Cybersecurity Offers Unlimited Growth
Cybersecurity challenges are constantly evolving, and so must the skills of cybersecurity professionals. There are more and more people trying to hack into systems who are very good at what they do. So, we need more and more cyber professionals who are better and better at what they do to protect our privacy and data.
If you are willing to earn critical certifications and continue to learn throughout your career, you probably have permanent job security and unlimited job growth. Remember, while hackers are constantly looking for new ways to attack, cybersecurity experts are looking for new ways to prevent, detect, and respond. That spells an opportunity for you.
4- You Don’t Need a Degree to Start your Career
Contrary to most fields and a lot of conventional wisdom, cybersecurity professionals don’t need a degree to land their first job and start a successful career. Many cybersecurity professionals have found alternate learning and skill paths such as bootcamps that may or may not combine with more traditional educational opportunities. More and more hiring managers are looking to bootcamps and alternate forms of learning to fill the skills gap that exists within their company.
This is all to say that cyber-attacks are going nowhere, and 2020 has taught us more than ever that organizations are in desperate need of talent to keep their assets safe. It’s the perfect moment to start your career in a field that truly needs you.