In the last decade, cybersecurity went from being a vague and uncommon career path to one that is highly sought after by companies of all sizes. So much so that cybersecurity courses are now being introduced and the elementary school level to help build long-term talent pipelines.In this guide
This is no surprise when it’s predicted that 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs will be open in 2025. Adding to the challenge, as the world embraces cutting-edge concepts like digital currency, artificial intelligence-powered solutions, and more, we’ll continue to see a constant rise in the need for better cybersecurity.
The surge in demand has increased the earning potential for professionals in the space, with the majority of role types averaging annual salaries over six figures. This means that now is the time for people looking to build rewarding and impactful careers to take a serious look at the cybersecurity industry.
Where variety and excitement, meet stability
In the past, a sea of popular traditional careers have dominated the workforce for decades, such as lawyers, doctors, nurses, bank tellers, teachers, and more. There is a very appealing element that has drawn past generations to these fields – stability.
Oftentimes new industries can be unpredictable and create a sense of uncertainty amongst job seekers – as was the case with cybersecurity originally. However, in today’s world, the career path of cybersecurity has become synonymous with “job security.” As an industry with one of the lowest unemployment rates you can find, it’s clear that cybersecurity is here to stay and that demand will continue to grow.
In addition, a career path in cybersecurity provides an opportunity for exciting variety in both the day-to-day of most roles as well as overall career path options. One day you may be responding directly to a hack or incident that feels like a digital CSI movie.
On another day, you could be applying a critical security patch that will help prevent a hospital from getting hacked and stop patients from being impacted. Cybersecurity careers can be built in a variety of business types, including small businesses, family practices, large enterprises, social impact corporations, government agencies, non-profits, and more. The variety and opportunities are endless.
The opportunities are endless, impactful, and fulfilling
As more critical infrastructure sectors, like banking and healthcare, embrace technology, it also means that when something goes wrong – the impact can be costly. For example, a senior leader in the Department of Energy confirmed that enemies have the capability to target and potentially shut down the US.power grid through a cyber-attack.
This is a threat that, if realized, can impact the livelihood and safety of millions of people. By committing to a career in cybersecurity, most professionals take pride in knowing that the work they do saves businesses and, in many cases, can save lives.
Think about what could happen if autonomous vehicles could be openly hacked. Or if e-connected surveillance in banks could be remotely shut down? It’s cybersecurity professionals that stop these things from happening. Every industry is coming to terms with the criticality of cybersecurity, creating a career arena that is not only fulfilling and impactful – but one where opportunities are endless.
Compensation is important, and the cybersecurity industry does not disappoint
There are few industries today that can allow you to earn top dollars after a short amount of training. Doctors, for example, are one of the highest-paying jobs for middle-class people and have a very critical role in society. What most people don’t talk about is the fact that it usually takes 8 – 12+ years of education and practice to start earning the top dollars.
On the contrary, cybersecurity is a career path where with some education, training, and early hands-on experience, you can build a high-paying career in a couple of years. For example, the median salary for an information security analyst is $102,600, which is over double the median salary across all industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics also reported that the typical experience for the role is less than five years, and a common education level is a Bachelor’s degree.
One important thing to recognize here is that there are many alternative paths to growth in the industry as well. Bootcamps and key certifications like Security+, CISSP, and great ways to build credentials. There are associate and bachelor’s degree programs dedicated to cybersecurity as well. To really stand out and grow expertise in the industry, there are also master’s and PhD programs dedicated to this high-demand area.
Starting now positions you to catch a tailwind of growth
Because the industry is in such high demand, the opportunity for professionals to build skills and grow in a variety of areas and levels is high as well. For example, the job outlook for cybersecurity is predicted to grow 35 percent over the next decade.
The average across all other industries is just five percent. The industry’s growth is rapidly outpacing other sectors. As that growth happens, new roles will continue to be added, and professionals who already have the skills or are growing their skills today will be in the perfect spot to take on the growing demand.
You’ll get to build diverse skills and flex a variety of brain muscles
A common misconception in the cybersecurity space is that all professionals are sitting at a desk coding all day. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A career in cybersecurity requires that you develop and flex a broad range of skill sets. Cybersecurity career options can be categorized into three common domains: Management, Technical and Senior Leadership. Each domain requires different skills and approaches.
For example, in technical cybersecurity career domains like security engineering and operations or incident response, you’d spend most of your time navigating systems, data, tools, and networks to technically prevent, detect, and respond to cyber threats. Whereas in the management domain, the focus is on oversight which requires more soft skills, organizational management, and business acumen to programmatically manage security. And lastly, senior leadership is critical to leading a healthy cybersecurity culture. In most cases, senior leaders in cybersecurity have spent quite a bit of time across both managerial and technical domains before growing into senior leaders.
There is a growing demand in every single one of these areas, from entry-level to senior executive positions. What makes this even more fun is that it is possible to touch on all of these in a single professional’s career. Additionally, the skills gains are transferrable across other career paths beyond cybersecurity for added career flexibility.
The demand for cybersecurity will continue to grow over the next decade and beyond. This is highlighted by the fact that the Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that cybersecurity will grow at seven times the rate of the average industry.
The sharp uptick in demand has not only increases earning opportunities for professionals in the space but also continually introduces the opportunity to do meaningful and impactful work. Now is the time for people looking to build rewarding and impactful careers to take a serious look at the cybersecurity industry.