We’re halfway through Cybersecurity Awareness Month! I hope you are experiencing success hunting for answers in the Virtual Scavenger Hunt. If not, what are you waiting for? A cool OontZ Angle 3 Ultra waterproof Bluetooth speaker is up for grabs! You can start on the hunt by going to the start page.
This week we are examining two topics that are closely related. The number of potential careers in cybersecurity is expanding rapidly, with positions in everything from “in the weeds” technical jobs to more interpersonal management and legal positions. Cybersecurity is one of the hottest sectors today, with new threats and challenges emerging each day. And with that, there is a huge push being undertaken by both business and education sectors to attract individuals toward a degree and career in cybersecurity. Interested in joining this exciting new workforce? Here are a few reasons why pursuing a degree and career in cybersecurity might be right for you.
Hot Job Market
To say that the cybersecurity jobs market is hot would be a huge understatement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for information security analysts will grow by 32 percent by 2028 — making it one of the fastest growing job sectors — while Cybersecurity Ventures has found that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs in 2021. This means that cybersecurity professionals are among the most in-demand around the world and will be for years to come.
Infinite Room for Personal and Professional Growth
Beyond just the ability to get a cybersecurity job, thanks to an ever-growing set of career tracks, cybersecurity offers a variety of different options for professionals to find a position that fits nicely with their own interests. Cybersecurity professionals work in everything from compliance to stress testing cyber defenses and software, so there are virtually limitless ways that professionals can apply their skills and look to grow them. Here is a great resource to see the incredible variety of possible careers in cybersecurity. This is a great article on more practical considerations about attempting to become a cybersecurity professional.
Investment in advanced cybersecurity pays for itself
Due to the shortage of cybersecurity talent in the workforce, businesses and educational institutions are constantly rolling out new avenues by which to make cybersecurity careers more affordable. For example, new grants and scholarships are now becoming available each day for individuals interested in cybersecurity careers, while many businesses are beginning to offer tuition reimbursement or other financial perks. This means that a degree in cybersecurity may be much more affordable than you originally thought.
In addition to interesting “on the ground work” that cybersecurity professionals get to take on everyday, there is also a growing selection of highly tailored cybersecurity graduate programs that can further academic knowledge in cybersecurity as well. For example, graduate degrees ranging from Applied Cryptography to Network Vulnerability and Detection are now being offered through colleges and universities nationwide. Additionally, as part of this deep-dive, cybersecurity professionals will also get the opportunity to network with other students from various backgrounds allowing them to open up further opportunities for future positions or businesses.
Training is Important, For Professionals and Regular Users
All of these potential positions require training and education to be effective. As regular users of technology, all of us must also train and educate ourselves on how to best protect our own data and the college as we go about our everyday work. Issues like compliance and the continual attacks on our network and email inboxes require us to be trained in cybersecurity awareness. This training can also help us protect our homes as they become more and more connected via smart assistants and devices like Google Home, Amazon Alexa and others. The more things we connect to our home networks, the larger our potential attack surface is and the more vulnerable we are. Learning how to protect ourselves is essential.
With that in mind, the Office of Information Technology will soon be rolling out cybersecurity awareness training to the entire active community; faculty, staff and students. A short, roughly half-hour long set of courses will introduce and educate on cybersecurity awareness. It will cover topics such as good password management, how to spot phishing emails and other social engineering attempts, data security, safe browsing and use of social media. In addition, it will explain how to protect your devices, whether they are mobile devices like phones and tablets, more standard computing devices like laptops and desktops, or any of the thousands of “Internet of Things” (IoT) items like Amazon Echos, smart light bulbs, intelligent appliances, video doorbells, or other devices that connect to the network, but don’t have traditional screens or input devices.
This training is available right now by request, but we will be rolling out required training in the near future. Watch for emails from Information Security for more details and keep an eye on this website. If you are interested in taking this training now, you can use the form on the right side of any page on this site to request access to training. As technology constantly advances, so does the cyberthreat landscape, so this training will be required on a regular basis.
That’s it for this week. Again, be sure to start hunting for answers in the Virtual Scavenger Hunt if you haven’t already. If you have any difficulties advancing to the next set of questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you along. The third week questions posted at 8:00AM on Monday, October 18th, but you must complete the first two weeks of questions to get to the third week. The final week’s questions will post at 8:00AM on Monday, October 25th, and the hunt will wrap up on Friday, October 29th. Good luck!