Why Cyber Security Is Taking the Job Market by Storm

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jul 8, 2021

Jul 8, 2021 • by Rebecca Smith

Professionals want to feel relevant—that they’re in a sustainable field with the potential for real impact. They don’t mind being paid well, either. A career in cyber security checks all of these boxes.

Cyber security jobs are slated to grow by 31% between 2019 and 2029. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes this rate of growth as “much faster than average.” The median salary for cyber security professionals is $103,590, while the educational requirements are the standard Bachelor’s degree.

While important, these figures don’t tell the whole story of cyber security’s rapid ascent.

Cyber Security Jobs Provide Unparalleled Career Choice

A career in cyber security offers versatility, as there are many branches of the profession that graduates can pursue. Students don’t have to feel “locked-in” to a specific niche or career path, and this is an enticing prospect for those who value professional flexibility.

A graduate pursuing a career in cyber security may choose from:

  • Threat intelligence
  • Compliance and controls
  • Cloud security
  • Risk management
  • Security strategy and governance
  • Incident response
  • Security software development
  • Cryptography

...and a much longer list than we could provide here.

As Forbes notes, market demand for security is driving specific cyber security niches ahead of the pack. Application Development Security and Cloud Security are pacing the cyber security marketplace, growing at respective five-year rates of 164% and 115%.

It’s difficult to name another professional field that offers such a variety of distinct career choices that will continue to grow at a rapid pace.

As they dip their toes into the cyber security space, young professionals may adapt their career path and specialty based on desired income, work-life balance, professional challenges, and other relevant factors.

Cyber Security Careers Provide Tangible Challenges

Employees stuck in mundane, repetitive, and meaningless careers often find themselves wallowing in professional regret, eventually experience a career crisis, or other related perils. This is not the typical outcome for a cyber security professional.

Cybercriminals have a special talent for keeping their adversaries on their toes. The recent SolarWinds breach shows that cybercriminals are as adept as ever. In the “largest and most sophisticated attack ever,” hackers pilfered sensitive data from 425 of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as U.S. government agencies, and other high-value victims.

Most everything today is digital, from credit card information to Social Security numbers and top-secret defense intelligence. Cybercriminals wage constant siege on troves of valuable data, in which they often succeed.

Cyber security professionals will find ample challenges in their day-to-day work. If they don’t wish to confront such high-stakes threats, there are plenty of other, less pressure-packed cyber security paths to choose from.

Real Demand Is Inflating Cyber Security Salaries

Ernst & Young divides businesses into two categories: “Those that have been victims of a cyberattack, and those that have but didn’t know it yet.” According to the front-end security platform developers at Feroot, a single data breach can cost an unsuspecting business millions of dollars, not to mention the loss of a valuable reputation and their customer’s trust.

Organizations are willing to pay cyber security professionals well to avoid (or at least minimize) such attacks. The stakes of a successful cyber attack are simply too great not to hire the best.

Employers are also seeking (and paying handsomely for) those who can develop and implement cyber security software. Bidding wars rage on for those with a robust knowledge of digital security. These headhunters see the reputational and financial ruin caused by data breaches, and they’re going to great lengths to find and hire cyber security aces.

The price of munitions skyrockets in times of war. As organizations find themselves on the front lines against increasingly savvy cybercriminals, they’re willing to pay for capable reinforcements.

No Organization Is Off-Limits to Cyber Criminals

Every organization, from Walmart to the local Mom & Pop, needs some measure of cyber security.

Does your organization accept credit card payments? Or hold sensitive employee or client information? You need a cyber security pro on your side.

Few professions, have become as universally essential as cyber security, and

The knowledge gulf between Joe Business Owner or Jane CEO and a trained, specialized cyber security professional is generally massive. The average person may be able to download Malwarebytes or an equivalent service, but generally has no idea:

  • How to prevent a breach
  • How to detect a breach
  • How to combat a breach

As hackers become ever-more sophisticated, the skills of cyber security professionals become even more valuable. The unprotected organization, meanwhile, becomes infinitely more vulnerable to data theft, phishing schemes, ransom demands, and other forms of digital harassment.

Why Cyber Security Is Attracting Young Professionals

Cyber security is an in-demand, well-paying, multi-faceted, and meaningful career path. While industries right and left face threats from automation and the natural course of obsolescence, cyber security is trending 90 degrees upward. Those who can diagnose and ward off cyberattacks are a hot commodity.