Sahana Shankar

Choose the Right Profession

With demand still outstripping supply of cybersecurity professionals, opportunities for those who wish to embrace this field should be both, plentiful and attractive.

There are many good reasons why cybersecurity could be the right career move for you. We focus on five here that are likely to have the highest appeal overall: demand, compensation, dynamism, relevance, and career/job security.

They are also the most likely to be reflected in this field. Most enterprises are now likely to become tech enterprises. With demand still outstripping supply of cybersecurity professionals, opportunities for those who wish to embrace this field should be both plentiful and attractive.

Demand for cybersecurity specialists: If you’re going to make a career out of a profession, you need to make sure there is a market for your skills or knowledge. Cybersecurity comes up trumps here.

With the two big driving forces of increasing digital systems and tighter government regulation on data protection, you can look forward to strong demand for cybersecurity knowhow. Remember also that technology alone cannot help enterprises to prevent, detect, manage, and recover from incidents. Effective cybersecurity still relies on skilled people.

Well compensated work: If you want to increase your personal earnings, cybersecurity can be an excellent choice.The average salary for a job needing IT skills (of any kind) is often 50 per cent higher than the average private sector job.

Demand for cybersecurity professionals then greatly outpaces that of other IT jobs, pushing salaries up still further. Naturally, money is just one form of gratification, albeit an important one for many people. If you are also passionate about helping people and organisations to stay safe, protect privacy, and fight data breaches and cyberattacks, cybersecurity has lots to offer you too.

Dynamic environment: Cybersecurity work is typically interesting, challenging, and technology focused. The faster information technology evolves, the faster attackers move to exploit it. Today’s hot topics include denial-of-service attacks, ransomware, malicious QR codes, and social engineering such as phishing emails.

Tomorrow could see a whole new range of attack vectors and priorities. Advances in fields like artificial intelligence are changing the way data and systems can be protected.

They are also changing the ways hackers can attack them. If you like keeping up with news about the Internet of Things, machine learning, mobile security, smart cars, and other cutting-edge developments, cybersecurity could bring you a great deal of job interest.

Cross-Industry relevance: Cybersecurity isn’t just for banks or big companies any more. It applies across the board, to all sectors and all sizes of organisation. Yet each enterprise needs its own cybersecurity solution, adapted to its business goals and its IT and data assets.

In addition, cybersecurity skills are highly portable. Those who have them can often be located virtually anywhere.

Another possibility is to join an enterprise specialising in cybersecurity services, to get the double advantage of work diversity and supportive working conditions.

Job security: The unemployment rate for cybersecurity professionals is currently zero – or even below (more positions open than people to fill them). How many other professions could claim the same? Market researcher company Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021. They also found that cybersecurity spending would likely exceed between 2017 and 2021, increasing demand for qualified professionals.

Remember career basics as well: Remember that all careers should offer not only interest and opportunity, but also the r ight ‘hygiene’ factors. This means pleasant, safe working conditions, proper management, and suitable career development.

After all, the fun and the satisfaction you can have as a cybersecurity professional should be a permanent feature of your job, not a temporary one. By choosing carefully, you should be able to find the job and work environment that suits you, and that allows you to reap all the benefits that we have discussed here.

This article was originally published by The Statesman. It can be viewed on here.