Technology is one of those areas that just seems to never quit growing. The Information Age, also commonly referred to as the Computer Age or the Digital Age, has seen enormous growth in the 21st century thus far. With this growth expected to continue and expound on itself, it can be safe to assume careers in technology will have continued growth as well.
One such area of growth will likely be in cybersecurity careers. As more and more people and companies both hop on the ever-expanding information superhighway, protecting personal information will become more and more important.
Research industries need to protect their intellectual property; companies compete to see who can come out with the latest, greatest cell phone or video game first. Artificial intelligence is booming. Business sectors such as the financial and health industries, which typically grow as the population grows, will need to ensure their systems are incredibly secure.
Perhaps even more important than both the individual and businesses is ensuring the government sectors are protected as wars don't have to be just fought on the ground anymore. Computer hacking, hijacking information, and cyber-attacks are very real threats. If you have ever thought of working in a cybersecurity career, you may have wondered what it would take to get started.
Many beginning jobs in IT (Information Technology) don't require a college degree. If you can adequately prove you know your way around a computer, that's oftentimes enough to start in a position such as manning the help desk. These entry-level positions won't get you far without a degree nowadays, however. There's too much competition out there.
You can work on your education gradually, though. This will help you obtain entry-level employment and experience as you learn on-the-job and through formal education. You can start with a certificate program, then move to an associate degree, then work towards your bachelor's degree. There may be required certifications along the way as well.
A degree in Computer Science with a concentration in cyber security will give you many prospects to specialize in an area that most interests you. Graduates may work as computer programmers, software engineers, network administrators, systems analysts, and computer security analysts.
Almost every company and government agency require trusted people that can be trusted to set up and maintain their computer systems. Passing a background check and security clearance is also a requirement for each job, even in private industry.
The average annual salary for an IT Security Specialist is over $100,000. Pay will depend on your education level, experience, the sector your work in, the company itself, and your specific job title, but cybersecurity careers can be quite lucrative. You can also choose to provide consulting services and analysis for other companies on a contractual or freelance basis.