Cybersecurity jobs are in high demand and it doesn’t seem like the need for more security professionals is going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Cyber attacks are only becoming more common and more harmful, and even though we tend to only hear about the attacks of high-profile entities, no company -- or individual for that matter -- with an online presence is immune to attacks.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of growth for jobs in information security is projected at 37% from 2012–2022—that’s much faster than the average for all other occupations.
Computer science roles are already in high demand as it is; adding in the element of security makes these roles even more critical and sought after
The Current State of Cybersecurity Training
With so many jobs available, and the need to fill them so dire, more colleges are offering degrees in cybersecurity, though it has yet to become a staple in undergraduate coursework for students majoring in related fields.
For many professionals currently in the cybersecurity field, they learned the necessary skills through certificate programs and in-the-field training versus degree programs. “They didn’t always teach security in college,” explained Dave Lemaire, Senior Director of Technical Operations at Dyn. “It’s one of those things that you stumble into…or get forced into."
I spoke with Diana Burley, a professor at George Washington University who was named 2014 Cybersecurity Educator of the Year, about the state of cybersecurity programs in schools. While degree programs may not be as widespread as they should be for the level of demand for cybersecurity roles, they are in fact increasing.
She explained that in 1998, the National Security Agency, in response to the President’s National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, developed the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information program, which sparked the increase in programs.
“In the coming years, we will see an expansion of cybersecurity content across the curriculum as all students represent entry points into the broadly defined cybersecurity workforce,” Diana stated. “Continuous professional development is critical in the field of cybersecurity because the nature of the threat continuously evolves. Many options exist for current professionals to augment their skill set; including certificates from technical training companies, additional degrees through university study, or stand-alone hands-on courses to develop specific skills. The right decision depends on specific knowledge or skill required. There is no one-size fits all.”
So as for those who are already in the field and want additional training, Dave explained that Cisco and Microsoft security training certificate programs are common among all professionals looking for certification. Further collegiate education is also an option, but with relatively few schools offering programs, with a high percentage located on the east coast or DC area, it might not be easy for professionals to find a program nearby that offers what they need.