Here is one reason to consider a job in the field of cyber security:

There could be as many as 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021, according to current data.

Need more convincing statistics?

In the United States, there are 504,316 job openings in cybersecurity, with a total of 997,058 employed in this field, according to Cyber Seek. California has approximately 72,173 opportunities in cybersecurity. The second place goes to the state of Virginia, with 49,669 openings.

Before the hiring process, a degree is helpful – from an Associate to a Master’s. Several choices will afford the necessary qualifications. Of course, a major in cybersecurity stands out; however, you may opt for computer science, information science, security engineering, systems analysis, IT systems, and more. Individuals who possess advanced computer skills and knowledge of programming languages may be eligible without a college degree.

Employment opportunities may broaden with IT and cybersecurity training from sources a Cybrary. The company offers Career Development Programs for professionals, of which numbers 2,400,000 around the world. According to their website, 96% of Fortune 1000 Companies have used their educational services.

Certifications

Certifications are essential for employment and career advancement. A variety exists depending on your current or intended area of work expertise. The following is a synopsis of some which will enhance the hiring process.

CEH or Certified Ethical Hacker

As the name implies, IT professionals become adept at hacking their employer’s computers to identify vulnerabilities and potential access points. The information gleaned from these exercises helps thwart future criminal or black hat hackers. You can take courses by self-study before taking the exam. Applicants must have at least two years of work experience in information security. Kaplan IT Training is one source for training and a practice exam.

CISM or Certified Information Security Manager

This certification is an upper-echelon credential for those overseeing and managing information security systems. Recipients have advanced and proven skills in security risk management, program development, governance, and incident response. Applicants require a minimum of five years of experience. You must also comply with the continuing education policy of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

Comp TIA Security+

A valued certification for individuals working in any area of cybersecurity for those with two years or more experience. The credential attests to your skills in identity management, security systems, cryptography, and security infrastructure. You take a single exam ($339) with no official training required.

CISSP or Certified Information Systems Security Professional

The esteemed certification requires at least five years of experience in security-related work. There are four concentrations aimed at specific areas of IT security:

  1. CISSP-ISSAP: The last five initials refer to Information Systems Security Architecture Professional. Security architects and analysts would benefit from this credential.
  2. CISSP-ISSEP: This concentration is for the Information Systems Security Engineering Professional. Holders demonstrate their expertise in systems engineering and business processes.
  3. CISSP-ISSMP: Of interest to those seeking to land or advance their career in the role of leadership within the information security arena.

Further information and a free Training Guide for the above specialties are available at (ISC).

Alternative Route in the Hiring Process

Military veterans may apply to Cisco’s Veterans Program. Their Cyber Scholarship Program provides free online cybersecurity training and certification to vets, transitioning service members, National Guard, Reservists, and military spouses. The program originated in 2017; last year, 300 vets and spouses took the online courses. Acceptance into the program requires candidates to take a brief skills assessment and select their desired career track. There is a choice between two Cisco Certificated tracks, either CCNA Security or CCNA Cyber Ops. CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate.

Security Clearance

Any position in the realm of cybersecurity in any of the governmental law enforcement agencies mandates a background check. In the alphabet crime organizations, such as the DEA, FBI, CIA, or NSA, you will undergo an extensive audit into your past. Any minor offenses, DUIs, online bullying, college activities, credit history, and prior employment are part of the investigation. Your neighbors, friends, college buddies, professors, coaches, and parents are fair game for interviews. Failure to file an income tax return, pay court-ordered child support, prior drug use, and non-citizenship can derail the hiring process.

Additional Resources:

What Kind of Computer Degree Is Most Helpful in Getting a Job in Cyber Security?

Top 25 Online Master’s Degree Programs in Criminal Justice

What Degree Is Best for a Career in Cybersecurity?

What Kind of Computer Degree Is Most Helpful in Getting a Job in Cyber Security?

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What Bachelor’s Degree Concentrations Are There in Criminal Justice?

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