What does the Future hold for Security Jobs?
Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021.
The cybersecurity jobs forecasts have been unable to keep pace with the dramatic rise in cybercrime, which is predicted to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.
In 2017, the U.S. employed nearly 780,000 people in cybersecurity positions, with approximately 350,000 current cybersecurity openings, according to CyberSeek, a project supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce.
These figures translate to an extremely healthy prognosis for the IT security industry. To become a part of this burgeoning field, you must first have a degree and secondly secure an interview. How well you interview will greatly increase your chances of employment. And decrease the time seeking employment.
You do not need to limit your search to jobs in Information Security. This is a broad field. You can use your degree in related areas, such as:
- Security Specialist: You analyze the security requirements of an organization’s systems, install and configure security solutions on corporate networks, and perform vulnerability testing.
- Incident Responder: Involves monitoring organization networks for intrusions, perform security audits and penetration testing, conduct malware analysis and reverse engineering.
- Security Engineer: You configure firewalls, test new security solutions, and investigate intrusion incidents, among other duties.
These complement your degree. Whereas your degree may take years, you can complete certifications in weeks. Certifications will give you the confidence to interview for jobs in IT Support, networking, and cyber security. In IT, there are three programs for entry-level certification:
- Technical Support Specialist (15 Days, CompTIA A+ and ITIL Certifications)
- Computer User Support Specialist (25 Days, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+ and ITIL Certifications)
- Network Support Specialist (20 Days, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, Cisco CCNA Certifications)
The 15-day instruction focuses on desktop support, basic TCP/IP networking and troubleshooting, Windows and other operating system installation and maintenance, server hardware and software support, and disaster prevention and recovery strategies. This IT certification program also introduces the principles and core elements of IT service management (ITSM) based on the ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) framework. By adding IT courses like Network+ and Security+, students will gain a well-rounded IT education preparing them for entry-level roles in the IT security industry.
A typical student taking the CompTIA Network+ and Security+ courses should have a minimum of nine months or more of professional computer support experience.
You can impress further in an interview by boosting your knowledge of security issues. Online courses are a convenient way to boost your resume and impress the interviewer. One course is SANS Security. They offer security awareness classes and materials to educate security specialists. There are 1,400 military, educational entities, and organizations around the world using SANS Security Awareness Training as their first line of defense against cyber attacks. SANS also provides free Webcasts of news and information aimed at information security personnel.
What you lack in experience, you need to make up in knowledge. In an interview, this also demonstrates initiative. You took the initiative to further your knowledge base through online courses after graduation or while in school. To accomplish this, you should research a source of eLearning known as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Many are free! Reputable universities offer the courses on a variety of topics including cybersecurity, software security, and more.
Example of a MOOC:
Hardware Security: At the end of the course, you will understand the vulnerabilities in the current digital system design flow and the source of physical attacks. You will have also acquired tools and skills to build secure and trusted hardware. Basic skills in programming, digital logic design, and computer organization are highly recommended. Course requires 3-5 hours a week for 6 weeks.
There will have the standard questions about strengths and weaknesses. Most of the interview may focus on your technical skills and knowledge since that is what this job entails. Particularly at the entry-level, you are a technician with a desire to make systems more secure. The interviewer may test this skill by asking: What do you have on your home network? To answer this, you want to show you know how to break and fix things more than a test environment, and for most people that means their home network. Even if it is only a Windows or Mac laptop with a wireless generic router and a phone.
A host of Information Security interview questions and answers is available at InfoSec Institute.