(NAPSI)—Cybersecurity, as an industry, is one of the highest-paying, fastest-growing and most in demand in the U.S., yet there are not enough skilled professionals in the pipeline to fill open positions, leading to a sizable skills gap. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that the demand for information security analysts who can prevent data breaches is expected to be very high over the next decade. From 2016−2026, BLS projects employment to grow 28 percent, with 28,400 additional jobs added by 20261.
Despite the growing need, a University of Phoenix College of Information Systems and Technology survey found that only 18 percent of the 2,016 U.S. adults surveyed were interested in pursuing a cybersecurity education or profession. Cybersecurity can be a rewarding career, especially for those who want to help organizations or be part of a dynamic industry.
Maurice Gibson, assistant dean at University of Phoenix, shares five reasons to pursue a cybersecurity career in 2018.
1. Cybersecurity Careers Are Here to Stay
With the rise of technology comes increases in cybercrime, according to data from Cybersecurity Ventures2. Gibson believes technology has converged with nearly all industries, meaning more companies will need trained professionals to combat hackers in the future. In fact, LinkedIn listed network information security as the sixth most in-demand skill for today’s digitally advanced working world3. Cybersecurity spending is expected to exceed $1 trillion between 2017 and 2021, finds Cybersecurity Ventures, driving the need for more qualified professionals.
2. Job Opportunities Across Nearly All Industries
As technology converges with business, Gibson says nearly all companies will soon become tech companies, providing cybersecurity professionals with myriad job opportunities across numerous industries4. Cybersecurity jobs are no longer shoehorned into only the government, finance or technology industries. From retail and health care to media and start-ups, cybersecurity professionals may have the option to choose an industry they most want to work in.
3. Competition for Jobs Remains Low
With more open jobs than people to fill them, competition continues to remain low in the cybersecurity workforce. The BLS projects employment of information security analysts to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations5. Gibson says individuals seeking a growing career with plenty of job opportunities should look no further than cybersecurity.
4. Near Top in Compensation
For many Americans, a good salary is vital for job satisfaction. Glassdoor found that nearly 70 percent of people say that compensation is among their top considerations when pursuing a job6. High salaries is another reason to pursue these careers, according to Gibson. BLS reports the median annual wage of an information security analyst is $92,6007. Salaries can even exceed six figures in top markets as companies compete for skilled professionals8.
5. Skill Set Is Transferable to a Number of Industries
With a deficit of skilled cybersecurity professionals in today’s workforce, IT employees may be expected to help manage system security and infrastructure. For this reason, Gibson suggests that having cybersecurity experience can help when changing careers. He says many of the IT skill sets that cybersecurity professionals possess—such as coding, systems administration and data analytics—can be useful résumé additions for just about any job in the tech industry.
“Cybersecurity, as an industry, is one of the highest-paying, fastest-growing and most in demand in the U.S., yet there are not enough skilled professionals in the pipeline to fill open positions, leading to a sizable skills gap.”
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