Without a doubt, a career in cybersecurity is very bright in today's circumstances. Anyone who is thinking about this should definitely start thinking more seriously and the ones who are already in it should dig deeper. The statistics are in favor of a bright career in cybersecurity going ahead. According to ISACA, a non-profit information security advocacy group, by 2019 there will be a global shortage of 2 million cybersecurity professionals. If you’ve ever considered a career in cybersecurity, now is the perfect time to seize the opportunity to protect the world from cyberattacks.
The Cybercrime Report by CyberSecurity Ventures puts out some brilliant data points that show that a career in cybersecurity is just getting kicked off.
Findings that Favor a Career in Cybersecurity
Here are a few data points and findings that favour a career in cybersecurity:
Cybercrime damages are predicted to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021
As per the latest report, cybercrime damages are predicted to go up from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion by 2021. This has also led to a growth in cybersecurity spending which is expected to reach more than $1 trillion cumulatively from 2017 to 2021.
3.5 Million Unfilled Positions by 2021
According to Cisco, there were 1 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally. That number is predicted to grow up to 3.5 million openings by 2021. The cybersecurity unemployment rate has plummeted to 0%, which is great and typically unheard of in most fields. Moreover, it's expected to remain there for the next several years. There is a shortfall of cybersecurity experts across organizations of different shapes and sizes, ranging from Fortune 500 and Global 2000 corporations to small-to-midsize businesses to governments and even schools and hospitals globally.
Increased Venture Capital in Cybersecurity
Last year, more than 200 cybersecurity startups raised venture capital. A large portion of initial venture capital is towards building a team and acquiring new talent. There aren't any obvious signs of VC funding going down in this sector in the near future.
Additionally, many companies are increasingly joining together with the belief that for every IT position there should be an equivalent cybersecurity position as well. All engineers increasingly are being given some responsibility for protecting and defending apps, data, infrastructure, etc.
Increased CISO Demand
Current estimates should be about 50-70% of all large corporations have a dedicated CISO. Another report by CyberSecurity Ventures suggests that 100% of large companies globally will have a dedicated CISO by 2021.
This is a great opportunity for a lot of mid-management folks in cybersecurity. There is a severe lack of talent to fill these CISO positions and hence there will be a lot of first-time CISOs in the near future. Definitely one of the few sectors where the path to the top has lower barriers.
According to (ISC)², a non-profit organization in the education and certification space for security professionals, suggests that there are certain "hot" skill sets that can help boost salaries. Threat intelligence, security software development, cloud, auditing, and big data analysis are some of the hot skills that may lead to a pay raise.
Without a doubt, CISOs are obviously demanding top pay averaging at more than $240,000 annually in 2018. The highest cybersecurity salaries are between $350,000 and $400,000 for CISOs in cities such as San Francisco and New York.
But there's more to it than money!
To be honest, many cybersecurity professionals aren't really doing it for the money alone. Of course, money helps. But this is a role that comes with an incredible amount of responsibility and drives immense value for any organization.
This also generates many opportunities in government and defense for cybersecurity professionals where individual contributions go a long way in creating national and global impact.
So, Why Should You Choose a Career in Cybersecurity
While all the data points above establish the fact that this is a lucrative career path to be on. Like I said, there's more to it than the numbers. Here are some more reasons (in case you are still thinking):
Learning never stops. And with such a fast-changing landscape, you don't even have any other option than to learn fast. The variety of technologies and adverse situations are all opportunities for growth and learning. You always have to stay ahead in the game and that means working on things many people wouldn't have even thought of.
Cybersecurity professionals deal with a myriad of challenges because of the fact that there are numerous technologies, implementations and thousands of possibilities of an attack. There is a large diversity of challenges to deal with on a daily basis.
Every new technology gives birth to new risks. It's your job to identify them, understand them, and solve them.
The impact one cybersecurity individual can have is huge. Many of the security professionals in my team at Appknox have helped companies like Google, Facebook, Paypal, Microsoft, and many others discover and fix security issues that impact millions of users.
Imagine folks that work for government and defense agencies! The impact can be felt by millions of people around the world.
From banking to e-commerce, from social media to dating, security technologies make a lot of our current digital world possible.
The general assumption is that it is the cybersecurity team's job to prevent attacks and breaches from hackers. While that is true, it's only a part of it. Today, their roles and goals are very similar to the rest of IT, delivering technologies that fuel growth for the business. They are responsible to ensure solutions are resilient.