How to Become a Cyber Security Expert
As the world becomes more interconnected and as the Internet plays an increasingly central role in our lives, internet security has become a major concern. Almost no day passes without news reports about a major computer hack or other cyber security scare. It is no wonder that the field of cyber security is now one of the fastest growing areas in terms of job opportunities.
What does a Cyber Security Expert do?
Cyber security experts are involved in researching, detecting, preventing and resolving any threats and attacks against an organization’s IT infrastructure. Often the work involves educating other employees about how to secure their information and computers by keeping their anti-virus software up-to-date, securing their passwords, and taking other measures.
Typical job titles and related careers may include Computer Scientist, Computer Security Specialist, Junior Incident Analyst, Cyber Architect, Security Analyst, Security Architect, and Certified Ethical Hacker.
On a day-to-day basis, the work involves working with computers and other information systems. Cyber security experts spend a lot of time on their computers, usually sitting at their desks for hours. The hours can be unpredictable, given the nature of work. A cyber security attack can occur at any time, and requires an immediate response so there is an expectation to be on call at all times. Fortunately, much of the work can be done remotely, enabling one to work from home or wherever there is an internet connection.
What kind of training does a Cyber Security Expert need?
To become a Cyber Security Expert, you will need a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, Electric Engineering, Computer Science, Information Technology or a related technical field. Most positions will require applicants to demonstrate good knowledge of computer networking programs, database management and software programming languages.
Cyber Security experts must also have strong analytical and problem solving abilities, excellent writing skills and the ability to communicate effectively.
To progress in their careers, cyber security specialists often need to attain specialized certifications in IT security. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a globally recognized standard of achievement that confirms an individual’s knowledge in the field of information security. It is usually required if one is to progress in the field. Another well recognized certification is the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification.
What are the prospects for a career as a Cyber Security Expert?
Almost every company or organization that has online presence will have a need for some of kind of cyber security response, and while smaller organizations tend to outsource these services, many of the larger public institutions and companies will have dedicated internal teams working solely on securing their information systems. Major employers for cyber security specialists include the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and major public corporations.
According to one recent report, more than 200,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfulfilled, and postings are up 74 percent over the past five years. Industries with the greatest shortages include education, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and wholesale.
Most roles in government will require applicants to have the highest security clearance. They may need to demonstrate that they have no prior criminal record, given the level of confidential information that they will be handling.
Salary Prospects: How much does a Cyber Security Expert make?
Salaries in the industry currently range from $40,000 to $80.000 a year for recent graduates and mid-career professionals. A senior cyber security expert will make upwards of $150,000 a year.
Take the Next Step
Are you serious about becoming a Cyber Security Expert? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the College Mouse Degree Search tool to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!