We saw some incredible breaches in 2015, where hackers were able to breach several prominent businesses including BlueCross BlueShield, the Internal Revenue Service, Adobe, OPM, and several other sites. Between the sites hacked, millions of user credentials were leaked to these hackers. Because of the increased threats against corporations, a need for security experts is on the rise. If you’ve considered a career change, IT security is one of the fastest growing career paths, and there is a shortage of experienced professionals.
According to Forbes, there are over 200,000 unfilled jobs in the IT security market. This number is predicted to rise into millions in 2019. In other words, IT security isn’t saturated by new applicants. Computer science in general has been one of the hottest growing markets for college students and people who want to make a career change. Development is one of the most popular. There is still a need for experienced professionals, but as the career continues to be popular, it could likely be saturated in the coming years.
IT security is different than development, because it takes more experience and understanding of low level networking, development and security concepts. It’s not enough to memorize theories to be an efficient professional. You need experience in the field, and that’s not always easy to find. One hurdle that new applicants must face is obtaining the experience to work in the field. Security experts don’t start in their current role without some background and experience. As a matter of fact, most white hat ethical hackers were former black hats. This means that they performed malicious hacks in the past, but they’ve turned their experience into something positive.
The best way to get started is to start in information technology learning basic networking. You can then work your way into the security department configuring firewalls and monitoring network traffic. Being a part of an actual security attack such as a data breach from SQL injection or a DDoS attack will help you see what happens when the attack occurs. You can also learn how to deal with attacks from your senior team mates.
Social engineering is common, so you can also help educate team members about the signs and pitfalls of poor security. Read books, understand programming, and gain experience in software development. These options give you the ability to understand the importance of security and where it is required within the corporation.
Cyber threats are discovered every day. The need for security experts is on the rise. If you’re interested in security information and technology, it’s time to look into your options. You can go to college, obtain certifications, and even gain experience in your spare time. Security employees also make great salaries. The average salary for a security expert is over $85,000 each year. This does not include any performance bonuses.
IT security isn’t an easy field, but it’s lucrative, exciting, and you can be at the forefront of new technology.