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Getting into cybersecurity is easier than you think

March 22, 2022
Man wearing a light blue business shirt researches cybersecurity jobs from his desktop computer

If you're interested in getting into cybersecurity, you are not alone. The good news is there's ample room for everyone in this fast-growing field. Cybersecurity jobs and other information technology (IT) security jobs, including information security analyst positions, are expected to grow at the stunning pace of 33% in the U.S. from 2020 to 2030.1 Viewed more broadly, an October 2021 study reports, "the global cybersecurity workforce needs to grow 65% to effectively defend organizations’ critical assets."2

Despite approximately 700,000 IT security jobs being filled annually, an estimated 2.72 million cybersecurity jobs remained unfilled in 2021.3 Clearly, if you have the right mindset, skillset and expertise, getting into cybersecurity could be much easier than you may have imagined.

Read on to learn more about getting into cybersecurity and why the dire personnel shortage makes it easier than ever for anyone, from the information technology (IT) novice to the savvy IT pro, to gain world-class qualifications and leading-edge cybersecurity jobs.

Getting into cybersecurity is a smart move

As society's reliance on computers and the internet has risen, the need for information technology experts has also grown. Corporate IT departments have likewise grown to keep pace with constantly evolving technologies and rapidly expanding networks. Driven by the need for speedy adaptation, IT departments now employ a spectrum of specialized teams carrying out specific roles and responsibilities such as cybersecurity teams dedicated to addressing information security goals, concerns and issues.

Because of the urgent need for more professionals in IT security jobs, a low unemployment rate among the current cyber workforce and an impressively high median annual income of $103,590, U.S. News & World Report ranks Information Security Analyst as the #1 Best Job of 2022 and #25 in Best Jobs that Pay More Than $100K.4, 5

A larger cyber workforce is needed because cyber-attacks are occurring more frequently every day. In 2021, thousands of new and increasingly costly cybercrimes were recorded. Data breach reports increased 17% in the last year, with IBM estimating the average cost per breach exceeding $4 million. IT security giant Mimecast Limited estimates the average demand of a ransomware attacker has now risen well above $6 million.6

The world's largest nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity professionals, (ISC)², reports the 2021 global cybersecurity workforce is estimated at 4.19 million professionals. Although filling 700,000 IT security jobs annually amid a global pandemic is impressive, the 2.72 million cybersecurity jobs that remained unfilled in 2021 provide glaring evidence of the critical need for additional cyberwarriors.3 Therefore, if you're serious about getting into cybersecurity, this is a very smart time to make your move.

Are you a good match for cybersecurity jobs?

People who excel at IT security jobs have many desirable personality traits and qualities in common. Do your personality traits match those of successful cybersecurity professionals? Are you instinctively motivated to help protect your employer's organizational assets from suspicious threats or criminal activities? While you're considering getting into cybersecurity, you'll want to ask yourself how well you match the following traits:7, 8

Perennial Student

If you never tire of learning new skills, tools and techniques to keep up with continuously changing technologies, you'll probably fit right into IT security jobs. Cyberwarriors are constantly upping their game and learning new strategies to thwart new threats

Critical Thinker

If you like thinking outside the box and questioning everything in order to gain a clear understanding of a situation, your analytical mindset is a great asset for data-driven decision-making and thinking like a hacker in search of vulnerabilities and weaknesses

Super Troubleshooter

If you have a great eye for detail, recognize anomalies and consider every course of action from all angles to achieve the best solution, you’ll be able to inspire respect, trust and greater cooperation between cybersecurity team members

Passionately Persistent

If you love a challenge, never lose your cool and never give up, no matter how tough or tedious it gets, you will be especially hirable because enterprise systems are always under threat and cybersecurity pros are driven by urgency, work well under pressure and derive great pleasure from winning

Dr. Ryne Sherman, chief science officer for Hogan Assessment Systems, notes the importance of recognizing personality traits, especially among candidates for cybersecurity jobs. "A candidate with the suitable personality," states Sherman, "can be easily trained into the right role." He continues, "This is especially true in the cybersecurity world where companies struggle to find the experienced individuals they need.”8

Getting into cybersecurity can transform your natural talent for thinking outside the box into a passion for patrolling cyberspace, searching for and shutting down secret passages, hidden vulnerabilities and potentially devastating threats. If your personality traits are well-aligned with the characteristics of successful cybersecurity professionals, you're definitely on the right track. Your next move is to consider gaining the right knowledge, skills and expertise to position yourself at the front of the line for these in-demand career opportunities.

Consider an online M.S. specializing in cybersecurity

Your cybersecurity career choices are wide-open when you have the right skills, so why not consider earning an online master's degree specializing in cybersecurity? It may be the perfect choice for transforming your natural inclinations into cutting-edge cyber crime-fighting savvy.

By earning an advanced degree specializing in cybersecurity, you'll set yourself apart as a leader prepared for success in an ever-advancing industry. For example, the Information Assurance and Cyber Defense specialization offered in the top-ranking Online M.S. in Computer and Information Science from Marquette University is recognized as an Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) by both the US. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA).9

With no need for cybersecurity boot camps or prerequisite courses, Marquette's distinguished online M.S. program operates at the highest standards of academic excellence, equipping students to not only be the best in their fields but toBe The Difference.

Ready to Get Into Cybersecurity?

Whether you're seeking to transform your skill sets, acquire advanced cyberwarrior savvy or jumpstart a career as a leader in information security, Marquette University's online M.S. in Computer and Information Science is designed to meet your needs and equip you for long-term success.

Marquette's 100% online M.S. in Computer and Information Science program offers four distinct program pathways built to serve everyone from beginners to experienced IT professionals. A customizable program schedule facilitates getting into cybersecurity with our world-class online M.S. specializing in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense (IACD). In addition to ACE distinction, our online M.S. program ranks #3 in student engagement for online IT degrees, #5 in best services and technologies in an online program, and #14 in overall best online IT master's degrees.10

Earning a top-ranking online IT master's degree from Marquette provides the innovative mindset, leading-edge skillsets and hands-on expertise you need to dominate in the fast-growing field of cybersecurity.

Sources
  1. Retrieved on February 14, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
  2. Retrieved on February 14, 2022, from isc2.org/News-and-Events/Press-Room/Posts/2021/10/26/ISC2-Cybersecurity-Workforce-Study-Sheds-New-Light-on-Global-Talent-Demand
  3. Retrieved on February 14, 2022, from techbeacon.com/security/700k-more-cybersecurity-workers-still-talent-shortage
  4. Retrieved on February 14, 2022, from money.usnews.com/careers/articles/why-information-security-analyst-is-the-no-1-job-of-2022
  5. Retrieved on February 14, 2022, from money.usnews.com/money/careers/slideshows/25-best-jobs-that-pay-more-than-100k
  6. Retrieved on February 14, 2022, from zdnet.com/article/the-biggest-data-breaches-of-2021/
  7. Retrieved on February 14, 2022, from cyberstart.com/blog/would-i-be-good-at-cyber-security-6-personality-traits-for-cyber-security/
  8. Retrieved on February 14, 2022, from hoganassessments.com/blog/the-8-personality-traits-to-succeed-in-cybersecurity/
  9. Retrieved on February 14, 2022, from niccs.cisa.gov/formal-education/featured-ncae-c-programs/marquette-university
  10. Retrieved on February 14, 2022, from usnews.com/education/online-education/marquette-university-OCIT0079/computer-information-technology