4 Reasons to Pursue a Cyber Security Career & How to Get Started

Cyber security is in demand across the globe, including in Arizona. Out of a workforce of 20,000 cyber security positions in Arizona, there are more than 14,000 unfilled jobs.  Organizations like the Arizona Tech Council support a growing technology landscape in the Valley of the Sun, which “Inc.” called “the next tech hub.”

Throughout the country, information security analysts landed in the top 10 fastest growing occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Information security analyst jobs have a much faster than average growth rate of 31% from 2019-2029.

What exactly do information security analysts do? They help ensure the computer networks people and businesses use stay secure. Those who work in cyber security careers:

  • Monitor networks for threats
  • Install software to protect computer networks
  • Mitigate threats and violations when they do occur
  • Get compromised networks back up and running
  • Recommend security enhancements to protect networks

Those who enjoy working with technology and who have a passion for problem-solving may thrive in IT security careers. These types of careers can pay higher than the average job, as well. In Arizona, the average salary for information security analyst was $79,300, while the average salary for computer systems analyst was $89,250.

If you’re new to the industry, there are cyber security training and certifications available, offered by organizations like the Tech Data Cyber Range in AZ. There are also IT and cybersecurity scholarships and degrees available for those who are interested in attending college for cyber security.

If you’re considering a career in cyber security, here are four reasons why the industry might be a fit for you.

1. Cyber Security Jobs Are in Demand Everywhere

Cyber security is a global industry with job opportunities available throughout the world. Any organization (and that’s nearly all) that uses technology can benefit from cyber security experts to protect their computer networks.

Sometimes cyber security experts work for companies in-house, especially for larger organizations with advanced technology needs. Other cyber security professionals may work as consultants, helping a variety of organizations, including small businesses.

As a cyber security professional, you have flexibility in the type of work you pursue. You might choose to work for a single organization. Or, you might become your own business owner as a consultant to multiple companies.

The cyber security field also has remote job capabilities. That means you may be able to pursue cyber security work from wherever you are in the world.

2. There’s Always Something New to Learn

Technology is constantly changing. That means the job requirements for cyber security professionals are, too.

According to a 2021 report by “Forbes,” some of today’s main cyber security threats include:

  • Ransomware
  • Internet of things (IoT) security
  • 5G attacks
  • Remote work security
  • Data management
  • Cloud application security

The list of cyber security threats is always evolving based on new technologies that are introduced. As a cyber security analyst, it’s important to learn about emerging threats and understand how to protect your clients from them.

If you enjoy learning and want to work in a field that frequently presents new and exciting challenges to tackle, cyber security offers that.

3. Cyber Security Jobs Are About More Than Technology

It’s essential to have a passion for technology to work in cyber security. But as a cyber security analyst, you’ll get to flex other professional muscles in your daily work.

Cyber security professionals have to be excellent communicators, so they can help key stakeholders in a business understand complex technology concepts in a relatable way.

There’s a lot of teamwork involved in cyber security, since you have to understand core organizational functions to know what to protect in the best way.

Cyber security pros may be tasked with preparing reports that demonstrate the business case for certain technologies, so you may be able to learn more about how businesses operate and function. A career in cyber security can also lead to leadership positions, where you’re managing a team of IT pros.

There are lots of potential career paths you can take when you work in cyber security. That includes careers all the way up to C-Suite roles, like Chief Technology Officer or Chief Information Security Officer.

4. Cyber Security Is Rewarding

We mean that more than financially, though the industry pays more than the national average wage for all occupations.

As a cyber security professional, you often get to play the role of a hero. Cyber security pros fix major problems for companies. We’re talking issues that could cost organizations millions of dollars or more, as the average total cost of a data breach was $3.86 million, according to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020.

Cyber security professionals help keep essential services running, like:

  • Electricity systems
  • Power grids
  • Healthcare organizations and hospitals
  • Emergency services providers, like police stations and fire departments
  • Governments
  • Schools

Without cyber security professionals, there may not be reliable power and traffic control. Businesses wouldn’t maintain uptime for customers. Hospitals could shut down.

Cyber security pros are responsible for keeping organizations operating. When you can prevent and fix problems in cyber security, you help businesses, organizations and individuals maintain their livelihood.

That may explain why the (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, 2019, found 71% of cybersecurity professionals said they were satisfied with their jobs and 36% said they were very satisfied.

Find Cyber Security Careers in Arizona

While the BLS states most information security analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, there are also cyber security pathways available with online trainings and certifications, especially if you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field of study. Some employers will even pay for continued education costs if you’re interested in growing your career.

Start by checking out cyber security positions you’re interested in, so you can see what qualifications are required. Then research how to get trained and certified in what the job requires.

Check out Pipeline AZ for cyber security careers available in Arizona, which are growing faster than any other industry. Browse available positions, find technology education and training in Arizona, and check out scholarships for cyber security education.

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