The IT industry is made up of many sectors, with data privacy and protection being one of these.
Experts indicate that the data protection industry has grown by more than 450% in 2017 alone and is expected to increase into 2020. With the potential for the number of jobs in the area to skyrocket, it is a good opportunity for women to look for jobs in cybersecurity. It remains a male-dominated sector, much like the other sectors of IT and unfortunately, statistics suggest that women aren’t selecting computer science majors.
Here are seven reasons why opportunity is now.
1. There’s a Tremendous Worker Shortage
As organizations of all sizes become increasingly aware of how important privacy and cybersecurity are, they are looking for qualified professionals to take on responsible positions. Unfortunately, they often find a lack of candidates, even when offering excellent pay and great benefits.
Estimates suggest that more than 200,000 cybersecurity jobs were never filled in 2015. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also says that job postings in this sector are up a staggering 74 percent in the past five years. If you’re looking for a career path with good employment opportunities, then cybersecurity is the place for you.
Despite massive growth in the sector the general consensus is that the security sector job market will explode in 2020+. One of the fastest growing areas of that will be MSS (managed security solutions). These are automated solutions that look for system vulnerabilities in small businesses or corporate entities. As the education gap closes some expert expect cyber to become a mandatory insured category for most companies.
2. Incredible Mentors Are Everywhere
The women who entered the cybersecurity field in the early days are undoubted pioneers and trailblazers. Many of them are incredibly successful and willing to help young professionals who are interested in a similar career path. In fact, the industry is known for its supportive professionals who especially want to see other women succeed. This means that you can easily get the guidance and advice you need as you develop a career.
3. You Don’t Have to be a “Geek”
Are you worried that a job in cybersecurity will require you to understand endless reams of technical jargon? Maybe you feel intimidated by all of the technology that you’ll encounter. The reality is that if you can operate a computer, then you are likely capable of learning the skills that you’ll need to work in cybersecurity.
Additionally, technical skills aren’t all that you need in the industry. Professionals considering these jobs need critical thinking skills and should be adept at written and verbal communication. Certain positions may require negotiation or making presentations. Depending upon the precise position, you may find that only a small amount of your time is occupied by the “technical” stuff.
4. Diverse Perspectives Are Good for Business
Many organizations are seeking to hire female IT workers because they have realized a fundamental truth. When a variety of viewpoints and perspectives are considered, better decisions tend to be made. Employers are relying on diverse workforces more than ever before to help give them a leg up on the competition.
A varied workforce is especially helpful in cybersecurity because the profiles of hackers and cybercriminals are similarly diverse. Organizations need workers who think and reason in different ways in order to keep them ahead of potential threats.
5. The Pay and Benefits Can Be Excellent
More and more women are becoming the primary breadwinners in their households. Other women are seeking careers with better pay in two-income households so that they can provide a better life for their family. Whatever the specific reasons, one of the arguments for women entering the cybersecurity field is that the pay generally is incredibly competitive. This is especially true considering the gap between open positions and qualified workers. If you decide to go into cybersecurity, you’ll probably get an attractive raise and an enviable package of benefits.
6. It’s a Chance to Genuinely Help People
Working in cybersecurity isn’t just about looking for vulnerabilities in computer systems or trying to find new ways to foil hackers. At their core, these jobs are really about protecting the private information of thousands or even millions of individuals. When a hack or breach does occur, then the cybersecurity professional goes into a different mode, that of tracking down the bad actor. It’s a bit like a being a detective, figuring out who did the crime and how. Cybersecurity professionals have a definite opportunity to protect people from harm and to right some of the wrongs in the world.
7. It’s a Challenging Field that Constantly Evolves
Do you want to go to work and do the same old thing day after day? Some women just don’t find that appealing. For them, the fast-paced excitement and diversity of cybersecurity may be the ideal challenge.
People who already work in this field frequently talk about how much they love their jobs. They don’t always know what they’ll be doing on a day-to-day basis because unexpected events are always popping up. This keeps them on their toes and keeps their minds sharp. Moreover, technology and security are always evolving, so keeping up with education is a must in this field. If you like to constantly challenge yourself with new information, then a career in cybersecurity may be the perfect decision for you.
Employers are looking for IT professionals right now. Maybe you don’t have the specific education or experience that they are looking for at the present moment, but your abilities to work hard and learn are in your favor. A few classes may be all that you need to start yourself in the right direction toward a career in cybersecurity. With your basic skill set in place, you’ll be positioned to take on a challenging job that pays well and offers great employment security.
Author Bio: Laura Harvsey
I am a senior staff information officer and has practical experience in building community-oriented data platforms. I focus on sharing technology content with those working in innovation networks
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