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Why a Career in Cybersecurity Is So Rewarding

What is it about a career path that most attracts people to it? Is it job security? Or the opportunity to earn a high salary? A field that is constantly changing and provides daily challenges to keep you on your toes? Or is it one where the individual can do meaningful work that makes a difference in the world? 

There are few professions that can claim to meet all of these criteria, but one of them is most certainly cybersecurity. 

According to the 2019 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the United States is in need of more than 500,000 skilled cybersecurity professionals today. This is in part due to a rising tide of sophisticated cyber attacks, which reached a new peak last year. 

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s End-of-Year Data Breach Report, there was a 17 percent increase in breaches from 2018 to 2019. As such, the unemployment rate in the industry is essentially 0 percent and organizations are doing everything in their power to not only recruit new entrants to the field, but also to offer their own staff members benefits like training in order to keep them for as long as possible. 

A chart-topping career

The great need for these professionals and the opportunities that exist for those who are interested in the field even led to the role of “cyber security specialist” being included by LinkedIn in its 2019 list of the top 10 “Emerging Jobs,” alongside tech-forward positions in artificial intelligence, robotics, and data science. 

Salaries match the high profile of cybersecurity positions as well. The Cybersecurity Workforce Study also found that the average salary for the field in North America is $90,000, and those who earn certifications in the field earn even more than that. Job satisfaction rates are also high in North America, where 71 percent of respondents to the (ISC)2 survey said they were satisfied with their jobs and 36 percent said they were very satisfied.

For those looking for a challenge and for purpose in their career, cybersecurity remains an attractive offering. Constantly-changing threat vectors and evolving toolsets to fight them mean that no two days are the same for most security analysts. It’s also a high-profile function within most organizations that receives C-level attention, so it provides opportunities for executive reporting, strategic planning, and other operations collaboration that other IT positions may not be afforded. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there are few aspects of our lives not affected by the potential for cybercrime, and being part of the solution that makes online transactions or critical infrastructure safer is a noble and rewarding reason for pursuing a career in cybersecurity.

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