As more global citizens work, shop, study, pay bills and socialize online than ever before, the need for cyber security professionals has grown dramatically over the past decade and should continue that trajectory. Cyber security certificate programs provide the knowledge and skills necessary to shield individuals, businesses and government agencies from online threats.
The Cyber Security Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 31% growth for the cyber security job market by 2029, resulting in nearly 41,000 new jobs in this challenging, rewarding field. In comparison, BLS has projected average job growth of just 4% for all jobs but 11% for computer jobs, almost three times higher, over the same period. Individuals who have training in both cyber security and computer systems design can expect opportunities to greatly increase over the next 10 years.
At the same time, the cyber security industry displays a pronounced skills gap that prevents companies from filling these key positions. According to (ISC)2, the largest nonprofit professional organization of certified cyber security professionals, the U.S. alone needs approximately 500,000 cyber security professionals to meet employer demand. Those who heed the call can earn an average annual salary approaching $100,000, according to the BLS. Many employers also express the desire to hire for long-term roles, with only 2% planning to cut cyber security budgets according to an April 2020 PricewaterhouseCoopers survey.
Despite this significant need, the World Economic Forum reports that only 1% of students are aware of the cyber security field. IBM reports that roles in this area take 20% longer to fill on average than other IT roles.
CyberSeek, a federal data project that strives to close the U.S. cyber security skills gap, maintains a heat map that illustrates the need for these professionals in each state. Currently, the project reports the highest need for individuals trained in cyber security in California, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Maryland, and New York.
The most common entry-level positions open in cyber security include IT auditor, incident analyst, cybercrime investigator, and cyber security technician. From these positions, you can advance to roles such as cyber security consultant, vulnerability tester, and cyber security analyst. Those at the upper echelons of this industry most often serve as cyber security architects, engineers, managers, or administrators.
Cyber Security Certificate Programs
As the world increasingly relies on technology for smooth operation, a host of qualified cyber security professionals is needed to fill the gap. Those who currently work in fields such as intelligence, networking, risk analysis, financial analysis, systems engineering, and software development can complete cyber security certificate programs that expand access to careers in this fast-growing industry. For example, web developers can use their skills to create new security software. Systems administrators have many of the skills required for a career in forensic computer analysis. A job in forensics or network security may be a natural fit for a network administrator.
To meet the future needs of cyber security employers, you can specialize in growth areas such as data mining, autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence to remain at the forefront of near-constant innovation. You should also develop a solid foundation in computer science and information technology with detailed knowledge of cyber security standards developed by the National Institute of Science and Technology and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. Many cyber security roles require project management acumen and knowledge of Linux. Certificate programs allow you to focus your career interests while increasing your value to employers and clients.
The cyber security certificate program from INE gives IT professionals the skills they need to enter this robust realm within the tech world, including comprehensive training in both offensive and defensive online security techniques. Students can choose from several different practical learning pathways and practice their skills with unlimited time in our virtual cyber security lab. Expert instructors develop and teach every course, with frequent curriculum updates to keep students current with the latest technologies, tools, and threats in the field.
Sign up for a free INE S tarter P ass today for access to a wealth of resources to launch your career in cyber security. This program includes both hands-on learning sessions and on-demand training videos, so you can learn at your own speed. If you’re ready for the next level, you can upgrade to the INE Cyber Security Pass to add guided experience pathways, courses in IT and software development, and ongoing access to all courses and updates.