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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of The Cybersecurity Boom

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of The Cybersecurity Boom

Are cybersecurity experts the superheroes of the internet world? After all, they work to keep unethical hackers at bay, keep our information safe, and ensure the cyber world doesn’t go kaput! Much is changing in this landscape as everyone moves to a more virtual life, but is it all good news?

At HiCounselor, we like to keep our pulse on the tech side of things and keep our readers informed. Read on to find out what you can expect from the cybersecurity sector in the near future. If you need help with your career, contact us to find out how we can be of assistance.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

As of May 2021, there were around 465,000 job vacancies in the cybersecurity industry. Over the past 5 years, cybersecurity job postings went up by 74 percent. Turns out, these professionals are urgently wanted by governments, institutes, businesses, etc. So, if you’re looking for a job in this sector, you’re in luck!

Along with this growing demand there come better salary packages as companies try to lure and retain talented workers. BLS quotes the median pay of an information security analyst being $103,590 per year or $49.80 per hour. The job outlook for 2020-2030 is expected to be 33 percent, which is much faster than most other occupations.

Another plus point in favor of a cybersecurity job is that it’s relatively easier to get certified for it. You can get a Network+ or Security+ certification quite easily. Some entry-level jobs could be yours after an eight-week-long course. So, whether you’re looking to get started in the corporate world or switch careers, being an information security analyst is something you can consider.

There Are Some Hurdles

One of the reasons why there are so many more jobs than candidates is that a lot of students don’t opt to study cybersecurity. They choose instead to focus on robotics, data science, and software development. These are also popular sectors that have plenty of job openings and can earn you a handsome salary.

Apart from this competition from other tech fields, the cybersecurity industry also suffers from businesses only hopping on board after suffering some setback. Even though we read about ransomware, phishing, virus attacks, etc. almost every day, some companies adopt the approach of “That’ll never happen to us!” Often, it’s only after some damage has been done that executives will rush to hire an expert.

Another factor that might be contributing to the relatively low number of information security professionals is the fact that most US schools don’t cover the subject. That’s why many students simply aren’t as aware of cybersecurity as a field of study or a career option as they should be.

Let’s Talk About the Drawbacks

One of the biggest drawbacks of the cybersecurity industry is one that plagues the entire STEM field – gender disparity. There has been some progress in this regard, but it isn’t nearly as fast as it should be. For example, women only made up around 11 percent of the cybersecurity workforce in 2013, which rose to around 25 percent in 2020.

This might be a move in the right direction, but it is too gradual, especially at a time when the nation really needs to fill these cybersecurity vacancies. This slow growth might have something to do with the gender wage gap as well. Last year’s ISC study revealed that women in cybersecurity reported earning a full 12 percentage points less than men.

Another drawback for many information security analysts is the problem companies have with remote work. Tech employers have complained about having a harder time building team spirit when people work from home. Most employees have shown a preference for remote work, reporting that it hadn’t negatively affected their work culture. Instead, it opened up the job market and was one of the key parts of a job package.

Unfortunately, companies are picking rather roundabout ways to deal with this problem. For example, Google has given its US employees the option to work remotely but they might have to face salary cuts if they live in cheaper commuter towns. Other businesses are opting for a hybrid model that mixes office hours and work from home.

The Takeaway

As you can see, the cybersecurity field is a large, complex, and evolving behemoth. There’s much promise for the future when it comes to job requirement and job stability. As long as the virtual world continues to exist, we’ll continue to need information security analysts to keep our data safe from unscrupulous people.

There are some drawbacks, as we’ve examined above. However, many of those are being actively worked upon. Some schools are trying to include more cybersecurity study in their curriculums. Women are being encouraged to take up these jobs. Organizations are working to lower the gender wage gap as millennials have shown a preference for working for companies that are diverse, inclusive, and progressive. In short, while it isn’t entirely perfect now, there are many moves in the right direction.