Career In Cyber Security
In the current world of automation and competition between human and machine your future is at stake. So, before you take decision on choosing your career think twice and choose wisely. Millions of people are losing their jobs everyday, newspapers’ horrible stories are not serial-killing now – it’s unemployment and economic collapse. Think twice when you are thinking of career shift!
It’s not long ago the movies were released where robots take over the civilization. The reality came true not in cinematic ways but more realistic ways. Computers are everywhere, robots are everywhere. Little drones send you medicine on emergency. Cars get out of industry like potato-crackers do – with the help of robots. Critical brain surgeries are being carried out by robots with high precision and delicacy.
So, where is your job? Well, a lot of vacancies are still unfilled for you – only for you. But, how long? How long those vacancies will be there for you? How long will it take for machines to override human in those positions? Are you choosing your profession wisely? Are you making yourself skilled in the positions where you are the king-of-jungle?
Among a lot of career topics today I am going to discuss about Cyber Security only. I will discuss about others in later articles. If you have any specific interest then you can send an article request through email or comment. Let’s stick to Cyber Security for today.
Who Need Cyber Security Professionals And Why
Whenever we talk about security related things we think of defense and security related agencies of government. Yes, you are right, once it they were only responsible for such things but now the world has moved forward further than governments’ hand-of-control. So, big companies and large corporations are now keeping dedicated Cyber Security Professionals? Yeah, you are right but that’s not the end of the world. Almost all the business nowadays need to secure their systems (if the have presence over the network).
The more money we have the more we feel secure (in general). You guessed it – banks, ATM machines, credit card networks, even POS in the superstores are all connected to each other all over the world. All the data about your money goes over the network – sometimes through the wire, sometimes through satellite, sometimes over 3G/4G/5G, sometimes through optical fiber. The data are is everything here. During the transformation of these data it is going through multiple third party networks. Anyone sitting in the middle can steal your data leaving you poor, leaving the banks bankrupted!
Banks are big things. Now, let’s talk about small business and companies. Almost every business and companies nowadays have presence online. No, business can thrive in the modern world without strong online presence. Any business means a lot of financial transaction, secret business data, private customer data and a lot more. For staying online they need to use some cloud infrastructure and services. No matter what they use they are vulnerable to cyber attack that may result in loss of data, money and trust. To survive they need to make their system secure and they need you.
Governments have defense forces and intelligence agencies. They do not recruit skilled people, rather they make selected people skilled after months or years of training. They can do that relatively easily. But they cannot make highly knowledgeable Cyber Security specialists with that ease. Because, doers are not prepared by others – they are doers because they make themselves. So, your position is intact there also if you ever try to rule in that realm.
Ecommerce is everywhere now and are one of the primary target of the naughty hackers. You have a vast opportunity land open there.
In short: every business need cyber security professionals to save their business. Remember “business” need you. The world need money. To make money the world need to do business. To protect business the businesses need you. So, the world need you.
Can Machines Override Cyber Security Professionals’ Position?
Machines are as intelligent as we make it. We programmers put brain inside those dumb machines. We made machines to do repetitive work as our slave. Yes, AI is growing so fast nowadays that it is predictable that someday we can do most human work by machines. Movies show that machines (robots) make machines and take over the civilization. Someday we may see that that is not a fairy tale. But let’s be a little narrow minded. Can machines be as intelligent as humans. No, they cannot. Hacking, security vulnerability exploitation etc. are one kind of deception. Humankind is great over all the creation not because we have better brain and ethics but because we can deceive. Humans are master of deception. Machines can be trained up to the point to combat common prevalent pattern of crime but not beyond that. Ask me why, I will explain you. You need to predict every possible steps of criminals whether that is a human criminal or a machine criminal and defeat them. Only human being can grow their intelligence upto that level not machines. So, highly skilled Cyber Security Professional’s positions cannot be overridden by machines ever.
Your Office Is Where You Live And Wherever You Go
Being a security specialist you do not need to be present at office by 9am and leave at 5pm. You are a free man if your company do no give importance of being present in the office always. You can be the digital nomad you always wanted to be and go around the world at the time you are doing your job. Remember this is always not the case so be sure what type of industry are you choosing.
Challenging Career: A War Between Good And Evil
Humans like challenges. Many friend of mine joined defense forces and when I asked them the why most of them answered in a short phrases “I like challenging career, I like adventure”. The days are long gone when wars were with the help of sword. Guns came after and then machine operated guns. Nowadays robots are being deployed in war zones. Specialists say that the third world war will not be with the help of weapon but it will be a war in the cyber sphere (once they used to say that third world war will be with atomic bombs then they said that it will be a war of lab to lab and the list go on). Yes, that is true. To destroy a nation you need their data and the destruction of their information system. Fighting against the evil is always something to be proud of. Human being’s real instinct is not to be the hero. They want to be the powerful villain if people around them do not know that they are villains. There are much more black hat hackers in the world than the white hat ones. The reason behind this that we cannot see easily who is hacker or who is not. It is a hide and seek game. So, you have to fight against the evil and win the battle to keep your job. Challenge is everywhere in this area of career.
Vacancies And Unfilled Positions
There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. But still we love the biggest lie – statistics. Because that help us taking the right decision many times if not most. Forbes says that by 2020 the cyber security market is expected to grow by $170 billion, more than 200k cyber security job openings are unfilled in U.S. only (this year it is expected to grow much more). Every year the postings are growing up by a large percentage. CISCO says that 6 million job openings will be there by 2019.
Money Talks: Salary
The more you are skilled the more you are paid. Average salary of a Cyber Security specialist is $80k to $90k. Wait that is the average salary. You can earn around $300k to $350k according to your skill. At minimum you can earn $50k. What you want depends on you. The more talented, if not gifted, you are the more you can earn.
What Educational Background Do You Need To Have For Being Cyber Security Professional?
First of all you will think that you need to have Computer Science background for being expert in Cyber Security. Well, that’s partially true but not absolutely. Computer science background will help you a lot but not much. You have to fulfill the gap in your knowledge by studying and practicing hardly. The path will be a little bit stony for you at first but in the long run nothing matters. You can start with any previous background. Remember that no magic want can help you achieve fast.
Does Certification Matter? What Knowledge, Expertise Do I Need To Have?
In the IT world the certification do not put too much weight. The skill and knowledge matters most. But here in the field of Cyber Security certification has a bit more weight compared to other IT jobs. If you were a programmer then high programming expertise could be the primary weapon for you. But as a security specialist you need to know criminals’ psychology, business modes and flow, good knowledge of coding, high level knowledge of networking, various IT devices and technologies. Again if you are very experienced in programming and you have all the other expertise I just mentioned you can excel much better than others. To speak the truth, programming comes first and then the vulnerability of the program. If you know how to create it you will know better how to destroy it.
Developing The Skills: Where Do I Learn From
All over the world there are a lot of universities, companies and IT institutes who provide offers courses and provides training on Cybersecurity. A quick google search will bring up your nearest ones. I am not going to provide links here. If you are so busy or if it is impossible to attend the courses/trainings physically then a lot of online courses are available. Lynda, Pluralsight, Udemey are some of them. If you a beginner then you can start with youtube. Remember youtube’s free videos are not good for professional learning. You can choose from paid online courses. If you can be physically present during the course/training that will be the best thing for your education. The most important part that you will miss in online courses is you will miss the practical parts and the computer lab. No online system can substitute a computer/network lab. Wherever you take your cyber education from make a good research on them before stepping into their world. Make sure that they provide a globally recognized certificate. CISCO is one of them. Almost in every country you will find an IT/education institute who are officially authorized by CISCO. CISCO have many network related training program, to be security specialist don’t miss them.
Remember: three or six months of training is not going make an specialist or ready for job. Even if you have CS/IT background this is not enough. Again in the world technology none can make you an expert. Be a self learner to place yourself among the doers. Put yourself in the constant loop of study and practice.