Cybersecurity is a growing concern for all businesses and organizations from government services and healthcare to retail and marketplace companies of all types. The news is full of alarming stories about major security breaches, hacks, and ransomware attacks. Cybersecurity professionals have become high-demand, highly-rewarded heroes in today’s marketplace. With more roles emerging than experienced specialists can fill – openings are projected to more than triple over a dozen years.
Take advantage of the emerging and ongoing demand by getting specialist experience and training in cybersecurity. Classrooms and remote study options are available all the way up to the Master’s degree level for motivated students, and with demand outpacing supply, now is the time to get in on the ground floor.
If you’ve already got your core curriculum down pat, you’ll probably want to start with an in-house position. Learn from more experienced coworkers, encounter a wide variety of challenges and project opportunities, and hone your soft skills in communication along with your organizational understanding. The variety of roles and employers available are a perk for many – you can choose an industry or cause of interest and know you’re contributing toward measurable improvement and success. Then, while the rest of the workforce is still playing catch-up, you’ll have the freedom to pick your career path.
Cybersecurity positions will continue to be critical as technology evolves, organizations become increasingly automated, and cybercriminals innovate new attacks. Use your education, experience, and specialist skills to negotiate significant promotions, salary increases, and bonuses, or allow the headhunters to lure you over to greener pastures. Senior, experienced specialist, and leadership roles are already well under-supplied, and the sooner you get on the path, the more likely you are to be in line for these opportunities.
Alternately, trade on your in-demand skills to launch your own agency or live the freelance, digital nomad life, contracting cybersecurity services to customers from anywhere in the world. The freelance or contractor life isn’t for everyone, and you may enjoy the buzz of a traditional workplace, but if getting paid to work from the beach appeals to you, cybersecurity contracting is a highly paid, flexible option. Reduce risk and increase freedom by outsourcing the parts of contracting that appeal least to you. Many freelancers are eager to outsource the payments aspect of contracting, and an umbrella company can be a great solution to close the circle on risk and frustration. Umbrella PAYE offers convenient payment management along with many other services to make contracting a more freeing experience.
If you’re a disciplined, detail-oriented problem solver with strong computer skills and a desire to specialize and upgrade for a more lucrative career with better long-term stability, cybersecurity could be the field for you. Unlike many traditional careers, it holds the promise of longevity, immediate and long-term demand, impressive rewards, and the flexibility to pursue the path that’s right for you. Get into the nitty-gritty details with an in-house role, move toward leadership or management, or launch your own freelance or contract agency to work and earn on your own terms.