Did you know that in 2011, 90 percent of U.S. companies said their computers were breached at least once in the prior 12 months? Or that two-thirds of online adults have fallen victim to cybercriminals in their lifetime, costing the U.S. $21 billion per year?
FBI director Robert Mueller even called cybercrime one of the “fastest growing threats in America.” With the number of Internet users escalating year after year, security issues are expanding just as fast.
If you’re looking to join the fight against cybercrime, why not make a career out of it?
You’re passionate about technology and want to have a positive impact on society but, at the end of the day, your main concern is helping your family achieve financial stability.
Well, you’re in luck—there’s a career out there that combines all three!
You’ve already taken steps to keep your family safe online, but if you’re interested in becoming part of a bigger solution, you may be fit for a career in information security. The next question is this: Is an information security degree worth it?
An analysis of more than 35,000 information security jobs posted in the past year* provided some interesting results. The data confirms three important facts that should help you determine if an information security degree is worth your time and money.
Fact #1: There are thousands of jobs available
When considering a career change, a common concern anyone has is whether or not they’ll be able to find a job upon graduation. After all, it would be foolish to devote so much time and money in an industry that is dwindling.
The good news is that the need for information security professionals is expected to increase 22 percent through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One recent survey concluded that more than 80 percent of organizations expect to increase spending on security solutions in 2013.
That spending will not only be devoted to extra security measures, but also to the personnel needed to monitor these actions. If you decide to enter this field, there’s an assortment of position you may acquire. The table to the right highlights five examples of information security positions to give you a better idea of the options available.
Fact #2: Job opportunities increase with education level
Now that you’re aware of the prevalence of information security job openings, a new concern arises: Are you qualified for these open positions?
It’s important to note that the higher academic credential you acquire, the more opportunities there are available to you. In fact, based on our analysis, earning a bachelor’s degree in information security qualifies you for nearly 21,000 more jobs per year than an individual with no college experience.
Unfortunately, the passion you have to help put a stop to this epidemic may not be enough to land you a job in the field. The skill and practical know-how are vital in such a technical field. These are both critical ingredients in the recipe for success.
An information security degree will provide you with the technical skills and knowledge needed to successfully protect organizational data, investigate data breaches and develop strategies to prevent data from being compromised.
Not only that, but it could also be the missing link that will help open the door to many career opportunities that are currently out of your reach.
Fact #3: There are advancement opportunities available
Earning a degree can help you land a job in information security, which then introduces a yet another question: Will you be stuck in that position forever?
Just as education boosts job opportunities, so does experience. The sooner you get your foot in the door, the sooner you begin acquiring the experience needed to advance in the industry.
While your short-term goal is to acquire an entry-level information security position, it’s important to know there is room for career advancement down the road. As you gain more experience, you’ll continue to develop and grow as a professional, increasing your value to potential employers.
The reality is this: Individuals with more than four years of information security experience are qualified for more than twice the number of jobs than those who have less than four years of work experience under their belt.
Remember, more experience often leads to more opportunities for career advancement which, in most cases, leads to a higher salary.
The answer is “Yes”
So, is an information security degree worth it? These three facts should help you feel confident that the answer is “yes.
You already had the desire to create a better future for your family and the aspiration to help protect society from the dangers of cybercrime. All that’s missing is the formal education and training needed to launch your career as an information security professional.
For more information about information security and other careers in the technology industry, download our FREE Technology Career Outlook today!
*Analysis of 35,671 information security job postings, 04/25/2012 – 04/24/2013. BurningGlass.com