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Insights on education news and trends worldwide

Upasana Gupta -

Why Major in Cybersecurity?

Excellent Educational Programs, Job Prospects and Career Growth

It seems like every week there are new headlines about hackers bringing an organization to its knees. The stolen funds, loss of confidential data and corporate reputation are front page news.

As cyber attacks increase in frequency and intensity, the national attention has shifted toward prevention, detection and capture of criminal activity. The elevated attention on cybersecurity in part is also because of businesses moving into technologies such as mobile, virtualization and cloud computing, which has created the need for heightened security measures and, therefore, the need for qualified professionals in this space.

Cybersecurity is a growth industry today, with rapidly increasing demand for qualified professionals in government and industry leading to a growing number of schools offering courses and degrees in information assurance. To give my readers an idea, the demand for cybersecurity experts is soaring, according to a new study by Burning Glass International. The job market specialist says demand for information security workers is growing 3.5 times faster than the overall IT job market, and 12 times faster than the total labor market.

Again, according to The 2013 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study Information security professionals are very stable in their employment; more than 80 percent (of the 12,000  survey respondents) had no change in employer or employment in the past year, and the number of professionals is projected to continuously grow more than 11 percent annually over the next five years. (ISC) is the largest not-for-profit membership body of certified information security professionals worldwide.

From my experience, having worked in this industry for more than seven years, this is a good time to start or move into an information security career. The field of information security is exciting, challenging and very dynamic. For a young student or mid- level IT professional it offers a wide array of opportunities to grow.

A2ZColleges has complied a list of information assurance or cybersecurity schools that are recognized as Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in information assurance education by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA). The core mission of the program is to produce qualified professionals who are well equipped to handle and address the cybersecurity challenges faced today.

For those looking to take up a major within information technology, I will strongly recommend students to consider information assurance educational programs offered by a designated CAE because these institutions are great avenues to develop hands-on IT security skills and also, provide career transition into emerging technologies like forensics, application security, privacy, digital crime and training for ongoing career enhancement.

Studying in a designated CAE also help students get scholarship opportunities and qualified professionals are immediately hired by government agencies and private industry. Cybersecurity is one field which faces a staffing shortage and where the demand for IT security professionals is higher than the supply of qualified pros.

What can be a better time than now to major in Cybersecurity and be part of a growing field!