Over the past two decades, hackers have worked overtime to bludgeon business leaders and IT teams with one cold, hard truth: They aren’t going anywhere. More than that, they will continue to ramp up efforts to invade systems and steal data as vulnerabilities present themselves. The COVID-19 lockdowns and work-from-home orders have made some of those vulnerabilities even more evident. And they’ve shone a floodlight on the increasing need to actively and effectively combat relentless cybercriminals.
Not surprisingly, in light of the corona-vulnerable environment, ransomware attacks doubled from 2019 to 2020 while data breach severity continues to rise, according to Government Technology. All of which indicates the ongoing need to fill vital network security roles in organizations more urgently than ever.
So, is network security in demand? Now more than ever. If you’ve been considering a career geared toward cybersecurity, now is the time to pursue it. Your knowledge, skills, and determination can prove invaluable to an industry fighting online criminal activity daily.
Is Network Security a Good Career?
Are you thinking about brushing up your knowledge base and skills set with an advanced degree in cybersecurity? Good move. There has, for years, been a shortage of skilled workers making network security a great career option for tech-minded students and professionals.
If you are entertaining the idea of going into network security or, more specifically, cybersecurity, you’re likely already IT-minded. You might already work in the IT field and are trying to find the right specialization, or perhaps your current employer needs employees to pursue this specialization to fight the ongoing and escalating cyber threats in the virtual landscape. Either way, expanding your skillset is a great move.
5 Reasons Why a Cybersecurity Specialization for Network Security Is a Great Move
There are any number of reasons why network security, within the cybersecurity domain,
is a good career choice for you. Here are five to consider when deciding to follow a career in network security.
1. Network Connectivity and the Increased Need for Network Security Keeps Growing
The past several years, and 2020 and 2021 in particular, have served as a wake-up call for organizations of all kinds, levels, and sizes. Before the coronavirus, businesses were already plagued with an ever-increasing onslaught of data breaches. A quick peek at Statista reveals a steady-but-certain increase of data breaches from 2013-2019. That set off some alarm bells. The problem was that many companies felt that might not happen to them, or they didn’t know how to hire effectively for cybersecurity at that point.
Once 2020 came along and employees were sent home, away from the internal network security system’s confines, businesses started to see the chinks in the cyber-armor. IT teams had to rally to increase networking resources, often stretching human resources to the limit. The demand for cybersecurity professionals is intense and growing.
2. Network Defenders Are Needed Now More Than Ever
Expanding on the previously mentioned reason for choosing a career in cybersecurity, the demand is strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for careers in information security is set to grow by 30% from 2019 through 2029, which is much faster than the national average over other occupations.
As cyberattacks have grown in frequency and intensity over the past decade—and especially the past few years—business leaders have become acutely aware of the need for cybersecurity analysts. They understand they need a cybersecurity professional’s knowledge and outside-the-box thinking to prevent hackers from invading their systems, stealing private and critical information, creating ongoing issues with their internal networks, and eroding public confidence in their business.
3. Cybersecurity Opportunities Are Becoming More Specialized
As it’s probably clear to see, hackers don’t have a cut-and-paste approach to their nefarious trade. For years, IT departments would assign team members to hop in and cover cybersecurity duties without much experience, essentially a Band-Aid approach to massive potential wounds. Over the past few years, employers and education systems have come to recognize that cybersecurity is a legitimate and essential field in itself. Within the cybersecurity field, new needs and roles emerge all the time. Some diverse, specialized areas for cybersecurity students to consider include:
- Risk management
- Infrastructure architecture
These specializations help cover all the network security bases while allowing IT security professionals to find a specific niche for continual growth.
4. Cybersecurity Positions Aren’t Always Easy to Outsource
Cybersecurity is an area where, when companies become aware of threats in the cyber landscape, business leaders don’t want to take a chance on outsourcing. Most organizations want a permanent and dedicated staff member or team handling cybersecurity to ensure continuous security with people they trust. At the moment, that means that in-house network security professionals enjoy a fair amount of job security. As long as you obtain the skills and offer businesses something special in terms of protecting their systems and data, you will enjoy professional peace of mind for years to come.
On the other hand, if you do work as a cybersecurity professional for an outsourcing company, your skills are just as valuable to companies taking on the risk of outsourcing cybersecurity providers.
5. Compensation Is Competitive
According to EC-Council, network security analysts’ average salary is around $81,000 per year, depending on experience, skillset, organization, role, and specializations.
What Is the Future of Network Security, and Do You See Yourself as a Part of It?
Cybersecurity is a dynamic field and, further, a good career choice that becomes more specialized to fulfill an ever-increasing and ever-evolving range of network security needs and concerns. There are essential tools, however, you need to obtain to be successful in this IT career field, such as networking fundamentals and concepts, the future of computer networking, communications, devices, and layers.
You can learn all the basic network security skills and much more to become a cybersecurity professional at Lewis University. We offer a 100% online degree option, perfect for IT professionals trying to enhance their skills and knowledge while working full-time. Our cybersecurity program is nationally certified by the Department of Homeland Security Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, a distinction held since 2011.
If you want to pursue a cybersecurity career and need more information, contact our offices today.