Cyber security is a relatively new addition to the worldwide workforce, and there is a high demand for qualified professionals due to the rise in cyber crime. Because educational programs in cyber security are just now becoming more prominent, many tech professionals enter the field after initially being in computer-related IT work.
According to New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, cyber security job postings have grown three times as fast as general IT job postings, but the IT background can be beneficial for someone wanting to get into cyber security because, as New Horizons said, "No matter where you start, all cyber security careers begin with general IT experience. You need to understand how technology works before you can learn how to secure and protect it."
One Success Story
Going all the way back to his early high school days, Christian Kozarian knew he had a knack for computers. As early as his sophomore year in high school, he was taking a class that allowed him the opportunity to do various IT jobs for the school. Turns out, it was a great way for Kozarian to get himself ready for college. When he enrolled at Eastern Michigan University, he immediately went into computer engineering. That particular major ended up not being for him, but he quickly found one that was.
Kozarian changed his major to information assurance and cyber security, and he never looked back, realizing quickly the amount of flexibility it gave him and the immediate opportunities it brought him on the job market.
In fact, he had a job lined up while he was still in the program, and started it the day after graduation.
"I went from a more traditional information technology job to a security position within my company," he said. "They told me that whenever I graduated, I could transition into a new role that was better suited to my degree. It worked out well."
Kozarian knows he would not be in the position he is in, at least not as soon as he was, without his decision to switch majors to a specialized degree like the Bachelor of Science in information assurance and cyber security.
"I absolutely got good value out of the program," he said. "It's definitely a lot of work, but if you are willing to go through with it and have a passion for technology, it is absolutely worth pursuing. I have no doubt the degree helped me get my job."
Earning a specialized degree in information assurance and cyber security can speed up the process of moving into the high-demand, high-paying and secure field of cyber security. By putting yourself in a position to advance in the field, you could end up with high-paying jobs such as application security engineer, network security analyst, IS security manager, cyber-security analyst, penetration tester and IS security engineer. Pay for these positions ranges from $220,000 for application security engineer to $80,000-$130,000 for penetration tester, according to Mondo.
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