Cybersecurity Ventures, a leading researcher in the cyber economy, expects 6 billion people connected to the internet to interact with data in 2022, up from 5 billion in 2020 — and more than 7.5 billion internet users in 2030. By 2023, there will be three times more networked devices on Earth than humans, according to a report from Cisco. As a result, Cybersecurity Ventures anticipates global cybercrime costs to grow by 15% per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

Instances of identity fraud, cyberextortion, ransomware, email and internet fraud, theft of credit and corporate data — among other types of cybercrime — are all rapidly accelerating. Unfortunately, organizations cannot keep pace with the criminals; 59% of respondents to a World Economic Forum survey would find it challenging to respond to a cybersecurity incident due to the shortage of skills within their team. Among their concerns, 42% worry about an infrastructure breakdown, 24% worry about identity theft, 20% worry about a ransomware attack and 10% worry about loss of assets.

Meanwhile, over an eight-year period tracked by Cybersecurity Ventures, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs grew by 350%, from one million in 2013 to 3.5 million in 2021. There are only enough trained and educated professionals in the field to fill 68% of the national employer demand, according to Cyber Seek. For all of these reasons, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 33% job growth for the broad category of information security analysts, much faster than average, with $104,210 in mean annual wage. More high-profile cybercrime cases affecting nations and organizations could drive this figure even higher, as could greater availability of well-trained talent.

Prepare to Meet the Rapidly Growing Demand for Skilled Cyber Professionals

The Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Master of Science (M.S.) in Cybersecurity online program will prepare you to intercept data breaches before it is too late. The curriculum emphasizes both offensive and defensive security measures — preparing you to anticipate attacks and arming you with the software, tools and resources to counterattack. As part of the coursework, you will learn the most in-demand skills, including cyber defense, cybersecurity threat and risk evaluation, digital forensics, disaster recovery, identity management, incident response, network detection and response, penetration testing, systems architecture and more.

Graduates of the program are ready for a wide range of career opportunities with government and commercial organizations. Here, we examine four paths, compensation data (as of April 2022), as a sampling of the thousands of careers available to professionals with this training:

Systems Analyst: Average Salary of $79,649

Computer systems analysts survey and diagnose computer, network and database program issues, including those related to cybersecurity. Those in this role work with companies, independent clients and institutions in the public and private sector and advise management on their findings and how to improve systems for a variety of purposes, from innovation and productivity to security. They also work directly with application users to monitor system performance and any developing issues.

Network Engineer: Average Salary of $73,719

This role assists with the setup, configuration and maintenance of business computer networks, devices, applications and services. The position may also involve system architecture, feasibility and cost research. On a daily basis, the entry-level network engineer is often engaged in troubleshooting and resolving network issues within company guidelines. Often, this role is the first line of defense against cybersecurity threats.

Information Security Manager: Average Salary of $137,729

This leadership role develops and manages cybersecurity for organizations. Responsibilities include managing a team of security analysts to ensure applications are functional and secure, disaster recovery, database protection and software development. The information security manager develops security standards, best practices, architecture, systems to ensure security and procedures and methods for auditing and compliance with standards. This first-level managerial role has authority for personnel actions and reports to a director.

Information Security Engineer: Average Salary of $138,822

This role is responsible for implementing and monitoring computer and network security protocols and building technologies in order to protect data and sensitive organizational information from cyberattacks. The information security engineer develops and enforces security plans and standards, anticipates vulnerabilities and takes proactive measures to find and update software with firewalls and encryption programs. The role also tests system weaknesses using penetration testing methods that a hacker would use. When a security issue develops, the person in this role responds by moving data, developing new tools and strategies and working with management or outside teams to assist in recovery. This work may require additional certifications or government-issued security clearances.

If you are interested in a future in cybersecurity, including these positions and many others, consider enrolling in the EMU M.S. in Cybersecurity online program. Tuition is just $18,000, and students can complete the program in as few as 12 months while working if they attend full time and meet program prerequisites.

Learn more about EMU’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity online program.