The many careers in cybersecurity

Working in cybersecurity isn’t limited to hackers and programmers. Everyone can make an impact.

Working in cybersecurity isn’t limited to hackers and programmers. Everyone can make an impact.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my career path and how I ended up working in cybersecurity. I graduated college with a communications degree not really sure of what industry I’d work in, but assuming it would be something in the media. I initially thought working in cybersecurity was limited to those with engineering and computer science degrees, but there’s so much more to it.

Today kicks off Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase just how broad the cybersecurity space is. There’s more to cybersecurity professionals than the stereotypical computer science wizard or hacker. If you work for or with a cybersecurity company, regardless of your role, you work in cybersecurity. The field is continuously expanding as digitization touches more and more of our daily lives and cybersecurity becomes even more crucial to keep us safe.

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that IT and cybersecurity jobs will be among the fastest growing and highest paying over the next decade. A quick LinkedIn jobs search for “cybersecurity” showed nearly 80,000 results with roles ranging from Social Media Manager to Reporter to Consultant to Human Resources Specialist and more. The opportunities are widespread and the industry is in need of talented people regardless of their career path.

The pandemic has had a major impact on just about everything and the job market is no exception. The world has had to embrace remote work, telehealth and virtual events faster than ever, all of which require a level of cybersecurity. Since cybersecurity is completely reliant on the “cyber” aspect, pretty much every cybersecurity role can be done remotely, giving people the flexibility to work from the comfort and safety of their homes. I started my cybersecurity career remotely during the pandemic and it’s been incredible to see just how much of my at-home life is impacted by the industry I now work in.

Initially, I didn’t see myself working in cybersecurity, largely because I didn’t know it would even be an option for me. Colleges and universities are great at preparing students for careers within their majors, but they often neglect to tell students just where their major can take them. Gartner research reports that women represent only 31 percent of the IT workforce. As a woman with a communication degree, I didn’t think I could or would ever be a part of the IT workforce. In the brief time I’ve been in cybersecurity, I’ve learned more about online safety and broadened my network by tenfold.

If you are interested in exploring career options and learning more about opportunities in the industry, the National Institute of Standards and Technology will be hosting events all week long.

  • Global Cybersecurity Summit for University Students | October 19 | 9:00 AM ET
  • Digital Citizenship- Safety and Security for an Online World | October 20 | 2:00 PM ET
  • 3 in 15 – Learn Three Cybersecurity Concepts in 15 Minutes MISAC | October 20 | 3:00 PM ET
  • Women in Cyber | October 21 | 1:00 PM ET
  • NCCoE Learning Series Fireside Chat: Rethinking Pathways Into Cybersecurity and Privacy Careers | October 21 | 3:00 PM ET

For women who might be looking for additional resources and support, the Women in Cybersecurity Facebook group is a great place to start.