By: Steve Morgan
If you are thinking about a career change in 2016, then you might want to have a look at the burgeoning cybersecurity market which is expected to grow from $75 billion in 2015 to$170 billion by 2020.
A knack for cat and mouse play may indicate that you have an aptitude for cybersecurity. It is a field where the good guys — cybersecurity professionals — are pitted against the bad guys — cybercriminals a.k.a. hackers. Assuming you’d want to be a good guy – a career can mean a six-figure salary, job security, and the potential for upward mobility.
More than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfilled, and postings are up 74% over the past five years, according to a 2015 analysis of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by Peninsula Press, a project of the Stanford University Journalism Program.
If you are already in the tech field, then crossing over to security can mean a bump in pay. Cybersecurity workers can command an average salary premium of nearly $6,500 per year, or 9% more than other IT workers, according to the Job Market Intelligence: Cybersecurity Jobs 2015 report published by Burning Glass Technologies.
For newbies to the tech field who are contemplating a career in cybersecurity, they will often start out as information security analysts. U.S. News and World Report ranked a career in information security analysis eighth on its list of the 100 best jobs for 2015. They state the profession is growing at a rate of 36.5% through 2022. Many information security analysts earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming or engineering.
The most recent median pay for an information security analyst is $88,890 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which says the typical entry level education is a Bachelor’s degree. The lowest 10% earned less than $50,300, and the highest 10% earned more than $140,460.
If you don’t have a college degree – don’t write off a career in cybersecurity. With a huge shortage of qualified cybersecurity talent, companies and government agencies are aggressively trying to fill their openings. If you are lacking a college education but have a leg up in cyber training, then you can still nab a job. Heimdal Security posted a blog listing 50 cybersecurity online courses you should know about – and several of the courses are for beginners.
The top five IT security salaries, according to the tech job board DICE:
1. Lead software security engineer – $233,333
2. Chief security officer – $225,000
3. Global information security director -$200,000
4. Chief information security officer – $192,500
5. Director of security – $178,333