As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month, we have compiled some of the academic pathways into this career and just a few of the reasons to consider working in this versatile sector. With the government reporting that 50% of UK businesses have a basic skills gap and an estimated shortfall of 11,200 people to meet workforce demand, a qualification in this field is highly desirable.
By Elena Carruthers. Published 2 October 2023.
For those with a natural flair for technology and staying on top of current trends, cyber security is an ideal career avenue. For example, it might be a particularly attractive route to Computer Science graduates or simply those with a strong grasp on all-things digital. The rapidly evolving nature of technology also means that expertise in cyber security is a highly transferable and sought-after skill.
The recent government report highlighted the extent of the cyber security skills shortage in the country and its impact on businesses. It showed that in the last year, there has been 30% more job postings in the field but, despite the increase in demand, 37% of these roles proved hard-to-fill. This skills gap provides a challenge for employers but an opportunity for individuals to fill this gap and provide immense value to businesses.
Cyber security is still a relatively new concept to many companies. Most people recognise its importance but are unsure of where to start, resulting in the growing need for cyber security professionals. As the recent government report showed, a significant number of UK businesses have a cyber security skills gap. This means there is a demand for support either in-house or through working with consultants. As such, the profession boasts high earning potential and progression opportunities. Additionally, it has high job security due to its business-critical nature.
Cyber security is not limited by geographical boundaries. It is important to businesses and individuals all over the globe from small organisations to government agencies. The scale of its importance means that cyber security offers a range of different job opportunities in the UK and in different countries, as well as offering many remote and hybrid roles. Its global relevance also means that there is a sense of collaboration with different cyber security professionals across the world, wherein workers can network and learn from one another.
A career in cyber security is an excellent profession for those who work well in fast-paced environments and enjoy taking initiative. The range of careers within cyber security offer substantial room for creativity, as looking at issues from different angles is essential in coming up with effective solutions. The nature of technology is such that new challenges and trends continue to arise at pace, so working in this field builds up problem-solving and analytical skills, both of which are transferable to a range of other professions such as data analysis, finance, or market research.
As well as receiving substantial financial compensation, cyber security professionals often find their work highly rewarding. For example, working in cyber security can involve protecting the nation’s digital infrastructure, contributing to national security efforts. A sense of purpose can certainly be found in protecting individuals and companies from cyber threats, which if undetected, can lead to catastrophic damage. The aftermath of cyber-attacks can include loss of revenue, damage to reputation, and theft of sensitive information. Supporting companies to prevent this leads to a fulfilling career where individuals can clearly see the gravity that their work holds.
Range of career options
Cyber security is crucial for all businesses, meaning there are various career options within the field. It is also possible to pursue a career in cyber security even without a relevant undergraduate degree, such as by completing a master’s course or a relevant business conversion course. The potential roles extend from working as a cyber security consultant or executive, progressing up to management and senior level, to working in law or government. This is just to name a few – a qualification in cyber security opens up the door to essentially any business and professionals can take their pick from working on the more analytical side or have a more client-facing role.
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