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Cybersecurity Threats Result in Expansive Job Growth

As cybersecurity concerns continue to grow, so too does the need for people trained to combat such threats. 

According to a recent article in Forbes, the cybersecurity market will continue to expand, with estimates expecting to grow from $75 billion in 2015 to nearly $170 billion by 2020. In addition, a Cisco report estimates that nearly one million cybersecurity jobs are currently available worldwide.

As a cybersecurity researcher and a college professor for almost 10 years, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide adjunct professor Jason W. Clark is excited about the growth he’s seeing in the field. But with the ever-changing demands, Clark argues that it will be imperative for those aiming to enter the market to be prepared for anything.

“It’s so important that students have a strong foundation and learn skills such as programming, networking, databases, technical writing, and collaboration immediately,” said Clark. “There is always so much going on this field and you can easily be left behind if you don’t keep up.”

Clark’s assessment appears to be correct as there is a strong demand for applicants who are well-trained and have the technical aptitude along with the creative insight to tackle and solve problems associated with widespread cybersecurity implications including: the need to research security vulnerabilities in software products, improve upon existing network and security protocols, and train the next wave of cybersecurity professionals.

While many see cybersecurity as a government role, the increase in high-profile cyber-attacks against companies like Sony, Target, and Home Depot gives this field a much larger net.

“Given a student’s particular interest -- whether it is business or entertainment -- a student with a cybersecurity background will find a home in a sector that best suits them,” said Clark.

Along with the ever-expanding employer pool comes a realm of job titles available to the prospective cybersecurity worker that is endless.

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies lists dozens of possible roles from chief information security officer, forensics expert and virus technician to security consultant, computer crime investigator and disaster recovery analyst.

And with a boom in the market comes a boom in salary.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the most recent median pay for an information security analyst at $90,120 per year with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $50,300, and the highest 10 percent earning more than $140,460.

If you are already in the tech field, then crossing over to security can mean a bump in pay according to the Job Market Intelligence: Cybersecurity Jobs 2015 report published by Burning Glass Technologies. The report found that cybersecurity workers can command an average salary premium of nearly $6,500 per year, or nine percent more than other IT workers.

This hiring, according to Embry-Riddle Worldwide College of Business Adjunct Professor Cornel Levy, isn’t going away any time soon.

“With trends like cloud computing, the need for security professionals will continue to increase for the foreseeable future,” said Levy. “And while there will continue to be efforts to automate security tasks, the more security is automated, the more we find additional tasks that require a human.”

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.