Is a Cyber Security Career a Good Choice for Today’s Students?

There’s no doubt that cybercriminals are working hard to steal identities and data, and that they are often succeeding.

What are they up to? Here are some of today’s most prevalent cybercrimes, as listed in Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 2019:

  • Formjacking Cybercriminals write code into online merchants’ shopping carts and other forms and steal credit card and personal data.
  • Ransomware You know about this perennial favorite of cybercriminals, who take over computers and won’t release them until a ransom is paid. However, Norton found that the use of ransomware actually declined 20% overall in 2019, even though it increased by 12% for enterprises. (In other words, cybercrooks continued to target companies with ransomware takeovers, but lost interest in targeting individual computer-users.)
  • Cryptojacking In this crime, cybercriminals hijack transactions that use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, Symantec found that this type of crime fell 52% in 2018 because the overall value of cryptocurrencies fell.
  • Stealing data from the cloud – It’s booming. Symantec found that 70 million records were stolen from poorly configured “S3 Buckets,” in 2018, which is another way of saying that company data was stolen not from companies’ computers directly, but from where that data is stored in the cloud.

It’s a Great Time to Plan for a Career in Cybersecurity . . . Or Is It?

On the surface of things, it seems that preparing for a career in cybersecurity would be a good idea. After all, cybercrimes are happening every day. As the Symantec report documents, however, certain types of cybercrimes are growing in popularity, while others are diminishing.

Although cybercriminals seem able to create and execute new varieties of crimes, it is worth asking whether the day will come when cybercrime will be all but eliminated, thanks to a robust response from companies that have the resources to stop it, like Symantec.

If you think that cybersecurity jobs cannot be eliminated, it is worth remembering that some tech careers actually do disappear from the employment landscape. It seems, for example, that the demand for technicians who build and work on cellphone towers is about to decrease dramatically, due to recent advances in 5G networking technologies. And the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting that job opportunities for computer repair personnel will actually fall in the coming years.

Just because a career involves technology doesn’t mean that it will continue to offer a lifetime of secure employment. Although that could be the case, it is worth noting that plenty of cybersecurity jobs are available today. So if you counsel students about their future careers, the most accurate statement to make could be, “There is a boom in cybersecurity jobs happening . . . now.”

To Learn More about Career Planning and Jobs of the Future

We invite all students to explore their career options by participating in our career and college research studies. Students who complete the free career test for high school students will receive information on college and career opportunities which match their interests.

The following infographic outlining the demand for cybersecurity professional is based on research done by the Student Research Foundation.

Are Cyber Security Careers a Good Choice? Student Research Foundation Infographic