Everyone paying attention to global events in recent years has noticed the emerging importance of jobs in cyber security. It should be no surprise that statistics indicate a highly positive employment outlook for those interested in this field. Recent global events and predictions about technological advancements of the future all point to an increased need for internet security, but there is currently a shortage of qualified talent. Experts are calling on President Trump to acknowledge and address these concerns.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the field of cyber security will grow eighteen percent in the decade between 2014 and 2024. This rate of growth is much higher than average, and the demand for security analysts is expected to be even higher. Despite being ranked eighth on the U.S. News and World Report’s top 100 jobs list of 2015, over 200,000 information security analyst positions in the U.S. remained unfilled in 2016. Stanford University’s Journalism Program found that such job postings have increased over 74 percent in the past five years. Michael Brown, the CEO of Symantec, expects the global demand for cyber security experts to rise by six million by 2019.
The massive uptick in demand for cyber security experts is directly influenced by recent global events. The intriguing scandal surrounding criminal hackers influencing the United States presidential election is arguably one of the most talked about stories of 2016 and 2017. Self-proclaimed hacking groups, like Anonymous, have attacked foreign countries’ websites in the past, but the unprecedented revelation of politician’s private emails, hacking of voter registration databases, public leaks from intelligence agencies and Russian cyber-attack on the Democratic National Committee will truly be recorded in history books. Experts looking at the situation are quickly realizing the need for swift action. Just this month, the National Infrastructure Advisory Council strongly urged President Trump to take heed of their message and increase the amount of jobs in cyber security. They boldly explain, “there is a narrow and fleeting window of opportunity before a watershed, 9/11-level cyber-attack to organize effectively…We call on the administration to use this moment of foresight to take bold, decisive actions.”
Looking to the Future
The widespread availability of the internet has made technology ubiquitous to our modern-day lives, and the wave of ‘smart’ technology will only further increase our cyber vulnerability. Wikileaks, an international online organization, played a major role in the 2016 election by publicizing thousands of classified central intelligence agency documents. These files, dubbed Year Zero, exposed several vulnerabilities within internet-connected devices that left both consumers and large tech companies shocked. Intelligence agencies and cyber criminals were the only ones aware of how vulnerable WiFi-connected devices really are to attacks. Wikileaks stated that it hopes to get the information into the public so that companies can correct these vulnerabilities and protect consumer’s privacy rights, but now the entire hacking arsenal of the CIA has been made public for anyone to exploit.
Recent global events and advancements in smart technology point to an increased need for cyber security experts, but there is a current shortage of qualified talent. It is likely that with such a positive employment outlook for jobs in cyber security that many will be encouraged to pursue careers in this increasingly crucial field.