One of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. is fighting crime on the internet.
With more companies moving online, cyberattacks are on the rise, and drastically so. The FBI has seen a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the threat of cyberattacks grows, so does the demand for cybersecurity experts.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of cybersecurity jobs will grow 32% in the next decade — much faster than the average for occupations overall.
There are nearly 600,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. right now, and about 3.5 million open roles globally, says Lisa Gevelber, Google's chief marketing officer for the Americas, citing recent research from Cybersecurity Ventures.
Cybersecurity is one of the most "underrated" jobs out there, Gevelber says.
Many people assume it's a hard field to break into as it's a highly specialized, technical role, she explains, but what they don't realize is you don't need a bachelor's degree to land a high-paying job in the field — and once you do, the job security is strong.
"Employers are really struggling to find people who are comfortable working in cybersecurity, but there's this incredible need and demand for people with these skills," says Gevelber.
It's one of the reasons Gevelber founded Grow with Google, the tech giant's skilling initiative, in 2017. The online program provides lessons and certifications for in-demand skills like cybersecurity and data analytics. The cybersecurity certificate can be completed in as little as 3 months and costs $49 per month.
Other colleges and organizations, including Amazon Web Services, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, offer comparable cybersecurity certificates.
Most cybersecurity jobs require at least a high school diploma or GED, as well as the completion of an online boot camp or training.
Some of the most popular jobs in cybersecurity include security engineers, cybersecurity analysts and security architects.
Although the day-to-day responsibilities differ for each role, the core skills are nearly identical, says Gevelber.
Cybersecurity professionals should be comfortable assessing risk, troubleshooting problems, monitoring for internal and external threats and working within an organization's IT infrastructure.
As a cybersecurity expert, you'll also be working closely with people in other departments, so it's important to be adaptable, and able to effectively communicate and explain your findings to others, she adds.
Making sure these technical and soft skills — as well as any certifications —are front and center on your resume is the "most important" step you can take in your cybersecurity job search, says Gevelber.
Cybersecurity professionals are needed across all industries, but there's a particularly urgent need in financial services, health care and government, says Gevelber.
Companies like American Express and Colgate-Palmolive have hired graduates from Google's cybersecurity certificate program directly, she adds.
The average pay for many cybersecurity jobs exceeds $100,000. According to the BLS, the median salary for cybersecurity analysts is $112,000, while the median salary for cybersecurity managers is $164,070.
There are also dozens of remote cybersecurity jobs on the market, some of which pay upwards of $200,000 a year.
Ultimately, "Cybersecurity is an exciting field with a lot of growth opportunities," says Gevelber. "Companies just can't fill these jobs fast enough."
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