Cybersecurity Needs You

The world needs more cybersecurity professionals. According to (ISC)2, the United States alone needed an additional 359,236 cybersecurity professionals in 2020. Do you know what that means? That means we need you! I know, I know… I sound like a vintage U.S. Army Recruiting poster. It’s true though.

If you’re a naturally, inquisitive person with an interest in technology, there’s a place for you in cybersecurity. Admittedly, getting into cybersecurity is harder than it should be. Don’t let them—the recruiter, the hiring managers—fool you though. The industry needs you. Cybercrime is projected to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. We need additional cybersecurity professionals now, so why not you?

Breaking into cybersecurity can be tough, but rest assured that the industry needs you.

It may take you a while—even months—to land your first cybersecurity job. Don’t let that discourage you. Your first cybersecurity job is the hardest to get. You’ll be amazed after you finally land your first cybersecurity job. You’ll proudly update your LinkedIn profile with your new position. Then a cybersecurity headhunter will contact you a month or two later. Ridiculous, I know. After a year you’ll be a bona fide cybersecurity professional.

Women and Underrepresented Minorities

If you’re a woman and/or an underrepresented minority, cybersecurity really needs you. Like elsewhere in technology, the cybersecurity field has struggled with diversity. There are currently around 24% female cybersecurity professionals. Sure, that’s up from cybersecurity having only 11% women in 2013. But considering that women represent 46.8% of the US labor force (as of 2017) and over half of US college graduates, we still have a ways to go.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Black or Latinx professionals represent 11.9% and 15.8% of information security analysts respectively. (Sadly, the BLS doesn’t track Native American representation.) This is actually in improvement from just a few years ago, when only 3% of information security analysts were Black in 2016, but there is still work to be done.

There is not much current data on how well minorities are represented in cybersecurity leadership. Everyone references the same (ISC)2 inclusion study from 2017, which is dated. If you ask cybersecurity professionals, you will undoubtedly hear that underrepresented minorities continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions. As we increase the number of professionals of color, we’ll increase the diversity of cybersecurity leadership candidates.

The consultancy McKinsey & Co. reports that “companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.” In other words, diversity is good for business. That includes the cybersecurity business.

Breaking into cybersecurity can be tough, but rest assured that the industry needs you.