In a world in which workers—both blue- and white-collar—increasingly see their livelihoods automated away, cybersecurity remains a future-proof career. That’s great for cybersecurity professionals. It can be motivating for aspiring entrants. While technology continues to disrupt seemingly every career field, this one seems immune. So what makes cybersecurity different than so many other fields?
What Does ‘Future-Proof’ Even Mean?
According to the Collins Dictionary, “If something is future-proof, it will continue to be useful or successful in future if the situation changes.” Change is certainly coming. Could a shortage of cybersecurity professionals make the field future-proof? After all, there was a cyber workforce gap of approximately 3.12 million cybersecurity professionals globally in 2020 (including over 879,000 in the United States).
However, current demand doesn’t necessarily equate to future demand though. After all, there’s increasing demand for commercial truck drivers today. That doesn’t mean the profession will survive the coming onslaught of autonomous commercial fleets.
In a world in which workers—both blue- and white-collar—increasingly see their livelihoods automated away, cybersecurity remains a future-proof career.
Being smart or well-educated doesn’t make one’s career future-proof either. Lawyers first saw their monopoly on legal service under assault by DIY websites like LegalZoom. Then technology allowed law firms to replace armies of young attorneys with e-discovery software. Now there’s concern of artificial intelligence outright replacing lawyers.
As waves of technological advances fuel what Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum dubbed the Fourth Industrial Revolution, past professional demand does not guarantee future success. Some professions will become the 21st century equivalent of the buggy whip maker.
What Makes Cybersecurity Different?
Klaus referred to the Fourth Industrial Revolution as “a series of social, political, cultural, and economic upheavals that will unfold over the 21st century.” A number of professions are currently fighting to maintain their relevance in this period of change, attempting to withstand the successive waves of technology.
“If something is future-proof, it will continue to be useful or successful in future if the situation changes.”
Cybersecurity was made for this period. Rather than attempting to withstand waves of technology, cybersecurity rides the waves like the nimblest of surfers. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected the susceptibility of attack by bad actors increases. Therefore, each wave of technology represents something new that needs to be secured.
Cybersecurity isn’t a destination. It’s a way of being. That’s the secret sauce that allows it to be a future-proof career. The likelihood of finishing securing the information systems (which touch the lives of billions of people globally) is about the same as the likelihood of you reaching the end of the internet.
During these pivotal times future-proof careers can provide not just economic security. They can also provide a continued sense of purpose. That’s valuable in a world in which people’s jobs are regularly automated away.
We are just scratching the surface of the conveniences and opportunities that this era of epochal change will create. These conveniences and opportunities will come at a cost however. Don’t wait for the revolution to come find you. Pursuing a future-proof career—whether it be cybersecurity or another field—can help retain your sense of agency and pursue. After all, the future is now.