If you were offered a job in the internet industry at the beginning of the world-wide-web, would you take it?
Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? The problem is, this is often a once-in-a-century kind of opportunity that most of us are too late to capitalize on. Whether you are a college student who is about to face the real world, or a professional with some experience, the evolution of the “World of Work” will have an effect.

Selecting a career in the era that we live in now is more challenging than ever before. In this digitized global economy, the IoT (Internet of Things) is no longer at the forefront of our minds; rather, it is the Internet of Everything. Massive data, artificial intelligence, and cross-border data flow are transforming how we conduct business and how we live our lives.

The millions of jobs that will be eliminated by automation and AI will be replaced in part by millions more which are being added because of these technologies. This has left many people wondering: where should I go to avoid losing my job? The answer to that is simple: follow the data. Data is the new frontier for people seeking employment at all stages of their careers. Data scientist, for example, has become a highly sought-after position in recent years. But, where there is data, there is cybercrime, and there needs to be skilled professionals to protect the integrity of said data. Cyberattacks take on many forms and the power of AI has enabled more sophisticated attacks such as autonomous vehicle and drone hackings. As such, countering cyber risk is an all-encompassing effort that involves not only technology, but also people and processes.

The cybersecurity industry is experiencing exponential growth in the U.S. and worldwide (Figure 1). Per Cybint, a cyber security solutions company, there are currently 300,000+ cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. unfilled, and postings are up 74% over the past five years. By 2021, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide.
Size of the Cybersecurity Market Worldwide (USD BN)
The data economy is posing some of the starkest technical and economic challenges of our time. As both users and employees, we must alter our basic individual behaviors to ensure “safe engagement” and deploy unprecedented, deeply complex solutions and defense mechanisms to protect the core. The shortage of cyber-savvy individuals is well-known, so the number of talented new hires required is going to increase steeply. To make up for this supply-demand imbalance there are upsides in compensation and visa sponsorship. For international students this is a great beacon of hope.

Great, but I don’t have a degree in Cybersecurity or any prior experiences in the industry (or any experience at all). How do I get there? I will discuss that at length in the second part of this article.

Heather Lu-Lasky

About Heather

Heather Lu-Lasky, CFA, is the Founder & CEO of ChampAmerica Inc., a New York-based Career & Workforce Development and Management Consulting firm.