08:54 AM

Cybersecurity jobs are in demand

By Mario Reyna, Dean of Business, Public Safety and Technology at South Texas College

You have heard the outcry across America. We are being hacked by hostile actors for all kinds of reasons. Whether it is to access your credit card information or your saved and encrypted pictures on your hard drive, these same hostile actors are looking for anything that can give them financial gain. The situation is so alarming that the military created the U.S. Cyber Command as a Unified Combatant Command responsible for cyberspace operations in Aug. 2017 with a vision to “achieve and maintain superiority in the cyberspace domain to influence adversary behavior, deliver strategic and operational advantages for the Joint Force, and defend and advance our national interests.”

The creation of U.S. Cyber Command tells us that our information technology systems are at risk.

Students of all ages across America are preparing for a future in cybersecurity, and companies large and small continue to recruit these professionals because of a significant increase of cybersecurity jobs. Individuals who possess these talents are in hot demand.

The job crisis in cybersecurity is not going to wane anytime soon. The massive gap of qualified professionals has given them the ability to essentially write their own ticket if they have the skills needed to succeed in a very competitive environment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual wage for information security analysts was $95,510 in May 2017, which is significantly above the $59K median income in the U.S.

Cyberseek.org, which is an online tool that provides detailed, actionable data about supply and demand in the cybersecurity job market shows that just in Texas alone there are more than 24,000 vacancies in cybersecurity. The same source says that there are more than 300,000 job openings in cybersecurity all across the nation. The demand to fulfill these jobs is very high but the supply is very low. It is our responsibility to help fill those gaps.

Cybersecurity professionals protect information systems and data that is stored in the same way security personnel safeguard physical assets. Every organization should have a plan that protects the information that is stored in their computer systems. Cybersecurity professionals ensure that those who enter a computer system are permitted to be there.

You need to have a strong desire to be in cybersecurity. The curriculum is not a walk in the park, but with a lot of hard work and perseverance, you can achieve your academic goals. If you are interested in computer system forensics, Fundamentals of Information Security, and Linux installation and configuration to name a few, then wait no more! Find the college of your choice to begin the journey that will reward you with incredible benefits. However, remember that companies are looking for skills, not theory, so whatever you do, find a school that has the state-of-the-art equipment and qualified faculty that can guide you to learn the skills needed by industry.

Every journey you take requires a plan and a first step. Once you decide that this is what you want, follow the pathway that will get you there. Colleges throughout America offer occupational skills awards, certificates, associates of applied science, associates of science, and bachelors degrees in cybersecurity. Visit or call your local college or university admissions office to get started on this rewarding career field today.