Ah, the shifting landscape of the tech world. It seemed like just a few years ago, the hottest thing someone could do was develop an app — and being an app developer was the bee’s knees. Everyone seemed to have an idea, and the funding was flowing. Fast forward a few years, and the tech landscape has shifted dramatically, yet again.
Throughout 2015, it seemed as if a major corporation, government office or retailer suffered a data breach on a weekly basis, resulting in the compromised personal information of millions of employees and/or customers. To put it into perspective, half of American adults have had their personal information exposed to hackers in the last year alone. (You can check out this cool interactive from The New York Times and see for yourself if you’re one of those people).
As the most connected era in history, it’s no surprise that companies continue to use the technology afforded to them, moving more and more information online. At the same time, consumers are opting to do everything from banking to shopping online. While convenience has been a driving force, it has left highly valuable data vulnerable. As a result, the inherent need for cybersecurity professionals is only increasing. And the future of the profession (and data security) lies in the hands of the millennial generation as it continues to grow into the majority of the workforce.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a career in cybersecurity can be financially rewarding, with cybersecurity professionals earning an average salary of $116,000. However in many cases the salaries and overall compensation packages can run much, much higher.
A salary like that — nearly three times the median income for full-time wage and salary workers — is certainly reminiscent of former Silicon Valley booms. Besides reaping the financial benefits, there is immense satisfaction that comes with knowing you have helped thwart potential hackers and safeguard highly sensitive data.
So if your major still states “undeclared” or you are looking for a change in your career, think cybersecurity — it’s in great demand today and will be for many years to come.