Cybercrime is a lucrative business that is predicted to cost companies—globally—an estimated $10.5 trillion by 2025. With a single cyberattack occurring every 11 seconds, organizations aren’t wasting time in hiring cybersecurity professionals to safeguard their data and computer networks. In fact, experts predict that companies could spend as much as $1.75 trillion for information security. So, who exactly are these professionals that companies are hiring to protect their data?

This month, Vaughn College explores the demand for cybersecurity professionals and the various jobs in this field. Read on to learn how a degree in computer engineering from Vaughn could be your pathway to cashing in on this futureproof career.

Demand for cybersecurity professionals

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts are among the fastest growing occupations in the country—with a projected growth rate of 35 percent over the next nine years. In the U.S. alone, it was reported there are more than 700,000 job openings in the cybersecurity-related field, with approximately 1.8 million positions worldwide that will go unfilled this year. With demand at an all-time high—and no end of sight for the need to protect company data—the future is bright for a career in cybersecurity.

Companies with the greatest need

Every industry—including banking, utility companies, government organizations and healthcare—has come to depend on the world’s cyber infrastructure in order to operate. Last year, the heads of industry giants Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon were among the leaders who met with President Biden at the White House to discuss how the nation’s cybersecurity might be improved through a collaboration with the government and private sector. It’s important to note that cybercrime doesn’t discriminate against big corporations. Were you aware that approximately 43 percent of cyberattacks are directed at small businesses? On any given day, owners of these businesses have their hands full in juggling several responsibilities, thus leaving their interests vulnerable to be exploited by cybercriminals. In fact, only about 14 percent of these small businesses are prepared to defend their data.

Cybersecurity careers to meet the demand

As you can imagine, there are several different cybersecurity careers—each with its own set of critical roles—to protect companies from cybercriminals. Here are some career paths to consider:

Cybersecurity engineer

These professionals are responsible for protecting a company’s network and data from unauthorized access—or cyberattack—by designing cybersecurity platforms and building emergency plans in the event of a disaster.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a cybersecurity engineer:
  • Develop and enforce security plans, standards and protocols
  • Collaborate with other teams to maintain overall security
  • Create and install firewalls and intrusion detection systems
  • Update security software, hardware and facilities
  • Running encryption programs
  • Moving data and information after a detected security issue
Required skills:
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to explain complex issues to management and offer solutions for current security plans and procedures
  • Ability and willingness to work with law enforcement following a cyberattack
  • Risk assessment
  • Computer forensics
  • Secure coding practices
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree—or higher—in computer engineering, cybersecurity, infosec or a related field is required to work as a cybersecurity engineer.

Cybersecurity analyst

Anyone in this role analyzes reports to identify and examine cyber threats that include viruses, worms, bots and Trojans. Cybersecurity analysts develop malware protection tools to ensure that practices are properly implemented and followed. The scope of their responsibilities is expansive.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a cybersecurity analyst:
  • Monitor security best practices, protocols and procedures to detect, contain and remediate threats
  • Control file access and credentialing, network updates and firewall maintenance
  • Perform penetration testing and vulnerability scans
  • Recommend relevant changes to improve security
  • May be enlisted to train employees on cybersecurity hygiene, due to their expertise in security risks and best practices
Required skills:
  • Solid understanding of how data is stored and managed
  • Solid understanding of various kinds of cybersecurity threats
  • Proprietary testing
  • Risk assessment
  • Data encryption
  • Firewall design, configuration, deployment and maintenance
  • Security incident triaging
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science, cybersecurity, infosec or a related field is required to work as a cybersecurity analyst.

Network security architect

Similar to an architect who designs plans for buildings and structures, a network security architect plays a critical role in the design of security structures that are used to prevent malware attacks. In addition to performing vulnerability tests, a network security architect maintains network productivity, efficiency, availability and performance to ensure ongoing security of the company.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a network security architect:
  • Helps translate business needs into functional systems
  • Defines appropriate policies and procedures for the systems
  • Monitors budgetary and operational constraints
  • Undertakes defensive measures such as firewall and antivirus configuration, as well as offensive measures like penetration testing
  • Oversees network changes
  • Stays aware of computer systems’ networking requirements such as routing, switching and trust domains
  • Has knowledge of security best practices, technologies and industry-standard frameworks.
Required skills:
  • Excellent people, managerial and presentation skills
  • Strong IT experience
  • Risk management experience
  • Knowledge of TCP/IP networking and networking security
  • ITIL and COBIT IT process models
  • Intrusion detection systems
  • Knowledge of VPN layers and connections
  • Open Systems Interconnection (OSI): 7-layer model
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is required, although a master’s degree in cybersecurity is preferred.

How Vaughn can get you there

As you’ve read in this blog, the ever-growing field of cybersecurity and computer engineering demands well-trained individuals for a broad range of industries. Vaughn’s degree program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills that are necessary, and where they each can play an important role in the technologies that define modern day life and society.

The computer engineering curriculum emphasizes two well-defined concentrations: cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI). These two concentrations work hand in hand to secure network systems. Although it’s believed that AI will never take the place of cybersecurity jobs, this concentration and machine learning are viable players in the growth of the industry.

Are you interested in an in-demand, high-paying job in cybersecurity? Vaughn’s computer engineering degree program could be your pathway to an exciting futureproof career. Apply today!