Computer security used to be regarded as a boring and less important field of computer science, but with the proliferation of computer threats (from malware to active attacks) it has become one whose experts are in great demand and has gained quite an aura of “coolness”.
At the moment, there is a serious lack of cybersecurity experts in the U.S., so if your knowledge is up to speed, you are practically guaranteed a job.
Case in point: of the eight students from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, that beat five other university teams in a challenge that had them defending a business computer network from cyber threats, six seniors got job offers from Boeing.
According to the New York Times, the demand for experts is great, but luckily, some schools and universities are ready to train good candidates for the job: the N.Y.U. Polytechnic, Carnegie Mellon, Purdue and George Mason are just some of the universities offering a master’s degree in cybersecurity. Georgia Tech is planning to start an online degree in information security later this year.
Businesses and the military have faith in the fact that the new generations are so familiar with what the online world has to offer, that they will be challenged by the notion of solving security problems and, therefore, interested in a career in cybersecurity. Another thing that they might find attractive is the pay. Professor Naris Memon of N.Y.U. Poly says that a starting pay for someone with a master’s degree in the field ranges from $60,000 to $80,000.