Why work in cyber security?
The fact we are launching an independent professional body for cyber security shows just how vital this area has become – it makes a huge contribution to our thriving digital economy by safeguarding our critical national infrastructure, commerce and other online spaces.Matt Warman MP, Digital Infrastructure Minister, February 9th 2021
What drives anyone to choose a particular career? In some cases, it might be sheer aptitude – a mathematician, say, or an athlete. Sometimes it might be passion or a vocation – perhaps an actor, or a doctor. Sometimes it’s a simple case grabbing an unexpected opportunity.
But for most of us, the drivers are several and more mundane: a good salary, job security, interesting work, progression potential… all of which are good reasons why you should choose a career in cyber security.
Cyber security professionals are in huge demand
Cyber security's fastest-growing skill areas reflect the high priority organizations place on building secure digital infrastructures. Research by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport into Cyber Security skills in the UK labour market estimates that between 30-48% of all businesses in the UK have a basic or more advanced skills gap in their organisations. These include both technical and non-technical skills.
Technical skills gaps are relatively high in each of the following areas: threat assessment or information risk management; assurance, audits, compliance or testing; cyber security research; implementing secure systems; and governance and management.
29% of cyber firms say that non-technical skills deficiencies are preventing them from meeting their business goals, such as communication, leadership and management skills.
Variety of opportunities
The range of activities in effective cyber security management includes identifying threats, enabling protection policies and systems, detecting and responding to cyber security threats, as well as recovering data and systems in the event of a breach.
The industry depends on its practitioners developing a wide range of practical management skills as well as technical know-how. Learn more about the 16 core specialisms here.
Job satisfaction among cybersecurity practitioners is reported to be high: worldwide, 76% of cyber security professionals (peaking at 79% in North America) report that they are satisfied with their jobs.
Advances in smart technology and artificial intelligence for a wide range of domestic and industrial uses means that cyber security roles will continue to require monitoring via ethical hackers or “white hats” for the foreseeable future.
Education and certification
You don’t need a degree to become a cyber security professional - although many universities offer cyber security-specific degrees and new courses are appearing all the time. Many online courses are available, too, which may be general in nature or provide training in a specific area of cyber security. Obtaining relevant certifications will be a key component to your progression in the industry.
See the Getting started in cyber security, Apprenticeship schemes and opportunities and Cyber security qualifications sections for more information.
Of course, you shouldn’t take our word for it. An internet search for “Why work in cyber security” will bring up similar reasons and many others.
Learn more: Getting started in cyber security.