If you are interested in elements of cybersecurity, such as hacking and penetration testing, you should consider becoming a cybersecurity professional in 2020. 2020 is the year of cybersecurity professionals, with job positions in the sector drastically increasing since their creation a couple of years ago when more companies started to use the internet. The job landscape for cybersecurity professionals changes every year, though. Therefore, if you are unsure whether 2020 should be the year that you take the first steps towards the completion of your masters in cybersecurity, here is a guide to everything that you need to know about getting into the profession this year.

How Do Cybersecurity Professionals Train In 2020?

When cybersecurity first started to become a viable profession in the IT sector, there was no clear route toward these job positions. Instead, many people simply become cybersecurity professionals through internal promotions or as part of their wider role as an IT professional. Only in recent years has it become possible to train specifically for a cybersecurity career path. You can now find a large range of courses on the internet that can teach you the basic steps towards the knowledge that you need. In fact, many cybersecurity jobs now require you to have a masters in cybersecurity, compared to only a few postings that needed a qualification a few years ago. Not only this, but more cybersecurity postings demand degrees than are needed for general IT positions.

However, a couple of years ago, the way that training worked in the cybersecurity field changed for good when the first cybersecurity degrees started to be offered by colleges and universities. Now, if you are looking to become a cybersecurity professional in 2020, you should consider taking a bachelor’s degree in IT or a related field and then going on to specialize with a masters in cybersecurity. These programs will give you everything that you need to start out on your career path, including knowledge of cybersecurity software and threats, and both technical and soft skills, such as coding and ethical hacking.

In 2020 though, there are a couple of different ways that you can train to become a cybersecurity professional. One of the newest and best options is by taking an online masters in cybersecurity rather than a traditional campus-based qualification. Online degrees have recently increased in popularity due to their convenience and flexibility, and this is no less of a perfect option for cybersecurity professionals than those who are practicing in any other sector. 

This is because an online masters in cybersecurity can allow you to learn the basics from anywhere in the country- or the world. This can ensure that everyone can train to become cybersecurity professionals regardless of their backgrounds or any other commitments that they may have. Not only this, but the online nature of the masters in cybersecurity can ensure that you will be able to start training in a practical environment, such as on an IT team, while you are still studying toward your qualification.

CIISP qualifications rank sixth in terms of the best certifications to have for IT professionals.

If you are concerned about the relevance of certifications in 2020 and whether they are applicable to the job opportunities that you are looking for, you should know that certifications like the CIISP are still in incredibly high demand. By gaining a CIISP, you may even be able to increase your salary to averages of $140,000.

What Are The Latest Career Trends? 

As a cybersecurity professional, you should be aware of the latest career trends in your sector. This will allow you to know of all of the potential opportunities that are available to you in your career. The great thing about this industry is that there are different types of job positions that are available, and they change all the time, which means more opportunities for you. This is also the case for 2020, which presents a wide range of different options for those that are looking to go into the sector. 

The most popular career pathways for cybersecurity professionals in 2020 include: 

. Ethical Hackers.

They are employed to infiltrate a company’s guards against cybercriminals in order to find weaknesses that sinister hackers could harness for their own means. 

. Information Security Analysts.

This is a broad term used for those that monitor systems in order to find issues and threats. They may also aim to assess businesses’ security protocols in order to find areas in which they could improve.

. Security Software Professionals

have also become more popular on job websites since more companies are looking to spend more on their security measures. Additionally, more businesses now look to find innovative solutions that no other company has implemented. 

. Incident Handlers

are also becoming more common as the number of attacks steadily increases. Incident handlers are employed to isolate and deal with attacks as they happen, as well as to study a businesses’ defenses after they have occurred.

By acknowledging the potential of these career paths, you will be able to easily access one of the 3.5 million jobs that are currently unoccupied within the sector.

What Trends In The Sector Might Affect You? 

Due to the relatively recent nature of cybersecurity openings and the development of online technologies, the career landscape for cybersecurity professionals is constantly changing. The sector’s trends could affect your ability to find a job and the skills that you will need on your resume in order to meet employer requirements. To ensure that you are able to keep up with these, here is everything you need to know about the current industry trends.

The good thing is that masters in cybersecurity often align with the latest developments in technology. The developments that are affecting cybersecurity – and the careers of cybersecurity professionals – the most include: 

  • Cloud services are one of the most important developments in IT in recent years due to their ability to store and share large amounts of data at once. Although this is convenient for business owners, storing data remotely will present its own challenges that must be met by the most innovative cybersecurity professionals. 
  • Artificial intelligence. If you are able to create software that protects against AI threats, or if you are able to implement AI protection into existing systems, then your skills will be in great demand. In fact, many jobs are now opening up around this area of expertise.
  • The IoT is also an IT trend that will drastically change the careers and potential job openings that are on offer to cybersecurity professionals in 2020. As more companies use the IoT to produce and store data, those with a Masters in cybersecurity will be needed to ensure that this data is sent and received in a secure and confidential manner. 

What Skills Are Employers Looking For In 2020?

The skills that you will need as a cybersecurity professional are changing all the time as employers seek different qualities from their employees. In 2020, cybersecurity employers are looking for those with: 

  • Analyst skills and expertise to ensure that they can employ candidates who can explore the weaknesses of their cybersecurity measures. Not only this, but security analysis is one of the most time-consuming tasks in terms of IT, and so professionals in this area are desired to free working time up for business owners.
  • Software development skills to ensure that their security measures can keep up with the ever-changing threats in the industry. 
  • An understanding of data regulations and laws to allow companies to stay compliant. These professionals can ensure that their employers stay up-to-date with the nuances of the legal requirements that businesses have to follow to protect their consumers. 

What Does The Skills Gap Look Like In 2020? 

However, the biggest trend that will affect cybersecurity professionals is the fact that an awareness of the importance of security measures is beginning to grow among business owners. With an extortionate amount of companies now using the internet within their operations, this has made it vital for them to start employing a number of cybersecurity professionals. This has, though, led to a cybersecurity skills gap which will potentially start to become a prominent issue in 2020. Many firms will be scrambling to close this throughout the year through automation and in-house training. However, there is no doubt that this skills gap will become the defining feature of 2020 as a continual lack of IT professionals choose to take up a masters in cybersecurity. 

However, this can be beneficial to cybersecurity professionals who are working within the business. This skills shortage means that there is a wide range of different positions open to you as a security professional with a masters in cybersecurity. Therefore, it is important to track the positions that are most in-demand and the companies that are looking to employ large amounts of security personnel. 

What Job Opportunities Are There In 2020?

Once you have decided on the career path that you are looking to pursue, you will find that there are many new job opportunities that are starting to open for cybersecurity professionals in 2020. Although many cybersecurity professionals decide to opt to work as freelance consultants or to set up their own business online, there are also many companies that you could consider working for in 2020. For instance, large brands such as Google, Cisco, and Intel are large employers of cybersecurity professionals in a number of capacities. If you have a masters in cybersecurity, you do not have to work for a well-known company, though, as many small companies are starting to become interested in building up their IT and security teams. With your skills and education, you could be perfect for a small business. 

Not only this, but there are many job opportunities in cybersecurity across the different sectors in the USA workforce. Rather than simply applying to jobs down the traditional avenues, in 2020, you will have the opportunity to find a position in a sector that you are interested in. For instance, many retail and entertainment companies are now starting to look for cybersecurity professionals. Not only this, but financial services are beginning to employ more cybersecurity professionals due to the fact that attacks on the finance industry are constantly rising. However, spending on digital security across all industries is likely to reach over $33 billion before 2022. This means that opportunities across all sectors are likely to grow for professionals with the right skills and knowledge. 

Some locations are better than others in terms of finding the best jobs in cybersecurity, though, and to make sure that you choose the right location to look for a job, here are some of the best options:

  • Washington DC, due to the large number of government organizations with sensitive data that are based here
  • New York City, due to its large financial and business sector, where cybersecurity jobs will be in high demand
  • Silicon Valley, due to the high levels of tech and IT innovation and research that is carried out in the area

By looking for a job in these areas, not only will you be able to find positions with larger firms, but you will also be able to choose from a wider variety of roles. Additionally, these areas tend to have much higher average salaries than others. 

Becoming a cybersecurity professional is an extremely fulfilling career path for those that are interested in technology, especially those who want to help to develop the latest trends in the sector. If you are interested in ethical hacking, coding, or any type of IT innovation, then cybersecurity careers can put you at the forefront of change and development in technology. By getting your masters in cybersecurity and following the latest career trends, it is simple to find an IT job that you will love.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.