The competitive field offers women an ample opportunity for growth and success. Find out how.
There’s a talent shortage in various cyber security fields, and women can position themselves to fill those gaps with great jobs in any role they choose to pursue. Sarah Qureshi, Cyber Security Advisor for Paladion Inc., shares her thoughts on five of the key reasons why women should consider cyber security a worthwhile career path:
1. There are many roles
Cyber security is an umbrella field encompassing a range of positions. It’s not just a matter of playing cat-and-mouse with cyber attackers, and Qureshi points to plenty of unique roles that stand out. Cryptanalysts can sift for secret code. Security architects can build a company’s security system. Her personal favourite is Digital Forensics, where analysts and investigators try to uncover missing data from digital devices. There are dozens of interesting specialties in this growing landscape.
2. Education options abound
Consider a role in cyber security, and you will find a post-secondary or certification training program that teaches it. Qureshi says earning a bachelor’s degree in the field “definitely opens up many doors,” but those already working in the information security sector can also earn a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certificate at a post-secondary institution to enter or expand into the field.
3. Talent wanted
There’s a talent shortage in cyber security and Qureshi believes there is “no reason” for women not to pursue something in information security. “Excelling in different areas of cyber security requires a variety of technical and business skills, opening the doors for various skill sets and aptitudes,” she says.
4. Competitive salaries
“The industry provides exciting career paths offering job security and highly competitive pay,” says Qureshi. Current numbers and statistics do bear that out, with annual salaries starting out at about $60,000 for entry-level positions, and growing considerably, depending on tenure, expertise, or specialty.
5. You learn on the job
In the ever-evolving world of cyber security, a background in information technology or passion for security helps maintain a fresh perspective. “I find that our friends in the industry share an opinion that security is a combination of art and science rolled into a particular mindset,” says Qureshi. “What feeds our mindset is our passion for learning and staying curious. If you can teach yourself to learn new technologies and new ideas, you are well positioned for success.”