As we continue to navigate through the challenging times posed by COVID-19, it’s not hard to notice the lessons we can learn from a viral pandemic as it relates to prevalent cyber-attacks. Just as a real virus can spread among people, cyber viruses can easily spread between computers and systems in today’s interconnected digital world, which has given rise to exponential growth in cyber-attacks every year.
Cybercrime has become a persistent and increasing threat to the interests of individuals, businesses, and governments. To meet the ever-growing demand for effective cybersecurity operations, public and private sector organizations require a highly educated and diverse workforce. However, the supply of cybersecurity professionals has fallen far short of the demand. In early 2019, research and advising company Gartner predicted a global shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals by the end of 2019. Covid-19 has only further exacerbated the problem.
According to data from analytics company BurningGlass, there were over 789,656 job postings in cybersecurity nationwide from September 2017 to August 2018. The number grew 94% since 2013, compared to only 30% for IT job openings overall. Of the postings for cybersecurity positions, 88% require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
As predicted by Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be around 3.5 million job openings in cybersecurity by 2021. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that information security is projected to grow 32% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average growth of all occupations in the U.S.
The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Center for Research and Marketing Strategy researched both the nation and Wisconsin state market for a degree in cybersecurity in 2019. Key findings from the report:
- In the state of Wisconsin, cybersecurity-related jobs are projected to grow by 9% over the next decade. Computer-user support specialists for cybersecurity are expected to have the highest number of job openings in the state (1,180). Nationwide, the number of cybersecurity positions is expected to grow by 13%.
- Nationwide, the median annual earnings for cybersecurity occupations range from $50,738 for Computer User Support Specialists, which requires no degree, to $132,723 for Computer and Information Systems Managers, which requires a bachelor’s degree for entry into the field. The median annual salary for cybersecurity occupations with typical entry-level education of a bachelor’s degree or more is over $80,000.
To provide opportunities for working professionals and recent graduates interested in a career change, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is one of eight academic partners working collaboratively on a fully online Master of Science in Cybersecurity program through the University of Wisconsin Extended Campus.
The online Master of Science in Cybersecurity program is intentionally designed to prepare students to advance their careers and pursue their academic ambitions within the cybersecurity field. Graduates will leave equipped with the skills needed to effectively develop, implement, and maintain a security strategy within diverse organizations and industry sectors.
The program represents a fully asynchronous curriculum comprised of 34 credits, including a culminating, project-based Capstone experience. Seven core courses provide students with a solid foundation in data and network security, compliance, strategic planning, program design and management, legal and ethical issues in cybersecurity, cryptography, risk management, and technical communications. Also, the program offers four unique tracks to assist students in tailoring their coursework to meet their career goals: digital forensics, cyber response, governance and leadership, and security architecture.
Graduates of the program will gain the major competencies required to assume a variety of roles across a wide range of industries, including cybersecurity analyst, security consultant, cybersecurity manager, vulnerability analyst, security architect, security application developer, information technology specialist, and more.
If you want to secure your position in a highly sought-after career in cybersecurity, check out the curriculum and admission requirements of our online master program at go.uwplatt.edu/cybersecurity.