Meet Alison…

What is it like to work in
Cyber Security?

Cyber security is the field based on protecting computers and networks from attacks or ‘hacks’. You may have encountered these in spam mail or computer viruses, but a large bulk of cybersecurity breaches happen to the networks we depend upon daily. Have you heard about election security hacking, or hackers stealing credit card numbers from retailers like Target? As our world increasingly relies upon technology for communications and business, our safety and security lie in the hands of cyber security specialists.

The role of a cyber security specialist is to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. In this way, the best cyber security specialist is actually the one who can best ‘think like a criminal’- and use that to build a super secure system. Many specialists will find themselves monitoring network activity for any irregularities and investigating potential vulnerabilities through methods such as ‘penetration testing’ and ethical hacking… basically, trying to break into your own system! As the world continues to rely on the Internet for our daily lives, the cyber security specialist is as important as ever to ensure our information is secure.

“I didn’t have to be some crazy genius to learn to code and work with computers, it could be something creative, fun, accessible, and affordable… something I could do while caring for [a family member]”
– Alison
“I loved the concept of learning to think like a criminal without being a criminal”
– Alison
“I started listening to cybersecurity podcasts on my drive to work [as a waitress] and reading books about cybersecurity and professionals in the field, and what types of jobs existed in the field and how to break into it.”
– Alison

Job Statistics

Education Level
Most of these occupations require a four-yearbachelor’s degree, but some do not. (53% have bachelor’s degree)

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Median Wage
$47.95 hourly, $99,730 annual

Projected Job Openings (2019-2029)

Daily Work Activities

Interacting With Computers

Getting Information

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards

Analyzing Data or Information

** Data and statistics sourced from O-Net Online.

Skills Required

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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