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Many college graduates naturally worry about employment prospects upon graduation, and rightly so, given the generally soft employment figures of the last decade, particularly since the crash of ’08. If you are like the majority of graduating seniors who had to use loans to pay for your education, then thinking like a long term investor is important. Prospective students need to invest in an education that has the strongest likelihood of paying back in the years to come through greater employability and increased earnings. One field that is still growing rapidly and delivering high paying employment opportunities is the field of information technology, specifically the subfields of data science, cybersecurity, and cloud services.

Demand for experienced and educated data science and cybersecurity professionals is strong and safely trending higher. Cybersecurity Ventures have predicted that global spending on cybersecurity products will exceed $1 trillion cumulatively from 2017 to 2021. This will lead to a number of jobs created, its projected that there will be 1.5 million job openings by 2019.

Security is not going away. With the proliferation and monetization of big data, companies need security professionals to help them protect the data.Jason Hoffman, CSO of Marketo

Cybersecurity breaches are becoming commonplace in the headlines, with news from the infamous Hillary-hacking “Guccifer” Marcel Lazar, to the ‘Anonymous’ black hats of China, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere ostensibly responsible for major breaches of the Federal Government’s Office of Personnel Management, numerous international banks. Clearly, the explosion of data and the need to secure it are demanding more attention from society going forward.

IT executives among those surveyed reported that Cybersecurity, Data Science and Cloud computing are among the main sectors of IT driving investment. Of all the high-demand areas in the IT world, security and data jobs saw explosive 40% growth between 2014 and 2015, an increase of more than double from the previous year. More recently, in 2017 the  average growth rate for jobs in cyber of 28%, which is much higher than the average 7% of all occupations. Expectations for future expansion continue as companies plan to expand the headcount of these security and data roles in the coming years.

Securing the Future

With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the massive proliferation of data in general, businesses will need to employ data scientists capable of converting reams of this data into actionable business intelligence, as well as security and cloud experts to protect and store it. Companies that intend to last for the long haul are seeing the necessity of investing in these technology initiatives which in large part translates to an investment in the people doing the work.

Salaries have been steadily increasing over the last few years as companies, forced by inadequate supply of skilled workers, are reduced to poaching employees from each other. In this type of growth environment, those with the requisite security and/or data management skills will be able to command the most competitive salaries. This great for skilled tech workers who have the leverage to negotiate salary and maintain options for mobility, two major factors that also contribute to the overall high job satisfaction rates reported among security and data pros. This demand for skilled IT professionals is a strong sign of significant sector growth to come, as over the next decade and more this expansion will need to be populated with educated and well-trained professionals.

These are exciting times, as those with advanced degrees and training in these growing IT fields, will in many respects be able to punch their own ticket over the next decade as they experience the benefit of a seller’s market for their much needed and currently far too uncommon skills. Click here to start your career in cybersecurity and invest in your future.

Author: Jeffrey Sabranek