One of the most challenging aspects of discussing the field of information technology is how broad it is and how many different facets it encompasses. That’s why, in this blog series, we’re taking a closer look at each of the specializations offered through our Master of Science in Information Technology degree program — what they are and what the future of those career paths looks like.
The world of information security might not look quite like it was depicted in the cyberpunk movies of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but they were absolutely right that this field would be the frontlines of the new millennium. Information is the lifeblood of politics, commerce, education, and even in our day to day lives, and organizations of every size all over the world invest heavily in establishing and protecting the systems that harbor and store vital data. It’s why, just in the United States alone, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field of information security will experience much higher than average job growth — around 28% over the next several years.
One of the reasons for this growth and high demand is that the field itself changes and adapts constantly as new technologies — cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc. — are developed and integrated. This means that not only are there openings for analysts and engineers, but there is also a strong need for leadership and managerial candidates who can help forge new methods of using these capabilities for the benefit of their organization while also defending against adversarial attacks.
Even within cybersecurity itself, there are a variety of different specialties that factor into these information systems. It’s not as simple as detecting and fending off cyberattacks. It also encompasses aspects like:
- Business continuity and disaster recovery
- Risk, compliance, and auditing
- Software development
- Network monitoring, security administration, and event management
- Vulnerability assessment and consultation
- Threat intelligence analysis
- Cloud and mobile security
One of the biggest sectors for those who hold an MSIT degree in the future will be federal government positions. A recent report conducted by the Department of Homeland Security showed they have a much higher need for information security positions at the managerial level, and given how important cyber defense has become in the realm of international security, that is not too surprising.
So where is the field of cybersecurity and the focus of upper-level jobs in this industry headed in the foreseeable future? The Internet of Things (IoT) and general interconnected nature of our world and our tech means that information security professionals are going to need to have not only comprehensive knowledge of their field, but flexible critical thinking skills to adapt their approaches. Positions like Systems Architect, Security Architect, IT Research and Development Specialist, and Cybersecurity Consultant will all be key visionaries and leaders within their organizations to ensure that they stay protected on the new frontlines.
Learn more about the MSIT — Cybersecurity degree from Salem University here.