How to prepare for a career in cyberspace
We live in an information age. Those looking for an exciting and lucrative career path on the cutting edge of technology need look no further than a career in cyberspace. There are a variety of different possible career paths in this field, and those with relevant skills are in exceptionally high demand. As our reliance on computers, networks, and digital information increases, that demand is only going to increase along with it.
A career in cyberspace is centred on computers and networks, but this is a broad field with a variety of applications and job opportunities. These are a few of the top highlights.
Network systems administrator
These are the people who keep various computer networks running smoothly. They may also be responsible for helping to improve, create or expand an existing network. Every major business, company or organisation has some type of computer network. These networks are invaluable to the business, and without them, the company would probably cease to operate. As a result, this position is extremely important and valuable. This position involves working with computers at both the hardware and the software level, especially some programming, network architecture and design.
This is one of several sub-fields under the blanket of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity, as the name implies, involves protecting computers, networks and data from hacking and intrusion.
A cybersecurity engineer will be primarily a programmer who will design and implement security software, firewalls and virus detection for a computer or network. They will need to be familiar with modern cybersecurity threats and how to defeat them, including modern encryption methods.
Most major businesses and organizations employ their own cybersecurity experts to write programs and protections specifically for their business. The military and government also employ cybersecurity engineers and experts in the fight against cyberterrorism, hackers and threats to national security. In the present day, these threats are as real as a physical attack and could be just as devastating.
Computers and networks need programs if they are going to do anything, and that’s where software engineers come in. A software engineer is a person who writes most of the code for a program. Depending on the type and complexity of a program, they will work on a team with other engineers and designers to produce the finished product.
Most major businesses and organizations hire such engineers to produce applications specific to that business, so there are many different employment possibilities for software engineers. They may also choose to be entrepreneurs and start their own software companies.
Education paths and related skills
Most career options will require at least a degree in a computer-related field. Students have many educational options and can obtain information assurance degrees online. Since the field is broad and complex, most degree paths will specialise a student in a certain area of programming, networking or security, but all the career paths have many similar and overlapping computer skills.
There are various certifications and additions, such as Network+, a student will want to add to their portfolio. This will make them more marketable to employers. Obtaining these technical certifications usually involves passing a test.
Most employers will want a computer specialist to be fluent and certified in at least one programming language, and more is better. Different industries and businesses will employ different languages such as C++, Java, or Python, and they will only be interested in applicants who are skilled in these programming languages. Each such language has its own list of professional certifications, and most graduates with a BA or higher in a computer-related field will have the skills and knowledge necessary for certification in at least one major language.
Technology, especially as it relates to networks and cybersecurity, is advancing at a rapid pace. Graduates should be prepared to enter an ever-changing and evolving field that will demand they continue to advance and improve their skills. For many, this will offer a dynamic and exciting career that is always presenting new challenges and opportunities.
Do you have a career in cyberspace? What advice can you give? Tell us in the comments below.