As a consortium of universities in the St. Louis region focusing on cybersecurity, our group has never wavered in the belief that a career protecting important data has been, is now and will continue to be a very favorable one. It is a hot career, indeed.
The numbers bear that out. As of just a few months ago, there were nearly 600,000 open jobs in the industry nationally. A single company with that many employees would be the fifth largest in the nation led only by Walmart, Amazon, Allied Universal and FedEx!
Here in the greater St. Louis region, the numbers continue to be intriguing. According to Cyberseek there are an estimated 13,930 people working in cybersecurity in the region alone. And there are nearly 8,000 open positions, a total of 7,944.
According to a Cybersecurity Career Guide released last year, the average starting salary for a cybersecurity employee ranges from $89,000 to $98,000.
That career guide makes some very important points for those considering entering the field:
- Cybersecurity isn’t just coding and programing. It’s also imaging – designing, drafting and implementing cyber policies for business and government.
- The most important skills for success in a cyber job aren’t necessarily tech-related. Problem-solving, communications skills and teamwork are vastly important.
- Cybersecurity thrives on diversity. Teams comprised of people of different backgrounds, race and gender are important and becoming more commonplace.
It might sound heretical, but you don’t need a college education to be an active cybersecurity technician. High school graduates who earn cybersecurity certifications qualify for a range of entry-level positions, as do students who earn a two-year associate degree. However a college degree is the ticket to higher paying roles in cybersecurity. We hope talented students will look to one of our member universities to begin their journey in holding one of the following positions with a private or public organization, all of which have average salaries of $100,000:
- Software Developer
- Cybersecurity Analyst
- Penetration & Vulnerability Tester
- Systems Administrator
- Network Engineer
- Cybersecurity Consultant
- Cybersecurity Specialist
- Cybersecurity Manager
- Systems Engineer
The five members of our consortium offer a wide range of courses and programs designed to provide the education needed to become a top performer in the industry. We encourage anyone who believes they have the skills to make a difference to learn more about those programs.