The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 1, 2013

Career Coach: Breaking into cybersecurity

WASHINGTON -- This region is a hotbed for cybersecurity jobs, ripe for talented individuals, with numerous openings listed each month.

A recent report by the Abell Foundation found that the number of cyber job openings in the Baltimore metropolitan area alone put it just behind Palo Alto, Calif., and San Francisco as a cybersecurity powerhouse.

The demand for cyber know-how is only likely to grow. The World Economic Forum placed cybersecurity as one of the top five global risks in 2012, and it has been ranked as a top concern in federal chief information officer surveys. This past year, the White House released an executive order on improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity.

So what would it take to meet that demand?

The Maryland Cyber Jobs Report listed qualifications for these positions, which spanned educational levels and experience. Of the open job requisitions that specified a level of education, the majority (76 percent) required a bachelor's degree, 17 percent required only a high school diploma, and just 4 percent required a master's degree or doctorate.

Thirty-three percent required experience in the range of 10 to 15 years. Some 83 percent of Maryland's cybersecurity jobs were full-time positions. Fifteen Maryland colleges and universities — more than in any other state — have been designated by the National Security Agency as centers of academic excellence in information assurance.

Sandor Boyson, a research professor at the Smith School of Business and an expert in the field of cybersecuirty, said organizations are looking for more than just technical skills: "There is an emerging need for cyber expertise than can be applied to business, policy, and international issues."

Dave Cassano, IBM managing director at Altria Group, agreed, saying clients are looking for skilled professionals to design and implement comprehensive information security that covers a wide range of business security priorities.

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