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Cybersecurity Careers

For the last decade, cybersecurity expertise has been consistently in high demand and that demand is set to continue growing throughout the next 10 years.

As noted in Stott and May’s 2020 Cybersecurity in Focus report, 76% of employers feel there is a cybersecurity skills shortage, and the cybersecurity function itself is becoming a more prominent part of business investment, with more than half of organizations now treating cybersecurity as a strategic priority.

Labor and job posting database Burning Glass offers further insight into the growth of cybersecurity careers. In 2019 alone, there were 647,140 U.S. job postings requesting cybersecurity skills in both technical and non-technical areas, including cybersecurity strategy and assessment, advanced security analytics, intrusion detection, cloud security and security operations management. Over the next 10 years, Burning Glass projects demand for cybersecurity skills to grow 8.5%.

Many specific roles within the field are poised for even stronger growth. For example, demand for leadership roles such as chief information officer and director of IT is expected to increase 12%. Technical roles are also set to benefit from considerable growth, with demand for cybersecurity analysts set to grow 28.5% from 2020-2030.

Master’s in Cybersecurity Careers

The cybersecurity master’s programs at GW are designed to equip graduates with the skills that employers need. While there is some overlap in the types of careers graduates of this program can pursue, each program provides a unique skill set and perspective, providing guidance on how to approach those roles.

For example, the duties of information security officers can vary depending on an individual organization’s needs. In some organizations, these roles are geared more towards leading teams of engineers, conducting vulnerability assessments, identifying and responding directly to cyberthreats and making cybersecurity software decisions — this type of role is a great fit for our master’s in cybersecurity analytics graduates.

In other environments, this role is more focused on ensuring compliance, reporting to regulatory agencies and establishing short- and long-term plans for cybersecurity teams to execute. This type of work is well-suited for our master’s in cybersecurity policy & compliance graduates.

Cybersecurity Career Growth

The table below is a summary of cybersecurity careers which are compatible for graduates of both the cyber policy & compliance and cybersecurity analytics programs at GW. While it is not an exhaustive list, the list of occupational roles below offers insight into the types of careers for our graduates to pursue.

Essential responsibilities for each role may vary slightly or significantly depending on the organization, therefore take into consideration the type of work you want to do (e.g., some roles are more focused on planning long-term strategies, while others are focused on implementing solutions and responding to incidents).

Cybersecurity Job Title Projected Occupation Growth (2020-2030)
Information Security Analyst/Engineer 28.5%
Cybersecurity Analyst 28.5%
Cybersecurity Manager 28.5%
Chief Information Officer 12%
Internal Auditor 10%
Cybersecurity Consultant 8.8%
Compliance Officer 8.2%
Defense Intelligence Analyst 4.5%

Source: Burning Glass, August 2020