Emerging digital technology means emerging job opportunities for cyber security pros


Every technology, from the wheel to artifical intelligence (AI), has introduced both opportunities and dangers. The wheel, for example, allowed humans to travel and to transport goods and equipment across distances. The wheel also allowed the Greeks to roll a giant Trojan horse into the city of Troy to launch a sneak attack with soldiers hidden inside.

Similarly, AI can be used to discover new drugs, accelerate enterprise decision-making, and enable self-driving cars. But AI also can be harnessed by bad actors to sabotage machines (such as vehicles) and network systems, or worse.

The bottom line is that every technology must be managed and secured to prevent its misuse. As digital technologies become even more complex and interconnected, they create an ever-proliferating number of entry points and vulnerabilities waiting to be exploited. Cybersecurity Ventures has predicted that cybercrime will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021, double the $3 trillion the research firm ballparked in 2015.

This in turn is driving growing demand for workers with cyber security skills, a demand that far exceeds the supply. In technology research firm ESG’s 2018-2019 global survey, 53% of respondents reported a “problematic shortage” of in-house cybersecurity skills, up from 42% three years ago.

“Problematic” isn’t the word for it if hackers blow a hole in your digital defenses or ransomware artists lock you out of your own network and demand payment in bitcoin. Data from cybersecurity company Coveware shows the average ransom during Q1 of this year was $12,762, nearly twice the average amount of $6,733 in Q4 2018. For smaller organizations, that’s a lot of money.

Emerging digital technologies have increased the types of cyber security jobs available, offering people opportunities to specialize and find niches that best suit them. Here are some cybersecurity job titles, many of which didn’t exist a few years ago:

  • Chief security officer
  • Chief information security officer
  • Cryptanalyst
  • Cryptographer
  • Data security strategist
  • Incident responder
  • Information assurance analyst
  • IT security manager
  • Malware analyst
  • Security analyst
  • Security architect
  • Security consultant
  • Security engineer
  • Security software developer
  • Security systems administrator
  • Vulnerability analyst/penetration tester

I’m sure I left some out, but the cyber security job titles listed above can easily be found on Indeed.com, Dice.com, Glassdoor, and other online job sites. Many of them pay six figures on average.

As long as there are people and technology, there will be people trying to use that technology for no good. Which means cyber security will never go out of style.


  1. Cryptanalyst & Cryptographer are emerging jobs? Those are among the *oldest* security jobs in the world, pre-dating modern computing by hundreds of years. 🙂

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