FortiGuard Labs, Fortinet's global threat intelligence and research organization. Fortinet

If you’re one of the millions of people who left their job or are looking for new jobs in the past two years and are still looking to start the next chapter in your career, you may want to consider investigating the cybersecurity industry.

One of the biggest reasons anyone should think about becoming a cybersecurity professional comes down to two words: job satisfaction. Over the last four years, individuals with cybersecurity occupations have consistently expressed high levels of job satisfaction. In fact, 77% of respondents in a (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study from 2021 indicated they are satisfied or extremely satisfied working in their cybersecurity positions.

What is the source of all this satisfaction? I believe it can be found in the basic fact that cybersecurity is primarily about protecting people, organizations, and their valuable digital lives and assets. And the roles of cyber defenders are only going to become more vital and valued as the world continues its digital acceleration and the corresponding escalation of threats.

Purposeful, Lucrative Roles

In addition to having a bit of a “crimefighter-doing-good-helping-the-world” purpose when you clock-in every day, cybersecurity workers tend to make “good money,” too. The (ISC) 2 study reports, “The average salary of a cybersecurity professional before taxes is U.S. $90,900—up from U.S. $83,000 among respondents in 2020.” Of course, the more experience you acquire and the more significant your tasks, the more you can count on being rewarded well with a steady paycheck.

Good paying jobs with the feel-good purpose of making the world—both online and off—safer and better aren’t easy to come by. And this industry is only going to grow. Demand for cybersecurity professionals has exceeded supply for several years now, and most industry insiders and analysts are forecasting that the trend is going to continue. In short, there is a certain amount of “job security” in a cybersecurity job. For the foreseeable future, there is going to be a strong demand for cybersecurity workers with skills and experience.

More women coming from outside of the IT world

Many of you may be thinking, “Wow, this is great for people who studied IT or cybersecurity in university or college, but I can’t/don’t want to go back to school and start over again.” No worries. The industry is aware of the skills gap and organizations are working hard to bring more people from various backgrounds to learn how to be a part of the teams combating the ever-increasing sophistication of cybercriminal attacks.

Also, if you think it is not possible to leap from an unrelated industry into cybersecurity, then think again. According to (ISC) 2 research, “More cybersecurity professionals are getting their start outside of IT—17% transitioned from unrelated career fields, 15% gained access through cybersecurity education and 15% explored cybersecurity concepts independently. Alternate points of entry are more common for women than men—only 38% of female participants started their careers in IT compared to 50% of male participants.”

How to begin your transition into a cybersecurity career

There are several starting places for individuals who want to get the training to take advantage of all the cybersecurity career opportunities that are available now and in the future. Organizations with resources and a focus on bringing more people into cybersecurity occupations, include:

  • Fortinet’s Training Institute. The Training Institute’s free training and resources are powered by Fortinet through the Training Advancement Agenda ( TAA ) initiatives and Training Institute’s many program – including the NSE Certification program, Education Outreach program which has a focus on veterans and the Academic Partner program – to help all, no matter the skillset level.
  • The World Economic Forum’s Cybersecurity Learning Hub. The hub provides cybersecurity skills training with free and career-focused modules that offer interested parties a pathway to in-demand cybersecurity jobs.
  • WiCys (women in cybersecurity). This organization unites “local communities of aspiring and thriving women cybersecurity professionals across the world to collaborate, share their knowledge, network, and mentor.” WiCys offer a variety of training programs that can be tailored to each member’s “unique goals.”

Answering the Call

Last Fall, leadership in the U.S. government called on both the private and public sectors to come together and collaborate on efforts to recruit more people to the cybersecurity industry and train them to defend against threat attackers worldwide. There is a universal understanding that building up the cyber defense workforce requires that candidates have barrier-free access to the training they require. The organizations listed above have answered the call and are looking for more talent to fill critical roles.

Whether you are a recent graduate, in mid-career, or looking to move from another profession, you can start your cybersecurity career now.

Learn more about the Fortinet free cybersecurity training initiative and Fortinet’s Training Institute, including the NSE Certification program, Academic Partner program, and Education Outreach program which includes a focus on Veterans.