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HAPPENINGS: The need for cybersecurity positions has increased

Janice Crose | Special to the News Bulletin

We have looked at jobs and careers that don't require a college education in order to make a good living. I thought we should look at some jobs that may require a certificate or an associate's degree that don't cost a fortune to obtain.

Cybersecurity is a career with many openings these days as more companies are realizing their need to safeguard their own information, as well as the personal information of their clients/customers.

From hackers outside the company to dishonest employees, information needs to be secure. Networks must also be protected from power surges and power outages as well as equipment malfunction. There are many areas in cybersecurity, therefore different specialties.

Cybersecurity positions pay from $90,000 up to $120,000 per year.

These positions require an analytical mind and an understanding of computer code, as well as in-depth knowledge of how computers function.

Many of these positions are taught in the military and carry across into businesses. A bachelor's degree is not required for many of these positions, however, sometimes a certificate and classroom training is required. Also required is an intimate knowledge of computer security.

One needed position is that of an ethical hacker. An ethical hacker, with the approval of management, finds vulnerabilities in a system, then notifies the IT manager and others on the management team. A fix to the vulnerability is then designed to halt it. Another hack is attempted in order to make sure the fix is secure.

Obviously, one would have to be very ethical for this position.

A security administrator is an entry level cybersecurity position that is in demand. This position requires the person to look at the entire system to make sure it is working correctly, not just focus on one aspect of cybersecurity.

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They will monitor the system to make sure there isn't any unusual activity, configure firewalls and other security and work with other specialists to keep the entire system running and free of viruses, hacks and other breaches. A certificate or associate's degree is generally preferred and the median salary in 2019 was $80,000.

Many cybersecurity positions require an IT certificate in order to be considered. They also require in-depth knowledge of encryptions, protocols, firewalls and so on.

The required certificate is obtainable online or at a local college. Northwest Florida State offers IT classes and certificates. For a management or director position, generally a four-year degree and experience would be required. A chief information security officer's position would require a bachelor's degree and 5 to 15 years of experience depending upon the company. The average salary for this position in 2019 was $184,900.

Many companies help pay for degrees, so look into that once you have a job you enjoy. This is a great way to earn a degree or certificate. There are many positions open in the Information Technology world.

Janice Lynn Crose

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.