Worms. Trojan Horses. Hackers and Clouds. What comes to mind when you hear these words? I’m not talking about what’s happening in the movies, but what’s happening in cyberspace- that area that connects all of us and our computers to the internet and each other.
Today, everything is related to Cyber. Everyone has a smart phone, we’re on Facebook or Reddit and Instagram or we are googling something on the internet every few minutes. We hear reports of banks, businesses and our government data sites being hacked. You might have even had your own computer account compromised. So I am sure you will agree when I say Cyber Security is important to all of us and it's a HOT JOB of the future.
“As we move forward, every sector of the economy and every type of job we can imagine is going to be touched by Cyber,” explains Sara Demeria, Cyber Security Analyst at General Electric in Richmond, Virginia. And what does she do? Sara uses technology to fight crime.
Cyber Security, the protection of our information via computers and the internet is one of the fastest growing industries in Virginia and around the world. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Cyber Security Analysts (also known as Information Security Analysts) will grow by 37% over the next 10 years. That’s a much faster growth rate than the average for all other occupations.
Watch this Science Matters video to learn what it means to be a Cyber Security Analyst and see if this job could be the right fit for you.
What is a Cyber Analyst?
Sara explains that “a Cyber Analyst’s job combines skills of both cyber security and a detective. My job is to protect the GE network from the people intruding on it or trying to steal it. But when these events do occur, I investigate them and find the perpetrators and reconstruct how they did it. Then I work to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
What does it take to be a Cyber Analyst?
“You don’t have to be a technologist. But you have to understand how Cyber is utilized by all different types of people whether it’s a business person or a criminal,” says Sara. “It’s about being curious and thinking critically and putting pieces together."
The computer industry considers this list of skills important to do this job:
- Do you like to analyze things and solve problems? Analytical and problem solving skills help Cyber Analysts study computer systems and networks to uncover flaws and fix them.
- Do you dig into the details? Cyberattacks are difficult to detect, so information analysts must pay careful attention and watch for any changes.
- Can you outwit your friends? Cyber Security Analysts try to outthink cyber criminals and invent new ways to protect their organization’s computer systems and networks.
- Do you “play” well with others? The ability to work well with a team is important.
- Are you creative and a flexible thinker? Being able to look at things from other perspectives is key to fighting cybercrime.
- Sara adds, “If you are interested in these details and you have a thirst for knowledge and being challenged by an ever changing environment, then you’d be a great fit for Cyber.”
Dig in to learn more:
- Industry Overview in Virginia
- Job Knowledge and Skills
- Current Job Opportunities in Virginia
- Salary Information
Educational Programs in Virginia:
- Middle & High School - Virginia Department of Education’s new “Infusion Units” on Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics
- College Programs - mySkills myFuture
Camps/Competitions and Other Programs in Virginia:
Not sure if you have the skills needed?
Let Virginia Wizard help you assess your skills and find the best career for you.
Interested in additional Computer and Information Technology Jobs?
US Bureau of Labor: Computer and Information Technology Jobs