Exploring careers in the world of IT is exciting. There’s a lot that’s changing, though the cybersecurity industry is only growing stronger. A master’s degree in cybersecurity is a worthwhile industry, particularly because there are countless jobs that remain open every year.

According to a recent article published by the New York Times, there are 3.5 million cybersecurity careers that are unfilled. This means that top cybersecurity companies are hiring but there aren’t enough qualified individuals out there.

More and more colleges are offering a degree in cybersecurity, making it easy for you to get the education you need. As for paying for that degree, it’s a relatively simple task when the salaries are higher than other careers in IT. A Chief Information Security Officer in San Francisco can earn an upper-end salary of $420,000.

A master’s degree is a prerequisite for the higher-paying cybersecurity careers. However, the added two years beyond a bachelor’s degree can ensure that your career choice remains in high demand.

Cybersecurity Experts are in High Demand

Companies of all sizes are searching for cybersecurity experts to ensure that their systems are secure. Often, the goal is to learn more about how hackers think and how they can expose vulnerabilities. Some of the top cybersecurity companies will employ teams of experts and technologists to protect data and prevent data loss.

As cybercrimes increase, businesses have to protect their physical and online assets. All it takes is one attack for a company to learn how costly a cyber-attack can be. Companies of all sizes have experienced revenue loss and a decline in customer trust after reporting that they were a victim of a cybercrime.

Capital One’s data breach is a perfect example of how even the largest companies can be vulnerable. Over 100 million customers’ data was hacked, exposing credit card application data, Social Security numbers, and more.

Cybercrime is on the Rise

The cybercrime industry is evolving because cybercrime is rising. It’s been estimated that cybercrimes could end up costing the world close to $6 trillion by the end of 2021.

It all begins with professional expertise. Those who know how to locate vulnerabilities and add layers of protection are in high demand. Companies will spend a lot of money to avoid a data breach, and it requires expertise in cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Skills are a Must

In the past, the cybersecurity industry would look for IT professionals who knew about such things as firewalls and malware. Now, it’s important for cybersecurity professionals to have even more skills. The goal is to prevent attacks before they have a chance to occur. Today’s cybersecurity experts are expected to build secure digital ecosystems, and many are to be built from the ground up.

There are a few skills that are highly sought after: application development security and cloud security. It’s been estimated that the demand for these skills will climb over the next five years by 164% and 115% respectively.

Cybercrimes are happening even more since COVID and the shift to work remotely. By understanding the demand for cybersecurity, it can lead to incredible job opportunities.