Many people might not realize that cyber security is a rapidly growing career field that has the potential to create millions of jobs in the near future. Cyber attacks and hacking have become a major concern for the entire nation, meaning that the need for skilled and trained professionals to protect against such attacks is now a necessity. The issue, again, is that many young people might not realize that this is a career path they can take, and if they do realize, they might not know exactly how to do it.

A career in cybersecurity is not only financially rewarding, but the work is also a benefit to all of society. As long as technology keeps changing and growing, attacks and hacking will also continue to increase.

So what can one do if he or she is considering cyber security as a career path?

The first thing you need to realize is that cybersecurity is not just computer science. To be prepared for a career in cybersecurity you will need a deep education in computer science and math. However, this field also requires a knowledge of how current computer systems work. This is best-handled by certification classes.

For this type of career path, you will be best off having at least a four-year college degree from an accredited university. Young folks who decide to study this field should focus on Information Technology (IT) certification and programming skills first. There are many more jobs available to IT professionals that are more easily accessible than cybersecurity jobs. So it will be beneficial to start out working in IT first, to gain some experience before focusing on cybersecurity. Those who work in cybersecurity need to be capable of everything a traditional IT worker is capable of, and more.

Once you gain some experience in IT and start to develop specialized interests, you can start focusing on cybersecurity. The best thing you can do is do your homework— research and read up on current issues and cases in cybersecurity. There are plenty of good online sites you can utilize to read up on what’s happening in today’s technical world. However, don’t just read technical information, delve into individual cases and learn about the business ramifications and how the actual breaches and attacks unfolded. This is advice that can be applied to any career field.

Keep in mind that somewhere in your branch of service are people who want you. Right now, there is a huge shortfall in cybersecurity warriors. It is important to make the effort to socialize— meet people and speak with those who can help you move up to the cybersecurity position you are looking for.