New Survey Highlights Need for More Cyber Security Experts

By Catherine Groux
Posted October 23, 2012 11:00 AM

There is a growing need to cyber security professionals.
There is a growing need to cyber security professionals.
A new survey by the National Crime Security Alliance (NCSA) and McAfee shows that almost one in five Americans report they were victims of cyber crime, such as identify theft, bullying or auction fraud. Of those surveyed, one-third said they feel connecting to an unsecured wireless network makes them susceptible to cyber crime, while 22% said not having enough security software puts them at risk.

"The internet is an incredible resource for connecting with people but as we conduct more of our lives online, we must remain mindful that there are bad actors using it to track, harass or make unwanted contact, and these criminals are more resourceful than ever," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA.

As more Americans face cyber attacks, there will be an increasing need for cyber security experts to protect them. Roger Cressey, a senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, told National Defense magazine that as only about 9,000 students earn computer science bachelor's degrees each year, the number of cyber security professionals is very limited.

"It's pure supply and demand right now," Cressey said. "The demand has never been higher, [and] the supply is limited, so a lot of firms like us, we're recruiting against each other."

To launch a career in the fast-growing cyber security industry, students can earn a bachelor's degree in computer science or information systems. As cyber security is becoming an increasingly global issue, most computer science programs offer students individual courses on the subject, while other schools have cyber security certificate programs.

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