If you are looking for a challenging technology-based major with excellent job opportunities after graduation, consider a career in cyber security. The internet age has brought endless convenience for both businesses and consumers alike. However, it has also brought vulnerability to costly data breaches which can paralyze and bankrupt successful organizations in very little time. “Cyber security has gone from a technology-based problem to the board room, not only because of the massive spending that companies deploy for prevention, but also because of the negative publicity that comes with cyber breaches, which can be crippling to a company’s reputation,” explained Mr. Joe Desalvo, chief security officer of The Blackstone Group and alumnus of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh.
Internships and jobs are available
With the need for constantly evolving computer-security skills far outpacing the number of skilled workers, job opportunities in this field are plentiful. It is important to be prepared for these opportunities by choosing a solid undergraduate computer science program that includes hands-on experience solving real world problems. Getting an internship with an organization that offers cybersecurity services to businesses is an excellent way to gain this kind of experience. Graduates from this program are highly sought after and extremely well paid. “Our successful graduates start earning over $70,000 USD per year as security operation center analysts,” commended Cristian Balan, lecturer and coordinator at the Center for Cybersecurity and Technology (CCT) – Hackerspace. “This starting salary is $25,000 over the average. The reason for this is a combination of the need for cybersecurity professionals and the fact that we teach the key skills needed for their first job!”
White hat hackers needed
If you like to tinker with electronic devices, figure out how your iPhone or Android device works, look for clues and find that “needle in a haystack” of information — and you don’t give up easily — cybersecurity might be a good field for you. White hat hackers try to find vulnerabilities in systems and then show others how to fix or patch them. They help by taking the mindset of a black hat (malicious) hacker and advise system administrators and security personnel how to prevent attacks.
You will study computer networks (how computers talk to each other), operating systems, and coding. In your more advanced classes, you will learn how to secure computer networks using firewalls and intrusion detection systems and how to develop cybersecurity policies in an organization. If you like both business and tech, then consider studying management information systems and complete the cybersecurity track. This will give you a grounding in both business and cybersecurity, and you will be able to develop your soft skills as well.
About the Center for Cybersecurity & Technology:
The Center for Cybersecurity and Technology (CCT) opened in 2017. CCT goes by the nickname “Hackerspace” and is a collaboration between the management, information systems and analytics (MISA) department and computer science department. This student-run center hosts cybersecurity projects and research, which offer students hands-on opportunities to practice skills learned in the classroom. Students enrolled in the cybersecurity track in MIS and the computer security majors serve as interns at the center.
About SUNY Plattsburgh:
SUNY Plattsburgh offers an outstanding education at an affordable cost, with scholarships awarded to all accepted international applicants. The campus is located in a small, vibrant, and friendly college town in northern New York state. Approximately 5,000 students are enrolled in one of our 60+ major fields of study. Our more than 325 international students represent over 60 countries and are very active in clubs and campus life.
Located on the shore of majestic Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh offers stunning natural beauty surrounded by the nearby Adirondack and Green mountain ranges. The city has been rated the second-best micro-city in the U.S., offering a budding arts and music scene, global cuisines at locally-owned restaurants, as well as an historic past dating back to the War of 1812.