If the global cybercrime forecast took the form of a weather report, it might go something like this: The extended outlook calls for continued online lawlessness, scattered malware attacks and an ongoing blizzard of data breaches.

After all, with experts predicting that the cybercrime epidemic will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021 as the shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals climbs to 3.5 million unfilled positions, the metaphor of dark skies is hardly an exaggeration.

On the brighter side, however — for skilled cybersecurity professionals or entry-level workers on the lookout for an opportunity — these same conditions have created something of a perfect storm on the employment horizon.

Experts describe the cybersecurity jobs landscape as “a seller’s market” with zero percent unemployment, as organizations offer high salaries amid fierce competition for top talent. “The commercial industries are stealing people out of the NSA and CIA like crazy because corporations are having such a problem with foreign espionage. The demand for people who understand these threats has skyrocketed,” Paul Smith, vice president at PEAK Technical Staffing told CSOonline.com. At the upper end of the salary spectrum, he noted, a highly skilled professional with the right experience can earn upwards of $400,000.

Entry-level salaries also run significantly higher than in many other industries, attracting new talent to the field as a growing number of industry certifications and advanced degree programs work to help develop the pipeline of talent at all levels.

But how do you position yourself to gain entry into this exciting, vitally important and fast-moving field? First, be aware that the bar for “entry level” is considered to be higher in cybersecurity than in other lines of work. However, opportunities are plentiful — so read on for a helpful collection of tips and strategies (Read more...)