The demand for better cybersecurity has increased dramatically in the past decade or so. In fact, demand and salaries for qualified cybersecurity technicians have shot up following the high-profile hacks of Experian’s massive database and other large-scale information attacks in 2017. In the first half of that year alone, nearly two billion personal records were compromised. Companies, just like the customers they serve, need better ways to protect their data. That’s where you come in.
PTC’s Cyber Technician program is designed to set you up with all the tools you’ll need to take advantage of a booming security market. You’re learning how to set up and maintain networks and computers in the Cyber Tech program right now, and when you’re ready, you’ll find a high demand for those security skills you learned in class, too.
And it’s not only private companies that will need your help when you’ve developed your cybersecurity skills and passed your CompTIA certifications. Our government is looking for ways to make their data and the privacy of all citizens secure.
High Demand in the Government, Too
One of the controversies swirling around the infamous 2016 Presidential Election was voter fraud. There were accusations of voting records being hacked, votes being changed, people voting who weren’t eligible, etc. These very serious reports weren’t only limited to the national elections, either. Many states and voting districts around the country reported election fraud and insecure polling stations.
Since many states use computers to tally votes and record voter information, the protection of these digital systems is extremely important. With the possibility of foreign interference again a concern for 2020, technicians like you who can secure databases and protect sensitive information from being stolen or manipulated will be in even higher demand.
In fact, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), most famous for helping invent the Internet, GPS tracking, and other fun technologies we all take for granted, is working on a fix for the US’s voting systems.
Learning from DARPA
I wanted to focus on how DARPA is preparing to protect voters and voting machines because the Pentagon agency is one of the most famous cyber technician groups in the world, powered by some of the smartest and most talented cyber technicians on the planet. As a budding cyber tech, it makes sense to keep tabs on DARPA (as much as you can without stealing classified files—good luck hacking into their database).
DARPA is attempting to re-engineer US voting machines’ hardware, rather than try to create stronger security software. They’re essentially re-designing the computers’ chips and circuits, making many tricks that hackers use to break in impossible. Redesigning voting machines to protect against hackers is the kind of out-of-the-box work that DARPA is known for. You can take a lesson from DARPA and create innovative solutions to cybersecurity issues in your new career.
Work hard at Pickens and learn your craft well. There will be many opportunities for you as a skilled cybersecurity technician when you graduate.