Where Can Programming Take You?

The growing cyber security field needs programmers.

Good programmers have lots of options in many different industries. One area that has a growing need for programmers is cyber security. While the ability to create clean, elegant code that is bug-free is always an advantage, if you also have security skills, your career path gets even broader. According to this article from Steve Morgan of CSO, the unemployment rate in the cyber security field was 0% in 2016 and industry experts estimate there will be 3.5 million open positions worldwide by 2021.

In a companion article, Bob Violino of CSO discusses what it takes to become a security software developer. Areas such as the cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and financial sectors all have a growing need for individuals with these skills. Obtaining industry certifications, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential, and being able to pass a company's security clearance are critical.

Supporting Web Links

Discussion Questions/Activities 
  1. This is a good opportunity to discuss the current state of affairs in the world of IT employment. Show students how to research career paths and how to obtain the various credentials that may be helpful to them.
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Each group should investigate a different career in the IT field. Several of the articles in the Supporting Web Links section may help them get started. Students may also want to reference the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Each group should put together a presentation to share with the class. They should detail the education and credentials needed for the position, discuss the career path for the chosen career, salary expectations, industries served, etc. 
  3. As an individual project, ask students to locate a recent news article regarding employment issues in the field of computer science. Students should write a brief synopsis of the article.

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