The rapidly increasing popularity of cloud computing, smartphone technology, big data, and the Internet of Things has made cybersecurity more important than ever. There are thus many opportunities for finding jobs in the field. That is the focus of this month’s article, which features an interview with Hewlett Packard Enterprise research engineer Massimo Felici, who co-authored the article “What’s New in the Economics of Cybersecurity” in IEEE Security & Privacy’s May/June 2016 issue. His research interests include supporting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) deployments, validating engineering methodologies and understanding technological complexities throughout development life cycles and in different application domains.
ComputingEdge: What careers in computer technology and cybersecurity will see the most growth in the next several years?
Felici: Among today’s main technological trends are cloud computing and containerization, big data and analytics, networking and virtualization, and the Internet of Things. These trends are transforming various industries and have cybersecurity as a key concern. There will thus be an increasing demand for skills—such as automating digital infrastructures, drawing insights from big data analytics, and managing edge points in hybrid ecosystems—that enable cybersecurity within emerging technologies.
ComputingEdge: What advice would you give college students to provide them with an advantage over the competition?
Felici: Industry forecasts say that organizations will need to use their limited resources to protect an increasing amount of data and deal with technological complexity. This will require problem-solving skills to develop innovative, well-grounded solutions addressing cybersecurity and other problems. Students will have to acquire skills combining foundational subjects (such as algorithms, data structures, probability theory), methodologies (such as machine learning and statistical analysis), engineering practices (such as testing and group work), and technologies (such as cloud computing platforms, programming languages, and analytical frameworks).
ComputingEdge: What advice would you give people changing careers midstream?
Felici: Many people already have at least some of the skills necessary to change careers to one in cybersecurity. The field of cybersecurity demands a wide range of capabilities, including some that can be transferred from experience in other industries such as economics, sociology, behavioral sciences, law, and human-computer interaction.
ComputingEdge: What do you consider to be the best strategies for professional networking?
Felici: Engage with professional communities to identify the kinds of problems that concern specific groups in your field. This helps you understand how your skills and expertise relate to professional environments and practices. Don’t be afraid to present your work and ideas to others. Any feedback helps you improve your work and position yourself within professional networks. Also, you should work collaboratively with others on projects, which helps you build professional relationships.
ComputingEdge: What should applicants keep in mind when applying for computer and cybersecurity jobs?
Felici: Developing a career in any industry or domain is a bumpy journey. Always be prepared to acquire new skills and never stop learning.
About Lori Cameron
ComputingEdge’s Lori Cameron interviewed Felici for this article. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute to a future ComputingEdge article on computing careers. Contact Felici at email@example.com.