Finding the Cybersecurity Job You Want
By Lori Cameron

graphic hood man with security code lines in the backgroundRakesh Verma is a professor of computer science at the University of Houston and director of its ReDAS (Reasoning and Data Analytics for Security) Laboratory. His research interests are formal methods and data analytics applied to natural-language understanding and cybersecurity. Thus, he is very knowledgeable about security-related careers. We asked Verma several questions about career opportunities in this increasingly important field.

ComputingEdge: What careers in computing technology will see the most growth in the next several years, and why?

Verma: I believe that cybersecurity careers will probably see the most growth and will be particularly good choices for data science/data analytics students in computer science. The reason is that the amount of data is growing exponentially and there is no way for organizations to analyze it all manually for cyberthreats. Another area that shows high potential is digital criminal forensics because digital and Internet espionage and crime are on the upswing.

ComputingEdge: What would you tell college students to give them an advantage over the competition?

Verma: I would advise CS students to take data analytics—data mining, machine learning, natural language processing—and cybersecurity classes. I think these courses will make them stand out from the competition.

ComputingEdge: What advice would you give people changing careers midstream?

Verma: For those changing careers, my advice would be to get into cybersecurity. The more digital the society, the higher the demand for cybersecurity professionals. Besides digital and Internet espionage and crime, there could also be digital wars in the future between nation–states.

ComputingEdge: What should applicants keep in mind when applying for computer and cybersecurity jobs?

Verma: Applicants should remember that they must have good conceptual knowledge that is generalizable—since the computer field and cyberthreats are constantly evolving—as well as some solid practical skills so that they can hit the ground running.



About Lori Cameron

ComputingEdge’s Lori Cameron interviewed Verma for this article. Contact her at l.cameron@computer.org if you would like to contribute to a future ComputingEdge article on computing careers. Contact Verma at rmverma@cs.uh.edu.