cybersecurity analyst working on computer

Cybersecurity Needs YOU

It's a hot career path loaded with opportunities, but not enough job-ready workers. Discover how the CSU is already making a difference.


At the time this story is published—October 2019—more than 300,000 cybersecurity jobs are open across the U.S.  California alone has nearly 37,000 jobs to fill, the most of any state in the country and second only to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, home to many national security organizations.

That number of job openings is projected grow to more than one million soon, says Tony Coulson, Ph.D., executive director of the Cyber Security Center at California State University, San Bernardino, and a professor of information and decision sciences in The Jack H. Brown College at CSUSB. “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for this country, because across many sectors we do not have enough people. …Government, health care, financial and critical infrastructure and utilities are the biggest sectors of our economy that are under constant assault from mercenaries."

The urgent need for expertise virtually assures a good job for anyone entering the field now.  “The growth rate for information security analyst jobs is 32 percent—much faster than the average for all occupations," notes Ed Hudson, chief information security officer for the California State University. “California is at or near the top for the highest employment level and mean salary for these jobs. And these statistics don't take into account related fields like privacy policy, data governance and information security management."

"This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for this country. We don't have enough people to protect the biggest sectors of the economy, which are under constant assault by mercenaries."

— Dr. Tony Coulson, executive director of the Cyber Security Center at Cal State San Bernardino

If you do work in cybersecurity, don't expect to be hunching over a keyboard in a hoodie all night. “One thing I like to dispel is the notion that one has to be a hacker or extremely technically minded to work in cybersecurity," stresses Hudson. “Our field needs people who can analyze risk, write policy, educate others, manage projects, draft legislation and understand the growing field of privacy law and governance."

That means nearly endless possibilities for CSU students who choose to study cybersecurity. “The sky's the limit," agrees Keith Clement, Ph.D., professor of criminology in the College of Social Sciences at California State University, Fresno. “The role the CSU can play in California's cybersecurity education is magnificent. I don't know many career fields that have students commanding significant salaries upon graduation. And it is through this workforce development that we can really assist California and serve as an engine of economic growth."

Read on to learn how faculty at campuses across the CSU are preparing students to become the information safety experts we need.