As our world becomes more interconnected through technology with much of our lives being spent online—we pay our bills, send email newsletters to our customer mailing list, share photos with our friends from our recent vacation, check our bank account balance before making that big purchase—the need for security arises. We’ve all seen the impact of major cybersecurity breaches which have exposed personal and confidential data and cost companies trillions of dollars collectively in losses. The annual cost of cybercrime globally is expected to rise to a staggering $6 trillion by 2021. Cybersecurity is a global concern, but has repercussions that affect our personal lives. Our nation requires a well-trained and abundant pipeline of cybersecurity professionals to meet the security demands posed by the sheer amount of information being processed online. The trends don’t seem to be improving. By 2019, researchers predict there will be 1.5 million job openings globally in cybersecurity, with close to one million of the job openings in the United States. There are many innovative initiatives that are taking place across America to shine awareness on cybersecurity and are ultimately aimed at drawing more people into the field. As global digital citizens, it is imperative that we all play a role in securing our digital future. You can support these initiatives. Whether it’s with your tech savvy niece or a veteran you know who recently retired from service, cybersecurity should be added to the career conversation. Apart from reasons like being in a cutting-edge industry, job security, and helping to secure the digital interests of our nation, there’s no more compelling reason to consider cybersecurity as a career than the high earning potential.  According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for an Information Security Analyst is $96,040. One of the barriers to entry for many students and career changers is not knowing where to start. Cybersecurity is not a prototypical career like a lawyer or doctor, for example, where you know what the profession “looks” like: who are the employers, what is the work environment like, what type of education is required, etc.? Curious career seekers can start their journey by learning more about careers in cybersecurity including work categories and specialties within the field by checking out the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework at (under “Workforce Development”). The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), is a partnership of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, between the private sector, government, and academia, to promote cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development. Young people can also find their way into thinking about cybersecurity as a career early on through Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum in schools and through other extracurricular activities like a STEM club. STEM is a proven entry point into cybersecurity. It could be learning how to code an application, participating in a robotics competition, or Minecraft gaming.  Young people are acutely aware that hackers and criminals are lurking and that security is a major concern.