When choosing your career path, research is one of the biggest things you will do. For example, wanting to know the pros and cons of each is essential to continue moving forward. Today, we will look into cyber security vs. data analytics. Which path is better?
While both have some wiggle room in technology and computers, one protects information held within digital devices, and the other observes information gathered and uses that information to make informed decisions on relevant matters.
This article discusses multiple differences between career paths, such as payment, job satisfaction, career outlook, and more. We encourage you to continue reading for more information.
What Is Cyber Security?
Cyber security, by definition, is the practice of protecting data, computers, mobile devices, servers, networks, and even entire electronic systems from any potential attacks. These can be as basic as alerting you to a possible phishing scam or as elaborate as actively defending you from a hacker trying to breach your computer’s defenses and damage your network.
A more intricate look at cyber security would be things you use every day, sometimes without even knowing it. For example, firewalls installed on your computer and other devices actively form a barrier preventing unwarranted access to your electronics.
What Is Data Analytics (Science)?
Data analytics (often known as data science), on the other hand, would be analyzing unedited data and utilizing it to make informed conclusions about its information. This process is done by two specific kinds of people: a data scientist and a data engineer.
1. Data Scientist
Data scientists are responsible for gathering relevant data and working with their team to examine further what information they’ve gathered. The data scientists finally articulate the information to whoever requested it, allowing them to make an informed decision on the data itself.
2. Data Engineer
On the other hand, a data engineer builds the architecture that gathers the information across all the systems that have been integrated into your business. They remove anything that doesn’t benefit the data pool itself and make it look clean for presentation to the scientists.
Difference Between Cyber Security & Data Analytics
Now that there is a better understanding of what each of these jobs does, we can further break down the more genuine differences between them for a clearer understanding of each and why they could make an excellent choice for you as a future career.
1. Job Security
As it happens, both cyber security and data analytics share relatively the same level of job security. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the current data science unemployment rate is 3.7%, while cybersecurity is 3.5%, meaning the former has a higher unemployment rate. Still, this amount is very menial, so you could rest comfortably picking either.
As the saying goes, money talks and that statement couldn’t be more true when dealing with these two tech-savvy jobs. Both cyber security and data analytics are booming fields, with those employed in data scientist fields usually averaging about $103,500 per year and cyber security jobs pulling a tad further ahead with a median average of $112,000 per year.
It is imperative to note, however, that these figures can vary quite significantly given a few essential factors, like overall experience in each field, where in the world you are attempting to get employed, as well as the standard offered by your potential employer, so the rates themselves can be subject to change.
3. Career Outlook
Attempting to see which branch of these tech fields is growing faster can be troublesome. However, the world of data science is just slightly outpacing that of cyber security.
Still, it’s worth noting that both fields are growing incredibly fast. In that case, you would be making a sound investment in your future regardless of which job you decided to aim for.
Data scientists benefit from having more utility due to ever-increasing amounts of data being created and discovered depending on what the information is regarding. In other news, those in the cyber security field can find comfort that unless we intend on slowing down the pace we are both developing and using technology, they will always have a job.
4. Job Satisfaction
No one wants to work a job where they aren’t content at the end of the day or feel their work had no beneficial effect on them. Thankfully, data analytics and cyber security have similar levels of job satisfaction.
The similar satisfaction levels across the board could be due to several factors. For example, data analytics is new as a viable industry to delve into, so having a smaller sample size of people combined with the buzz of it being new could cause it to have higher levels of satisfaction.
What You Need to Work in Cyber Security
Pursuing a career in cyber security calls for a very intricate understanding of programming and computer science and a mind to do those things for elongated amounts of time. Not only these but those with a knack for mathematics will have a much easier time deciphering the unique challenges you are required to overcome, with specialized algorithms being one of the focal points of the job.
However, like all high-demand jobs, the ability to articulate issues and questions in a way that makes sense to those not versed in the same areas will prove invaluable.
What You Need to Work in Data Analytics
On the other hand, data analytics will focus primarily on statistics and mathematics as the foundation of the job details. It adds additional requirements like expertise in the software that allows you to seamlessly handle the information you are gathering, like SPSS or Excel.
Those with a small background in programming will find their job even easier, but picking up another skill while in the field is never frowned upon.
Which Career Path Is Better?
The correct answer on which career path will be better boils down to your personal preference and your affinity for what each of the requirements for those jobs is unless you are purely picking off of financial security.
Studies by a company known as “Burning Glass Technologies” have calculated that the overall demand for data analysts will continue climbing just as steadily for data analysts as for cyber security professionals.
Data analysts have seen a 27% increase over the next ten years, while cyber security will experience an expected growth of roughly 32%. This means the safest option is cyber security.
These career paths will yield a bright and prosperous future, especially with technology continuing to expand and bleed further into our daily lives, both from a business perspective and personal. That said, it would be better to choose a path you have a passion for instead of purely chasing the raw money value, as you’ll experience more fulfillment and last longer in the industry.