Interest in cyber security careers increases as hacks become more frequent

Posted at 3:44 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 18:53:48-04

A $10 buy at an area store led to hundreds of dollars in fraudulent charges for Alexander Carlisle when cons hacked credit card companies. And while it leads to feelings of frustration and even violation for most of us, for Carlisle, it means job security.

"The job as a security expert is to find those flaws that are made in the system," said Carlisle. "It's made by humans. We are prone to error just as we are prone to make errors in computer systems."

The computer science student hopes to stop hacks before they happen when he graduates from the University of Missouri-Kansas City next year.

"If we continue on the path where we have the internet of things - driverless cars - if we don't have security for these types of systems, then it could eventually not just impact your money or your health records, it could impact your life in general," he explained. "If you have a driverless car and someone decides to take it over remotely, then you crash it and you could be in a serious accident."

While UMKC doesn't have a degree dedicated to cyber security, it does offer classes tailored to the topic. And some schools are even adding degree programs to meet the demand.

"There's always people looking for ways to hack," said UMKC dean of computing and engineering Kevin Truman. "There's always people looking for ways to break the system down, so in the same vain, you need to have people capable of stopping that."

And it pays for those who can. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual wage for computer and information research scientists is $108,360 nearly triple that of the median annual wage for all other occupations, which sits at $35,540.



Terra Hall can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter:

Follow @TerraHall

Connect on Facebook: