Cybersecurity in Austin, Texas. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

5 Things To Know For Cybersecurity Job Seekers in Austin, Texas

Where to earn a degree and meet new people

– Kayla Matthews

Pittsburgh, Pa. — Jul. 14, 2019

Austin’s official motto is “Live Music Capital of the World,” and that makes sense, since it boasts more than 100 places to see bands and solo performers, whether for free or a ticket price. But, Austin is making a name for itself in cybersecurity, too.

Here are some things you should know if you’re thinking about moving to the area or have recently relocated to the area and want to get your bearings.

1. You Can Earn Your Cybersecurity Degree in the City

If you’re in the area and have your sights set on getting a formal cybersecurity education through a degree program, there are a couple of options:

The first option is part of the university’s computer science program and intended for people already pursuing undergraduate degrees. It’s a 12-hour educational option that does not make you graduate behind schedule. Rather, the concentration lets you take an increased number of cybersecurity-focused classes, preparing you to get ready a career in the field.

Ethical hacking and cryptography are two of the subjects you could study via an elective course after finishing the foundational courses of the program.

Then, there’s the cybersecurity specialization degree at Austin Community College. The coursework spans 60 to 62 credit hours over four semesters. Some of the course topics include operating system security and networking with TCP/IP.

2. You Could Go With a Short-Term Educational Option

Perhaps a full-time degree program won’t work for you, but you’re still interested in learning about cybersecurity in Austin. In that case, the University of Texas at Austin has a cybersecurity boot camp that lasts 24 weeks.

Alternatively, if you’re already working in IT and want to earn designation as a certified information systems security professional, there’s a six-day boot camp from Infosec for interested people.

More broadly, New Horizons Austin offers various short-term options in the cybersecurity portfolio. Like the Infosec course above, those are for people who already have IT backgrounds but want to get certified in things related to cybersecurity.

3. There’s an Enticing Conference Scene

Booking a ticket for a cybersecurity conference is an excellent way to grow your knowledge within a few days or less. You’ll get to network with peers, be challenged by the perspectives of experts and can browse the latest cybersecurity offerings from vendors.

Austin welcomed the InfoSec Southwest Conference 2019 in late March, so you’ve missed your chance to attend that gathering, but it’s worth staying updated about the dates for next year.

Fortunately, other 2019 options exist, including:

Note that the last conference mentioned has a broader focus besides cybersecurity, but includes many relevant events that could make it well worth attending.

4. The Job Market Has a Lot to Offer

Austin has ranked as one of the best-paying job markets for cybersecurity professionals, which is good news if you want a job that lets you enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and explore all the cultural opportunities that led the Austin Small Business Alliance to adopt the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan that earned widespread familiarity far beyond Texas.

Moreover, your cybersecurity job could help you realize you’re making a meaningful difference. Computer and Internet fraud represents a common white-collar crime in Texas, and your work in cybersecurity could help you positively and directly reduce those crimes.

Where might you work? JASK is a cybersecurity company that moved its headquarters to Austin and solely focused on the city after initially having a presence in Silicon Valley as well. It believes promising things are happening in Austin for cybersecurity and wants to be a part of them. Even better, you can look through numerous job opportunities at its website.

Alternatively, SailPoint Technologies, an identity management company, built its headquarters in Austin and allows you to filter job opportunities to see only the ones based in the city. There’s also Contigo Technology, an IT services company that began calling Austin home in 2009 and offers various kinds of assistance, including cybersecurity.

And, the opportunities don’t end there. You can get information from a dedicated website about Austin’s cybersecurity job market and the overall scene, called Built in ATX. It indicates more than 70 companies offer cybersecurity-related employment in Austin, with more than two dozen currently hiring.

5. Your Social Life Won’t Be Boring

Austin’s social scene also has above-average prospects for people interested in cybersecurity. More than 15 cybersecurity Meetup groups exist in Austin or within 25 miles of it.

Also, OWASP, a global group for those who want to learn more about software security, has an Austin chapter. There’s the Austin Security Alliance, too, with groups including the Austin Hackers Anonymous and Secure Austin among the members.

An Appealing City That Promotes Professional Development

This list shows you why any decision to move to Austin or get more involved in its cybersecurity scene will almost certainly pay off. The city provides chances for you to grow your career, plus plenty of ways to mingle with like-minded people.

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– Kayla Matthews is a technology journalist and cybersecurity writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. To read more from Kayla, visit her website.