One of the most important homeland security careers, cryptography involves the development of protocols that enhance security and help to maintain secrecy within communications. It involves creating codes that protect your information from cyber attacks. In essence, it is the creation of cybersecurity protocols that use the encryption of data so that it remains secure as it passes along the intensely complex network within the worldwide web.
What Is a Cryptographer?
A cryptographer’s job is to create the complex codes that are used to protect databases and sensitive information from being accessed by unauthorized individuals or websites. The cryptographer is able to create security protocols like two-step authentication or digital codes that must be correctly applied before a person can gain access to a specific file or database. The secret codes or programs can be extremely simple or highly complex, depending on the needs of the person requesting the service.
Cryptographers provide valuable support by testing specific protocols for accuracy and reliability, as well as establishing tests that prove specific theories. A cryptographer can easily detect weak areas within cellphones, wireless networks, email, or social media programs. The protocols they create protect everything from ATM transactions, credit cards, cellular networks, and military networks. Cybersecurity is the name of the game when it comes to protecting confidential information used by banks, the government, and various businesses.
What Are Popular Cryptographer Jobs?
Cryptographer jobs can be found in almost any industry, including government jobs as well as the military:
- Ethical hackers
- IT security consultants
- Information security auditors
- Financial quantitative analysts
- Data scientists
These are just a few of the most popular jobs for cryptographers. If you want to work in the military, individuals who can effectively code and decode sensitive and confidential documents are always in high demand. Many people who start out analyzing codes, may learn the skills they need to create codes of their own allowing them to move up through the ranks within their industry.
How to Become a Cryptographer
Because of the analytical nature of cryptography, it’s essential to start with an education in mathematics and computer sciences. If cryptography interests you, look for a part-time job where you can learn and work at the same time. Hands-on experience will support your education and give you valuable tools and resources you will need to work your way up through the ranks after you earn your Bachelor’s or Masters’ degree. If you really want to get into the depths of the topic, choosing to obtain your doctorate in computer sciences will give you the boost you need to advance your career to the highest level
Cryptographer Job Outlook
The job outlook for individuals who are interested in becoming a cryptographer is very good. Professionals who specialize in cybersecurity will be in high demand as technology continues to move forward. With the right education and hands-on experience, a candidate who applies for a cryptographer position may be able to bypass the entry-level jobs and move into the intermediate level. Their ability to work within a highly structured and secure environment can provide them with a successful career if they remain dedicated to their goals and are willing to continue learning as technology advances.
How Much Do Cryptographers Make?
Cryptographers, on average, make approximately $55 per hour. If they have a doctorate in computer sciences and several years of experience working within the industry, their yearly salaries can exceed $120,000 to $180,000 per year. Individuals who work in positions that involve protecting highly confidential information will normally earn the higher salaries due to the fact that they must be extremely proficient at what they do. Individuals who have earned these positions have proven themselves through hard work and determination. When a person first enters the field of cryptography, much of what they do will be working with existing codes and analyzing systems to find better ways to keep them secure.
Becoming a cryptographer provides individuals who are interested in working with cybersecurity, encryption, and other super-secret information systems with the ability to create a very lucrative career for themselves. They have the option to work with the government, the military, or within any industry that utilizes confidential information in order to manage and operate their business. Cryptography takes many forms. Not only does the cryptographer learn how to create and decipher codes, they also are required to analyze massive amounts of data to identify strengths and weaknesses within the systems where the codes are used. The job outlook for individuals who choose to work as a cryptographer is very good with little chance of a decline.