One of my favorite weekend activities is watching sports. I confess that, unlike millions of other sports fans, I tune into ESPN regularly — but then I still find rotary phones cool. I enjoy the thrill of highly-trained athletes pushing their limits in pursuit of victory and leaving their all on the court, the field, the diamond, the ice, the track and anyplace else they compete.
Last Saturday I watched Sloane Stephens become the US Open women’s champion. It was exciting to watch the unranked Stephens play tenaciously and ultimately best 15th-ranked Madison Keys. As good as Stephens’ play was, however, it was her answer to what is likely 2017’s dumbest post-win interview question that really garnered attention.
A reporter asked Stephens, whose victory earned her $3.7 million (more than double her prior career earnings), if winning her first Grand Slam title gave her a “hunger” to do it again. Stephens’ response was refreshing and oh-so-common-sense-ical. “Of course, girl! Did you see that check that that lady handed me,” she said. “Like, yes! Man, if that doesn’t make you want to play tennis, I don’t know what will. Man. So, yes, definitely.”
Everyone in the room got a good laugh, but because obvious questions are the warp and woof of sports interviews, a second reporter followed up by asking if Stephens felt “bad” for her opponent. Raising her eyebrows, the champ declared, “Feel bad for her? She was in the finals too. What do you mean? Did you see the check she’s about to get? I’m sure she’ll be just fine.”
Stephens' athletic talents enabled her to win a great deal of money doing something she enjoys. Unfortunately, most people lack the kind of skills to earn that kind of money in an afternoon and find themselves in an interview filled with obvious questions. But there is one skill anyone can develop that will bring greater-than-average pay and career satisfaction. I’m talking about information technology (IT).
Skilled IT professionals are in demand, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. With the recent data breach of consumer financial reporting giant Equifax, and the possibility of our warships being hacked, the need for skilled cybersecurity pros continues to heat up. Industry experts say that there are currently 1.2 million more jobs than people to fill them. The gap is only going to grow — by 2021, industry experts predict the shortfall will increase by almost 200 percent to 3.5 million unfilled positions.
The shortage of skilled security professionals is also driving salaries to unprecedented heights. Starting network administrators can expect to earn between $41,000 and $79,000. Per job designation, other security pros are likely earn even more.
The best path to becoming an in-demand cybersecurity warrior is still via TestOut’s Security Pro certification. This course is also a twofer, preparing you to pass the TestOut Security Pro exams and the CompTIA SY0-401 exam. Over the past three years more than 8,000 individuals have become certified in Security Pro.
Your tennis skills may never win you a Grand Slam, but you’ll serve up an ace by starting your cybersecurity career with Security Pro.
About the Author — Calvin Harper is an associate editor for GoCertify and a veteran of the publishing industry. Calvin uses the rotary phone in the break room to make prank calls to government officials.