Today’s cryptographer is a master of a fairly rare skill: the use of coded communication. In history, code-talkers and creators of code were certainly skilled in their finite areas of expertise. Today however, the modern cryptographer is a refined culmination of this knowledge – a true master of code.
Such a relatively uncommon skill set is part of a relatively uncommon job market. Not to say that this is a bad career choice whatsoever, it is simply a field that sometimes requires more job search effort than most others. If you already are experienced, this is certainly less the case for you. So, what are some good job opportunities in this area of expertise? Let’s take a look at five, great jobs for cryptographers.
Professor of Cryptography
Every professor of cryptography is an important part of the future of the science. A successful teacher is needed here in order for students to fully grasp such a complicated subject. An experienced cryptography expert is just the right administrator of this important duty. To prove viability for the position an appropriate degree is first needed. Second, provable, master-level knowledge must be demonstrated. Schools teaching the science need one who is proficient in cryptographic protocols, digitization of cryptography, algorithms, and more.
Another cryptography position in the way of educating others lies within the job of the cryptography lecturer. This person is called on to travel to many different locations and venues in order to lecture groups on varying levels of the cryptography trade. Their services may be needed at an esteemed university one day, a law enforcement training program the next, and even a private cyber-security group on the following day. Wherever a group speaker is needed to represent cryptography expertise, the cryptography lecturer is the professional called on.
Security Software Developer
Computer science and cybersecurity majors are typically thought of as the prime candidates for software developer positions in cybersecurity. In some cases, this is true. However, in many cases, the candidate with a background in cryptography is just as valuable a choice for the suitor company.
The reason for this lies in the fact that at its core, cybersecurity is nothing more than code and its use as a lock and key mechanism in computers and electronics. Cybersecurity therefore focuses on the use of code and algorithm in the prevention of security breaches and hacks. This is an extremely secure industry to work in these days that needs cryptography knowledge and know-how at every turn.
Cryptography Project Head
Cryptography projects are usually temporary assignments that can last from several weeks to several years. The purposes of such projects vary greatly as do the facilitators and their backers. In some instances, special projects are sponsored by universities and other academic facilities. In other cases, private companies and organizations are the sponsors.
An example posting of current project needs can be seen at the website of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Here, we see example projects in the research and applications of cryptography. This is merely one example of the many venues in which cryptography projects and leaders of them are very much needed.
Crypto Experts generally work for private companies, government, and military venues. Here, in permanent position, the cryptography expert applies their skill and experience in whatever goals are on the employer’s agenda. A private company may specialize in the creation of new algorithms for intelligence agencies. A military crypto expert on the other hand may work to crack coded communications used by adversaries. The goals in such positions can change at any time and require a motivated expert in cryptography to keep up.
Although it is a less common industry, the cryptography field is certainly an exciting and rewarding one. These five cryptography positions are prime offerings for those already experienced in the science. For more detailed information on current events and career options relevant to today’s cryptographer, inquire with the International Association of Cryptological Research.