ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Have you ever thought about a career in cybersecurity? There are nearly a half-million cybersecurity jobs available right now in the U.S. and our good friends at the Center for Internet Security in East Greenbush want you to know what you’re missing.

The average pay for a cybersecurity professional is $100,000 per year. The field has an astonishing 0% unemployment rate and you don’t need a background in computer science to qualify. In fact, organizations like CIS provide extensive on-the-job training.

Randy Rose, Senior Director of Cyber Threat Intelligence at CIS, came to the field with a background in anthropology. “You don’t have to be a computer science major. You don’t have to be a cybersecurity major. There is a job for you in cybersecurity,” he said. “Yes, the pay is great, but the training opportunities are fantastic.”

Not only is there that massive hiring gap, but there’s a significant gender gap as well. “Studies have shown that younger girls going into high school have a high interest in a STEM career,” Rose said. “Coming out of high school, that percentage drops off significantly.”

CIS is working to engage students locally through the U.S. Cyber Challenge, a national competition that identifies those with the skills and talent to become the next generation of cyber warriors. Prizes include grants, scholarships, and internships with the biggest names in the business.