Cryptography is a fascinating subject in both study and in practical application. It consists of many layers of complexity and intrigue that can challenge even the most clever of minds. By definition, cryptography is a branch of of knowledge that relates to the academic study of and real-world decryption of codes, ciphers and other types of language puzzles. Cryptography has a wide range of uses and applications and a career in the cryptographic arts can offer challenges that cannot be experienced in virtually any other career. Anyone interested in committing themselves to the study of cryptography should know a few basic facts about this intellectual pursuit.
Why Study Cryptography?
Cryptographers pursue their area of study for a wide variety of reasons. Some students may have a lifelong love of and fascination with the field of mathematics, both in research and in practice. Mathematics is an integral part of the field of cryptography and someone with a strong basis in mathematics can do well in such a capacity. Others who may have a passion for computers and complex technology can find an interest in cryptography. In general, this type of study is important to people with a love of knowledge, a love of challenges and a sense of pride in their intellectual achievements.
Training in the field of cryptography covers a wide range of subjects. Each one of these subjects is best learned in an individual, dedicated course or in a group of courses that provide hands-on, real world exercises in the different skills that successful cryptography entails. Encryption is one of the foundational areas of knowledge that must be thoroughly grasped as a requirement to understand cryptography. Encryption is the process by which communication messages are transformed into unreadable ciphers.
Cryptographic primitives are another important area of study. Primitives are dedicated mathematical formulas and equations that have been specially designed to be deployed when performing a great deal of decrypting at one time. This method of decryption was not widely used in the early days of cryptography but has gained a great deal of prominence with the advent of digital technology that is used for decryption.
Finding Cryptography Training
Given the nature of this field, it is understandable that a number of quality training programs exist online. Here are three of the best:
1. Black Hat (www.blackhat.com) is a leading provider of cryptography training resources. They hold security conferences that offer comprehensive skill training.
2. Cryptography-Tutorial.com is another useful training website that provides online study materials.
3. Kalliance.com specializes in IT tutorials that can benefit cryptography students.
There are many careers available in the field of cryptography and you should take care to select the one that fits your skills and career pursuits best. Following are three example of careers in this field.
1. Cryptographer — Approximate Salary: $60,000 – $125,000 per year
- Cryptographers can work for government security agencies or technology companies.
2. Information Security Analyst — Approximate Salary — $75,660 per year
- Information security analysts protect a company’s interests as their website is developed and built. They analyze and remain up to date on all aspects of the website as it is being constructed.
3. Incident Responder — Approximate Salary — $81,000 per year
- Incident responders can work for any company or business that has an Internet presence. They focus on security breaches, firewall compromise situations and phishing scams as they occur, applying on-the-fly solutions to problems.
Cryptography is an exciting and extremely challenging field for the person with the right skill set, education and interests. Research this exciting field and get started on your dream career.
About the Guest Author
Amelia Lockwood is a blogger and information technology expert who enjoys researching all of the careers she never embarked upon. More of her findings can be read at Cybersecurity Careers.