Physical Security competes with other industries for talent, and there is (right now) a giant opportunity for the industry to be a career magnet for people at the forefront of technology and innovation. To be deeply involved in IoT, cyber-security, machine learning, and cool-as-could-be drone technology and robotics is a giant draw for the best new talent. And those are exactly the leading-edge needs facing the physical security industry.
The lure of any industry changes over time. When I first started engineering school there were a lot of cautionary tales still around in how young engineers who flocked to aerospace got a harsh surprise when that industry had downturns. In other words, be careful of going after the hot area, because it likely won’t stay that way. And the opposite is true; industries that thought their “glory days” were behind them might be surprised at how attractive today’s challenges are for new talent to help solve.
Examples are everywhere of how physical security technology is definitionally leading-edge. Camera devices are growing in processing power and capability in order to support fully integrated and on-board analytics for fast detection of incidents. Ambarella, a maker of advanced computer vision chips used in surveillance is also a key enabler of products like the GoPro cameras, self-driving cars, and broadcast infrastructure – in other words, really hot markets that now share common technology needs with physical security.
Cyber-security is another factor that is changing how physical security can be attractive to people starting their careers. The last few years have brought several new Masters programs in cyber-security, most of which have woven physical security into understanding cyber-security threats. As physical and cyber-security continue to become intertwined, so does the talent pool needed to support them.
Internships are a great way to see this in action. At Viakoo we’ve been very fortunate to have had meaningful contributions made by engineering interns from leading schools. What drew them to Viakoo was not the physical security industry per se, but the opportunity to apply machine learning, AI, and other advanced techniques to physical security problems.
With ISC West last month, feature areas like Connected Security and Unmanned Surveillance were good examples of how physical security represents the forefront of technology innovation. Not only were these parts of the exhibit floor quite busy, they also had a lot of serious attention from large organizations because the need to apply innovation in solving issues like automated camera firmware updating, cyber-hygiene, and advanced analytics.
If you know and can advise any budding data scientists, engineers, or scientists on what direction their path may take, then let them know what is going on right now in physical security. Not only will they find an industry filled with opportunity, they will also be part of a larger mission to make the world a safer and more secure place. The time has never been better for physical security to be seen as a crucible from which amazing new technologies will be forged.