Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2031
What Do They Do?A cryptographer could...
Overview Listen to this sectionCryptographers, also called cryptologists and cryptanalysts, develop the encryption algorithms that keep our modern online transactions, like emails and credit card purchases, safe from prying eyes. Even if information or a message is stolen, as long as it is encrypted, the person who stole it cannot read it! Cryptographers also work to test and break these algorithms, to check them for weaknesses and vulnerabilities. They even analyze and decipher codes used by terrorists and foreign governments, to provide valuable information to the U.S. military and intelligence agencies.
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Cryptographer?
- Mathematics: ? Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Complex Problem Solving: ? Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Learning: ? Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Listening: ? Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Systems Analysis: ? Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Learning Strategies: ? Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks a Cryptographer might do:
- Make sure sensitive information is properly encrypted and only accessible to authorized parties
- Help ensure that online credit card transactions are secure
- Design an app that allows users to send each other encrypted text messages
- Study existing industry-standard encryption algorithms and probe them for weaknesses or try to crack them
- Use mathematical theories to design newer, more secure encryption algorithms
- Decode secret messages intercepted by military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies
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