Cyber security jobs are here to stay, and demand keeps growing. There’s now a gap of about 4 million cyber security jobs globally. That’s an increase of more than 1 million unfilled jobs from last year. In the U.S. market, the current cyber security workforce estimate is 804,700, and the shortage of skilled professionals is 498,480, indicating that 62% more cyber security professionals are needed to defend U.S. organizations better. Boil it down even further and Built In Austin claims there are 93 companies in Austin that focus on cybersecurity—32 of them are actively hiring right now.
The research comes from (ISC)² – the world’s largest nonprofit membership association of certified cybersecurity professionals, which conducts an annual workforce study. Among the findings, (ISC)² reports that:
- An overwhelming 65% of organizations report a shortage of cyber security staff. A lack of skilled/experienced cyber security personnel is the top concern among these respondents.
- Cyber security professionals love their jobs. Two-thirds (66%) report that they are satisfied in their cyber security jobs and 65% intend to work in cyber security for the rest of their careers.
- The role is quickly becoming part of the C-Suite. Most (62%) large organizations with more than 500 employees now have a chief information security officer (CISO); half of smaller organizations do as well.
- Training is a regular part of the job. Nearly 60% of cyber security professionals are currently pursuing a new security certification or plan to do so within the next year. Roughly half the organizations represented say their security training budgets will increase within the next year as well.
- Most cyber security jobs are filled by people who began their careers outside of tech security. Just 42% of respondents indicate that they started their careers in cyber security; meaning 58% moved into the field from other disciplines.
So if you’re considering breaking into a cyber security career, you might be on to something. Let’s take a look at the specific cyber security jobs that are trending and how you might be able to position yourself as a great candidate.
Top Cyber Security Jobs
What keeps demand on the rise for cyber security professionals is that all organizations—from small businesses, nonprofits, and government entities, to large enterprises alike—need someone looking out for them in that capacity. No business is safe from online security breaches.
For that reason, there are dozens of paths you can choose—from engineering solutions, to data analysis, to consulting and strategy, to data backup and recovery, and everything in between. CSO Online provides the following guidance to get you acquainted with career options:
- This year’s hottest IT security jobs and what they pay. Salaries for the most in-demand cyber security jobs range from $60,000 to $130,000+. These professionals are IT security architects, information security engineers, CISOs, consultants and more.
- Seven hot cyber security trends. This article is filled with insights on where cyber security trends are headed. It may give you some fresh ideas on what jobs and industries are most in need. Examples: Incidents of banking trojans spiked 77% in 2018, and, also in 2018, 60% of customer logins at airline sites and 90% at retail outlet sites were fraudulent, consisting of stolen data used in a hacking scheme called credential stuffing.
- Top cyber security certifications. Certifications are essential in many IT fields, and cyber security is no exception. We found this article helpful in pointing out the specific certifications employers value. Many require years of experience before a professional can even attempt it—including those with fun names the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) course and certification. Others—like ComTIA’s many offerings and the EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification—are more entry-level.
Considerations for Breaking into a Cyber Security Job
Remember that most current cyber security professionals didn’t start in the field. Until there’s a tipping point of young graduates being educated and entering into cyber security at the entry-level, the area is wide open for professionals looking for a career change.
It’s important to note, though, cyber security isn’t for everyone. It’s an ever-shifting field that requires continuous learning and adapting. Security threats, after all, are constantly evolving, so it only makes sense that cyber security professionals must always be on their toes.
If you’re already working at an organization you love but want to consider moving into a cyber security field, find out what opportunities may already exist right where you are. (ISC)² found that among organizations that recruit talent for cyber security jobs, 26% will source candidates from among their own staff and 24% consider career changers as top recruitment sources.
Also, keep an eye on education funding sources like the Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education (HACKED) Act, a federal program that could make cyber security training more accessible. Lawmakers just passed this bipartisan plan to enhance cyber security programs within several federal agencies, offer financial assistance to regional alliance or partnerships centered on cyber education, and strengthen partnerships between local employers and universities to address cyber security education and workforce needs.
Companies like Amazon also offer programs. Theirs specifically helps veterans train-up for cloud computing careers, including cybersecurity.
Whatever level you’re at in your cyber security career, let us know if you’re on the job hunt. We’d love to help you find your spot in an industry that will be growing and expanding for years to come.
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