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The strong demand for cybersecurity professionals continues Even with major tech companies laying off thousands of employees.
This isn’t much of a surprise, since cybersecurity is seen as one of the more resilient areas for technology investment in a more cautious economic environment – although it is It is not immune to a slowdown in the technology sector. But it’s an area for young professionals, college students and working people looking to make career transitions to focus on as the tech sector’s workforce contracts significantly for the first time in a decade, from the largest corporations to a venture-backed startup community.
There were 755,743 online job postings in the cybersecurity field as of December, according to new research from cybersecurity workforce analytics site CyberSeek, created through a partnership between the National Cybersecurity Education Initiative, CompTIA and job market research firm Lightcast. This represents a year-over-year decrease in hiring, from 769,736 in the 12-month period ending December 2021. But with the demand-supply ratio currently at 68 workers for every 100 vacancies, nearly 530,000 additional workers have gone into the field. Cyber security in the United States. year after year.
Researchers say the data reinforces a trend that has been around for years and will continue: Lack of cyber talent. If all of these positions are filled, this is a workforce that is positioned for exponential growth. The total number of cybersecurity workers has been estimated at 1.1 million, steady year over year.
Here are the most important things to know about pursuing a career in cybersecurity.
How to “major” in cybersecurity during college
When looking for a job, you are guaranteed to be asked what major you studied in college. While cybersecurity is not a popular major for colleges to offer, there are a wide range of related majors that can make you a potential candidate for a job in this field. The most obvious businesses are computer science, information technology, software development, and even business administration.
“As you find more courses or other educational opportunities while you’re in school, to learn IT fundamentals and cybersecurity fundamentals, as well as some specific high-value, high-growth skills that employers enjoy,” said Will Marco, Vice President of Applied Research at Lightcast.
However, it is not so much about a specific specialty studied as about the skills that employers are trying to select.
The question candidates need to be prepared to answer is not what you majored in, but “what did you learn during your degree that prepares you for a career in cybersecurity?” Marco said.
Gain technical skills after college
Technical skills in information security theories, network management and information technology are some of the basic knowledge that candidates need, while strong skills such as communication and collaboration are additionally important. But whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student already in the job market, there is Plenty of other opportunities to gain the skills you need to enter this fieldprimarily through testimonials.
According to Marco, not-for-profit trade association CompTIA’s Security+ is the most sought-after entry-level credential for cybersecurity professionals. By obtaining the Security + certification, CompTIA It states that professionals will acquire the skills to assess environmental security, monitor hybrid environments, respond to security events, and more. Other commonly required certifications are: Certified Ethical Hacker by EC-Council training and GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) exercise.
“Cybersecurity is a very complex field, and employers place a lot of weight on certain credentials,” said Marco.
How to start looking for a job
Some of the most popular entry-level jobs include cyber security analysts, cyber security specialists, and cybercrime analysts. These positions focus more on what is defined as reactive work, for example, recognizing the types of threats organizations face, and deciding when to investigate and address threats.
As professionals advance in the cybersecurity profession, the goal is to take progressively more proactive work to help organizations design secure digital infrastructure.
There are many opportunities for existing technical professionals to move into this field, with common launch platforms including other IT roles such as network management, software development, systems engineering, and even IT support; And by targeting lower-level websites.
“Because these roles often have lower barriers to entry than some of the more advanced positions in the field, and if you are able to target a certification and earn one of our entry-level certifications from CompTIA or other providers, they have the greatest chance of finding an opportunity in one of these roles,” Marco said.
A first-in-first-out approach through the broader IT job market can work for new entrants to the workforce as well. “If you are starting completely from scratch, it is often helpful to target some of those jobs that can serve as launching pads for core cybersecurity roles,” said Marco.
Jobs often pay more than $100,000
Cyber security jobs pay well, too.
The average salary ranges from $100,000-$120,000.
There will be pay differences based on level of experience, as well as the specific role.
“You probably shouldn’t start at $110,000,” Marco said. “You might start somewhere in the $70,000-$90,000 range, depending on what part of the country you live in. But as you gain experience and advance in cybersecurity, salaries become progressively larger and more attractive.”
Where jobs are concentrated also varies from region to region, and by sector. The new research finds that demand for cybersecurity jobs in the public sector is growing 25% to 45,708 jobs in 2022, a faster rate of growth than the private sector, but still far fewer jobs overall than the private sector’s inclusion of 710,035. existing. Lightcast says the public sector job demand trend isn’t a one-year phenomenon, growing 58% over the past three years in total. Related to that, the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area accounted for 19% of all local public sector cybersecurity job listings.