Cyber ​​talents still in high demand

Demand for cyberworkers continues to rise, according to new data released Tuesday that puts the number of cyberspace job openings listed in the United States between October 2021 and last month at 769,736.

That’s according to Cyberseek, an analytics platform from the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Lightcast, and CompTIA.

This count is up from the last reported for May 2021 to April 2022, when there were 714,548 posts, according to a press release from CompTIA.

The number of cyber employees for the last 12-month period is over 1.1 million.

For the public sector in particular, 47,114 cyber jobs were listed and 72,599 workers employed.

“The data should compel us to redouble our efforts to educate young people and adults about career opportunities in cybersecurity,” Rodney Petersen, director of NICE, said in a statement.

According to CompTIA’s press release on the new data, nine of the top 10 months for online job postings over the past decade were in 2022.

That’s not the only updated picture of the cybersecurity jobs landscape to look out for this week.

(ISC)2, a non-profit cybermember association, is also expected to release its annual Cybersecurity Workforce Survey on Thursday, which will contain its own estimates of the global cybersecurity workforce.

The rise in demand for cybersecurity talent is “good” in its own way, despite the labor shortage, Clar Rosso, CEO of (ISC)2, told FCW.

“We need demand to grow because we need organizations to understand their cyber risks and want to do something about it,” she said.

Rosso also highlighted the impact of labor shortages that have been confirmed by his organization’s previous studies. The end result of understaffing: “We don’t have the basics down,” she said.

In last year’s study, participants cited poorly configured systems, limited time for risk assessments and more due to lack of staff.

Rosso’s prescription for the government in particular is to “stop trying to hire all the stars,” she said. “Hire newbies from different backgrounds, train them to do that job that you need to do and don’t get done and that frees up your more experienced professionals to do the job that requires more experience.”

Other takeaways from the new CyberSeek data are more cyber-specialized areas, as well as more cyber skills required in non-cyber-specific jobs like auditors and software developers.

Still, some experts say there’s still a long way to go to get good data on the federal and state cyber workforce.

A February 2022 report by the National Academy of Public Administration on the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s cyber workforce programs called for the creation of an Office of Cybersecurity Statistics to collect data on labor in addition to a list of other cybersecurity items. The Cyberspace Solarium Commission also issued a similar recommendation for a government office to focus on cyber data.

Currently, “we have a lot of data,” said Karen Evans, co-chair of the NAPA report, a longtime former government technology official.

But labor shortage estimates often vary from source to source depending on how they define work and what data sources they draw from, Evans said. And currently, efforts like CyberSeek cannot compel information like an official government office might.

Cyberseek, in particular, obtains its workforce by using artificial intelligence to analyze data such as job postings and career transitions, according to the tool’s website.

“Now let’s take it to the next level and have some data veracity,” Evans said. “What we need is an authoritative source.”

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