Tech layoffs don’t hit this digital job market short of 500,000 workers

Sakorn Sukkasem Sakorn | Istock | Getty Images

The high demand for cybersecurity workers continues even as major tech companies lay off thousands of employees.

That’s no big surprise, as cybersecurity is seen as one of the most resilient areas for tech investment in a more cautious economic environment, though it’s not immune to the slowdown in the tech sector. . But it’s an area that young professionals, students and workers looking to make career transitions can focus on as the tech sector’s workforce contracts significantly for the first time. in a decade, from the biggest corporations to the venture capital-backed startup community.

There were 755,743 online cybersecurity job openings in December, according to new research from cybersecurity workforce analytics site CyberSeek, created through a partnership between the National Initiative for cybersecurity education, CompTIA, and labor market research firm Lightcast. This represented a year-on-year decline in postings, of 769,736 in the 12 months to December 2021. But with a supply-to-demand ratio currently at 68 workers per 100 job postings, the approximately 530,000 additional cybersecurity workers needed in the United States have gone year on year.

The researchers say the data reinforces a trend that has existed for years and will persist: the shortage of cyber talent. If all of these positions are filled, this is a workforce positioned for huge growth. The total number of cybersecurity workers employed was estimated at 1.1 million, flat year-over-year.

Here are the top things to know about pursuing a career in cybersecurity.

How to major in cybersecurity in college

When looking for a job, you are guaranteed to be asked what major you studied in college. Although cybersecurity is not a common major for colleges, there is a wide range of related majors that can make you a potential candidate for a job in this field. The most obvious comps are computer science, information technology, software development, and even business management.

“The more you can find courses or other educational opportunities while you’re in school, to learn both computer science fundamentals and cybersecurity fundamentals, as well as some of the specific high-value skills and growth that employers are increasingly demanding is what will best set you up for success as you enter the workforce,” said Will Markow, Vice President of Applied Research at Lightcast.

However, it is not so much about a specific major studied as it is about the skills that employers are trying to identify.

The question candidates should be prepared to answer is not what they majored in, but, “What did you learn during your degree that prepares you for a career in cybersecurity?” said Markow.

Gain technical skills after college

Technical skills in information security theories, network administration and computer science are among the main knowledge candidates need, while strong soft skills such as communication and collaboration are also important. But whether you’re a student or a graduate already in the job market, there are plenty of other opportunities to learn the skills you need to enter this field, primarily through certifications.

According to Markow, the nonprofit trade association CompTIA’s Security+ is the most demanded entry-level credential for cybersecurity professionals. By receiving the Security+ certification, CompTIA says professionals will gain the skills necessary to assess the security of an environment, monitor hybrid environments, respond to security events and more. Other commonly requested certifications are EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker training and GIAC’s Security Essentials (GSEC) training.

“Cybersecurity is a very sophisticated field, and employers place a lot of emphasis on certain credentials,” Markow said.

How to start a job search

Some of the most common entry-level positions include cybersecurity analysts, cybersecurity technician specialists, and cybercrime analysts. These positions focus more on what is defined as reactive work, for example, learning the types of threats organizations face and identifying when threats need to be investigated and remediated.

As professionals progress through a career in cybersecurity, the goal is to gradually take on more proactive work in helping organizations design a secure digital infrastructure.

There are many opportunities for existing technology professionals to get started in this field, with common launch pads including other IT roles such as network administration, software development, systems engineering and even IT. IT support ; and targeting lower-level cyber positions.

“Since 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 one of the certifications and earn one of those certifications entry-level from CompTIA or other vendors, then you have the greatest chance of finding an opportunity in one of those roles,” Markow said.

The approach of entering the broader IT labor market first can also work for new entrants to the labor market. “If you’re starting from scratch, it’s often helpful to target some of these positions that can serve as launch pads into core cybersecurity roles,” Markow said.

Posts will often pay over $100,000

Cybersecurity jobs also pay well.

The average salary varies between $100,000 and $120,000.

There will be differences in pay based on level of experience, as well as the specific role.

“You probably won’t start at $110,000,” Markow said. “You could start somewhere between $70,000 and $90,000, depending on what part of the country you’re in. But as you gain experience and progress in cybersecurity, the salaries gradually become more important. and more attractive.

The concentration of jobs also varies from region to region and from sector to sector. The new research found that demand for public sector cybersecurity jobs increased by 25% to 45,708 offers in 2022, a faster growth rate than in the private sector, but still far fewer jobs in overall compared to 710,035 private sector announcements. Lightcast says the trend in public sector job demand is not a one-year phenomenon, growing 58% over the past three years in total. Similarly, the Washington, DC metro area accounted for 19% of all public sector job openings in national cybersecurity.

Walmart's continued investment in cybersecurity

Leave a Reply