Demand for cybersecurity workers continues to be strong, even as tech giants lay off thousands of employees.
This is no big surprise, as cybersecurity is seen as one of the more resilient areas of technology investment in a more cautious economic environment. But with the tech sector workforce shrinking for the first time in a decade, from large corporations to the venture-backed startup community, young professionals, college students and workers looking to switch careers are paying attention. This is an area that should be addressed.
A new study from cybersecurity workforce analysis site CyberSeek, created through a partnership between the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, CompTIA, and labor market research firm Lightcast, found that as of December, the There were 755,743 online job listings. Researchers say the data reinforces a trend that has existed for years and continues: a shortage of cyber talent. Once all of these positions are filled, it’s a workforce with huge potential for growth. The total number of cybersecurity workers employed was estimated at 1.1 million.
Here are some key things to know about pursuing a career in cybersecurity:
How to “major” in cybersecurity in college
When I am looking for a job, I am always asked what I majored in at university. Cybersecurity is not a common major offered by universities, but there are many related majors that could 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.
“You can find courses and other educational opportunities while in school to learn both IT fundamentals and cybersecurity fundamentals, as well as some of the specific high-value, high-growth skills employers have. It’s becoming more demanding, so when you enter the job market you’ll be best equipped to succeed,” said Will Markow, VP of Applied Research at Lightcast.
However, it’s not so much about a particular major as it is about the skills employers are trying to identify.
The question candidates should be prepared to answer is not what they majored in, but “What did you learn in your degree that prepared you for a career in cybersecurity?” Marco said.
Acquiring skills after graduating from university
Information security theory, network administration, and technical IT skills are some of the key knowledge candidates need, but strong soft skills such as communication and collaboration are even more important. But whether you’re a college student or a graduate, and even if you’re already in the job market, there are plenty of other opportunities to acquire the skills you need to enter the field, mostly through certifications. .
According to Markow, the non-profit trade association CompTIA’s Security+ is the most in-demand entry-level certification for cybersecurity professionals. CompTIA says the Security+ certification equips professionals with the skills to assess the security of their environments, monitor hybrid environments, respond to security events, and more. Other commonly requested certifications are EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker training and his GIAC’s Security Essentials (GSEC) training.
“Cybersecurity is a highly sophisticated field, and employers attach great importance to certain credentials,” said Markow.
How to start job hunting
Some of the most common entry-level positions include Cybersecurity Analyst, Cybersecurity Technician Specialist, and Cybercrime Analyst. Emphasis is placed on defining these positions as reactive work, such as learning about the types of threats facing an organization and identifying when threats should be investigated and remediated. I’m putting
As professionals progress in their cybersecurity careers, the goal is to gradually take on more aggressive work helping organizations design secure digital infrastructures.
With common starting points including other IT roles such as network administration, software development, systems engineering, and even IT support, there are many opportunities for existing technical professionals to transition into this area. By targeting low-level cyber positions.
“These roles often have lower barriers to entry than more advanced positions in the field, so target one of the certifications to get one of those entry-level certifications from CompTIA or another provider. If you can, you’re most likely to find opportunities in one of these roles,” Markow said.
The approach of entering first through the broader IT job market also works for new workforce entrants. “If you’re starting from scratch, it’s often helpful to target some of the positions that could serve as a springboard to core cybersecurity roles,” Markow said. .
Jobs often pay $100,000 or more
Cybersecurity jobs are also well paid.
The average salary is between $100,000 and $120,000.
Salaries vary based on experience level and specific role.
“You probably won’t start at $110,000,” Markow said. “You can start in the $70,000 to $90,000 range, depending on which part of the country you are in. But as you gain experience and progress in cybersecurity, salaries become progressively larger and more attractive. Become.”