With the increased sophistication of technology, cybersecurity threats to computer systems, infrastructures and other assets will continue to grow in impact, scale, scope and complexity, and employers everywhere are finding they are not ready to handle a cyberattack if it were to occur.
Recent surveys underscore the skills gap and workplace shortages in cybersecurity in the U.S. and around the world.
The 2015 Global Information Security Workforce Study, an international survey of nearly 14,000 information security professionals published by ISC2, estimates the shortfall in the global security workforce to reach 1.5 million by 2020. In addition, 86 percent of respondents to the ISACA’s 2015 Global Cybersecurity Status Report, which surveyed more than 3,400 ISACA members, identified a technical and operational skills gap, and 92 percent of respondents planning to hire more information security professionals said they expect to have difficulty finding skilled candidates.
That’s good news for the cybersecurity practitioners who are seeing an unprecedented demand for their skills and capabilities in implementing effective security for new and existing systems.
Protecting the information networks that support our financial markets, critical infrastructure, military systems as well as the systems that store intellectual property and private information of American businesses and individuals, has become a national priority. Fortunately for trained cybersecurity professionals, it means the job prospects are better than ever.
There are approximately half a million cybersecurity job openings in the U.S., and more than 209,000 go unfilled.
The number of qualified entrants into the IT security workforce has not kept pace with demand, leaving a significant gap in the number of qualified personnel adequately trained to protect computerized assets from attack. According to research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and analyzed by Peninsula Press, more than 209,000 computer security jobs went unfilled in 2015 out half a million openings. With an already scarce supply of trained specialists, employers across all industries are hard pressed to find candidates that meet the level of skill and technology needed to solve a variety complex computer security problems.
The average salary for cybersecurity jobs in 2015 was $90,120 versus $81,430 for all computer jobs.
Professionals who can meet this skills gap with both experience and a bachelor's degree will find better salaries in cybersecurity work compared to other IT jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security professionals in 2015 earned an additional $9,000 more annually on average than other computer-related occupations.
Written by Thomas Edison State University