Cybersecurity Professionals Are in Big Demand as Staffing Shortages Hit Critical Levels

Linda Musthaler
By | March 21, 2014

Posted in: Network Security Trends

In a previous blog post I talked about the upcoming National Cybersecurity Career Fair (NCCF) this June 18 and 19, 2014. NCCF is an innovative virtual meeting place for the top cybersecurity employers and entry to mid level cybersecurity jobseekers in the United States.

It turns out that this job fair is desperately needed by employers in practically every industry, but especially government, healthcare, financial services, retail/wholesale and manufacturing. According to a recent report from Burning Glass Technologies, current cybersecurity staffing shortages are estimated between 20,000 and 40,000 and are expected to continue for years to come. The demand for all levels of IT security professionals has grown more than 3.5 times faster than the demand for other IT jobs over the past five years, and more than 12 times faster than the demand for all other non-IT jobs. The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) confirms the severe shortage of skilled people in this field. ESG just completed a survey on 2014 IT spending intentions, and results show that 42% of responding organizations intend to increase headcount in information security—if they can find qualified people, that is.

People in this profession are paid well. A new survey by Semper Secure, a public-private partnership in Virginia formed to advance the cybersecurity profession, reports the average salary for U.S. security professionals to be $116,000, or approximately $55.77 per hour. That's nearly three times the national median income for full-time wage and salary workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While the pay in this profession is certainly good, it’s not the most important thing to cyber pros. In fact, earning a high salary and benefits is relatively low on the list of what people like about their jobs. What interests them most about the cybersecurity profession is having interesting, challenging work; doing important and meaningful work; working with some awesome technology; having good job security; and working in an industry that is constantly changing.

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