Cyber Security and the Job Market


Nov 1, 2016

Nov 1, 2016


With the increase in threats and incidences of cyber-attacks, there is a more apparent need for stronger cyber security governance and infrastructure. This increased demand for cyber security services has also resulted in new job opportunities for experts in the field. According to a report conducted by Cisco, 2016 is expected to witness the creation of one million cyber security jobs globally, with an expected increase to 6 million by the year 2019[1].

Unfortunately, this growth has not translated well into the cyber security job sector. The industry, though lucrative, has been faced with disparities between jobs vacancies and skilled individuals seeking employment. According a study conducted by the Peninsula Press, in collaboration with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, despite the 74% increase in demands for cyber security professionals over the past five years, in the year 2015 more than 209,000cyber security jobs in America remained unfilled[2].

Why Does the Cyber Security Job Market Lack Employees?

Many factors contribute to discrepancies between job vacancies and the labor force of the cyber security industry. One of the largest influences is attributed to the deficit in skilled labor in the industry. Numerous cybersecurity positions require greater certification than other jobs in the technological sphere. According to a report published in 2015 by Burning Glass, “One third (35%) of cybersecurity jobs call for an industry certification, compared to 23% of IT jobs overall[3]” and “83% of cybersecurity employment listings require at least a bachelor’s degree with three years of experience[4]”. These prerequisites, though necessary in ensuring that top tier individuals fill these positions, create an environment wherein individuals seeking to enter the cyber security market are less able to do so.

In addition, cyber security coursework is not a staple in many undergraduate studies. With the evolving environment of cybersecurity, it is difficult to create sustainable coursework programs in higher educational institutions that evolve alongside the industry. Many higher educational institutions lack programs specifically tailored to cyber security, hindering individual’s abilities to garner interest at a bachelor’s level.

These issues coupled with the supplementary requirement of obtaining high level security clearance in order to qualify for government contracted cyber security positions, hinders the influx of trained professionals into the fold.

How to Improve the Employment Deficit in the Cyber Security Field

A strategic response to these issues, is to primarily impact the educational sphere. Investing in education ensures that individuals obtain the necessary skills to perform efficiently in the work force. Providing training sessions for individuals interested in various facets of cyber security.

Many in the field also suggest cross training IT workers, allowing them to double as security experts if they so choose.

How Wilson Consulting Group Can Help

Whether kicking off your professional career journey or changing career paths, Wilson Consulting Group (WCG) provides hands-on comprehensive cybersecurity training programs. Designed to equip individuals with the necessary skills and tools to strengthen professional development, WCG offers CISA, CISM, CGEIT and CRISC certifications. Individuals obtaining these certifications stand to become viable candidates for the following roles:

  • Information Security Analyst
  • Network Security Engineer
  • Incident Response Analyst
  • Intrusion Analyst
  • Application Security Tester





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