The cybersecurity job market remains tight, with more than 300,000 cybersecurity job openings in a recent 12-month period, according to the latest update to the Cyberseek job site. There were 301,873 cybersecurity job openings in the private and public sectors between April 2017 and March 2018. The total employed U.S. Cybersecurity workforce in the relevant 12 months was 768,096. From these statistics, it is evident there is a shortage of employees in this field.
Furthermore, from April 2017 through March 2018, there were 109,000 openings for Information Security Analysts, but only 105,000 workers currently employed in those positions. This creates an annual talent shortfall of 5,000 workers for one of cybersecurity’s largest job categories.
The ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) , a non-profit information security advocacy group, predicts there will be a global shortage of two million cyber security professionals by 2019. Every year in the U.S., 40,000 jobs for information security analysts go unfilled, and employers are struggling to fill 200,000 other cyber-security related roles, according to cyber security data tool CyberSeek.
Which states have the greatest demand?
At the state level, there are large numbers of job openings in cybersecurity as compiled by Cyber Seek. Here are the states with over 10,000 openings in the private sector as of 2018.
- California: 33,687
- Virginia: 31,988
- Texas: 19,984
- New York: 13,745
- Florida: 12,895
- Illinois: 12,555
- Georgia: 10,434
The figures in the public sector are considerably smaller. For example, California and Virginia are at 1,590 and 1,510, respectively.
Narrowing the job demand to metropolitan areas gives a different picture. Some of the cities with the greatest demand are not in the states listed above. Here are some examples (public & private sectors):
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria- District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland: 43,200
- New York City-Newark-Jersey City-NY, NJ: 19,993
- Denver, Colorado: 6,340
The greatest demand in California for the private sector is in Bakersfield with 8,148 job openings. Similar to the state statistics, the public sector has much smaller numbers. Examples: Boise-377; Bakersfield-385; New Orleans-901.
Jobs in Demand by Category
Some specialty jobs within the field of cybersecurity are more in demand than others. Here is a glimpse of the categories with the most openings (private and public sectors) as of 2018.
Operate & Maintain: Responsible for providing the support, administration, and maintenance necessary to ensure effective and efficient information technology system performance and security– 192,224.
Security Provision: Responsible for conceptualizing, designing, and building secure IT systems- 181,601.
Protect & Defend: Specialty areas involved in identifying, analyzing, and mitigating threats to internal IT systems or networks- 121,752.
Analyze: Responsible for review and evaluation of incoming cybersecurity information to determine its usefulness to intelligence- 119,392.
Oversee & Govern: Responsible for providing leadership, management, direction, or development and advocacy so the organization may conduct cybersecurity work- 87,038
Collect & Govern: Specialty areas involved in denial and deception operations and collection of cybersecurity information that may be used to develop intelligence- 48,314.
What Specialty Areas are in Demand?
In a 2016 survey of companies conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group, the report stated that 33% of organizations have a shortage of security analysis and investigations skills. Following this shortage was application security (32%), cloud computing security (22%), and security engineering (21%).
In 2016, a study conducted by Burning Glass Technologies reported the top skills needed in cybersecurity as Information Security (54%), Information Systems (26%), and Network Security (21%). Therefore, more than half of businesses see the demand for Information Security professionals.
However, the most-needed skills can vary widely, even when the job title is the same. While the general job market identifies information systems skills as the second most in demand, the second-most sought skill in the insurance industry is ITIL. Known as Information Technology Infrastructure, ITIL is a process that enables companies to set up IT services to best support the needs of the business. The insurer’s third and fourth most-requested skills are information systems and project management. Coming in fifth is risk management.
By contrast, the second-most sought-after skill at the bank is for technical support, followed by asset protection. Mainframe skills come in at number four, and customer service is number five. Of the top 12 skills used in cybersecurity job postings, the companies only had two in common: project management and information security skills.
This information is a guide for individuals aspiring to work in cybersecurity. Opportunity and jobs are plentiful- geographically and within all business sectors. However, there are different specialties and skills within the various types of organizations. The organizations where cybersecurity jobs are most in demand and growing are the Professional Services, Finance, Manufacturing, and Defense. The fastest increases in demand for cybersecurity workers are in industries managing increasing volumes of consumer data such as Finance (+137% over the last five years), Health Care (+121%), and Retail Trade (+89%).