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Businesses desperately need cybersecurity workers – over 700,000 positions need to be filled

BY Lake SydneyJune 30, 2022, 2:36 PM

Outside the Deloitte offices in Toronto, July 2019. (Brent Lewin—Bloomberg/Getty Images)

The need for cybersecurity professionals has grown rapidly, even faster than companies can hire, and this demand is expected to continue. The number of cybersecurity job vacancies worldwide increased by 350% between 2013 and 2021, from 1 million to 3.5 million, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. The industrial researcher also predicts that in five years the same number of jobs will still be open.

In the United States, there are about 1 million cybersecurity workers, but there were still about 715,000 jobs to be filled in November 2021, according to a report by Emsi Burning Glass (now Lightcast), a market research company. . If so many organizations are needed to fill positions in cybersecurity, then how far behind the companies and universities preparing future professionals to fill these positions?

There is no single answer to this question, says Will Markow, vice president of applied-talent research at Emsi Burning Glass. Fortune. On the contrary, a number of dynamics make it difficult to build a talent pool for cybersecurity jobs. One of the factors contributing to the talent shortage is that there aren’t enough professionals with the necessary credentials (whether it’s a master’s degree in cybersecurity or another certificate program). ) to get hired.

“Cybersecurity jobs are seeing the skill requirements change much faster than in many other fields,” says Markow, who specializes in cybersecurity job market research. “Cybersecurity jobs are, by nature, more likely to merge skill sets from disparate fields. If you think about it, every new technology now has a digital component, and every technology with a digital component must have a digital security component.

Why It’s Difficult To Fill Cybersecurity Jobs

As companies look to hire cybersecurity professionals en masse, the industry often requires workers to have certain qualifications or certifications in addition to education requirements, Markow says. An example is a CISSP certification, which is required for many high-level cybersecurity roles that are in high demand and have high salaries, topping around $120,000.

Conclusion: Even if you have an undergraduate or graduate degree in cybersecurity, computer science or an adjacent field, it may not be enough to land some jobs in the industry.

“Employers have been very slow to lower the degree requirements or education requirements for cybersecurity jobs, despite the hiring challenges they’re having,” Markow says. “We really haven’t seen any noticeable change in the share of cybersecurity openings available to workers who don’t have a bachelor’s degree or at least three to five years of previous work experience.”

Talent companies need

Some employers, however, are developing talent pools for cybersecurity roles. One employer in particular that hires many cybersecurity professionals is Deloitte; as of May 2021, the firm employed more than 22,000 cybersecurity workers globally under its Deloitte Cyber ​​business line. In fact, Deloitte was named the top company for hiring cybersecurity talent by Datamation.

Other top cybersecurity employers include PwC, EY, Booz Allen Hamilton and KPMG. Emsi Burning Glass research also shows that in recent months, financial services have requested more cybersecurity workers than professional services firms.

In line with global trends, the demand for cybersecurity talent at Deloitte continues to grow, said Deborah Golden, head of cyber and strategic risk at Deloitte in the United States. Fortune.

“Previously, the cybersecurity landscape was confined within four walls. Obviously, where we are today, that’s really not the case,” she says. “The pandemic has pushed change into a bit of hyper-speed, but we were already heading into digital transformation. Because of that, we’re becoming too diverse in terms of the kinds of skills we’re looking for, everything from cyber depth to domain expertise.

To help fill these high-demand positions, Deloitte Cyber ​​has developed an on-the-job training program that trains candidates in cybersecurity topics to fill jobs they would traditionally not be qualified for.

Candidates participate in boot camps and other professional training to prepare them for cybersecurity roles that would otherwise have had to be filled by a traditionally trained professional – someone who has studied cybersecurity or a field adjacent to undergraduate or graduate. Courses focus on topics such as software engineering, data science, and UI/UX development.

“Don’t worry if you don’t have all of the certifications or degrees or abilities that you believe were historically necessary for cyber,” advises Golden. “Given the current market situation, there is a need for more diversity of thought and, frankly, more and different types of skills and experiences to solve.”

Breaking into cybersecurity

Cybersecurity-focused undergraduate and graduate programs continue to be a popular route to enter the industry. But like Deloitte, other companies also offer in-house training for current employees looking to enter the cybersecurity workforce.

If you’re already in a technical role, but not specifically in cybersecurity, Markow suggests finding ways to incorporate cybersecurity into your current role. This could involve learning a new skill set through short-term training opportunities or boot camps.

Another way to get your feet wet is to prepare to take one of the entry-level cybersecurity certification tests, such as Security Plus.

“You’ll learn a lot about the field just by preparing for the exam,” he says. “And then if, and when, you get the title, you already have a title that’s requested and requested by many employers, which is just going to make it easier for you to find your first job and grab your career in advance. cybersecurity.

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