Cybersecurity, Emerging Issues in Security, Policies and Training

Help Wanted: Cybersecurity Professionals Are in High Demand

Part of a broader month-long cybersecurity campaign, Oct. 17-22 is Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week. And it appears to be good timing, as a new study has found that employer demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to strain talent availability following a “record-setting” year for related job postings.

For the 12-month period ending in September 2022, employers listed 769,736 openings for cybersecurity positions or jobs requiring cybersecurity skills, according data from CyberSeek, the cybersecurity workforce analytics platform developed in partnership by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) at NIST, Lightcast, and CompTIA.

Employer demand for cybersecurity workers grew 2.4 times faster than the overall rate across the U.S. economy. Nine of the 10 top months for cybersecurity job postings in the past 10 years have occurred in 2022.

“The data should compel us to double-down on efforts to raise awareness of cybersecurity career opportunities to youth and adults, especially during Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week, which is an international campaign to inspire individuals to explore the variety of types of cybersecurity-related roles that are needed in both the public and private sectors,” said Rodney Petersen, director of NICE.

Despite a slight pullback in hiring activity in the most recent months from the record volumes of earlier this year, total cybersecurity job postings for Q3 2022 tracked 30% higher than the same period in 2021 and 68% higher than 2020. The supply-demand ratio held steady at 65, indicating approximately 65 cybersecurity workers in the labor market—the vast majority already employed—for every 100 cybersecurity job postings.

The new CyberSeek data shows that requirements for cybersecurity skills for specific occupations have increased dramatically in the last 12 months. The cybersecurity profession continues to expand into specialized fields, such as penetration tester and threat analyst. There is a similar expansion of cybersecurity skills requirements in adjacent positions such as auditor (+336%), software developer (+87%), cloud architect (+83%), and technical support engineer (+48%).

“The CyberSeek data reaffirms the critical importance of feeder roles and thinking more creatively about on-ramps and career pathways,” said Ron Culler, vice president cyber learning officer at CompTIA. “It is clear from the CyberSeek data that cybersecurity’s importance and impact reaches all levels of the tech workforce.”

ALSO READ: Addressing the Barriers to Closing the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

“Demand for cybersecurity talent has been accelerating for years, and employers are showing no signs of taking their foot off the gas,” said Will Markow, vice president of applied research at Lightcast. “That’s why it is more important than ever to build robust talent pipelines to ensure a safer digital world. We can’t accept leaving holes in our cybersecurity defenses simply because we don’t have enough trained workers to plug them.”

In addition to comprehensive data on the supply and demand of cybersecurity workers at the national, state, and metro levels, CyberSeek features an interactive career pathway that shows key jobs within cybersecurity, common transition opportunities between them, and detailed information about the salaries, credentials, and skillsets associated with each role. Visit www.cyberseek.org to learn more.