Companies are finding it very difficult to hire qualified Cyber Security professionals.
Cyber Seek has completed a study that shows that there is a gap of at least 2.9 million cybersecurity jobs. The most job openings are in Northern Virginia. Northern Virginia is a hotbed for cyber jobs because of growing areas like Ashburn, VA. Ashburn is a technology hub that has more fiber optic cable than most places in the world. Ashburn is filled with technology companies’ non-descript data centers.
California is the 2nd state when it comes to the cyber jobs gap. Silicone Valley, Microsoft, and hundreds of other technology companies and startups drive the need for cyber experts in California.
Other states like Maryland, Texas, Florida, New York, N Carolina, and Illinois have over 13,000 open jobs each.
Why is it so hard to fill these jobs?
These jobs are tough to fill because many of them have strict requirements. Government contractors are a significant source of these jobs, and there are often contractual requirements for security clearances and certifications.
In the case that a position requires a security clearance (Like Secret, Top Secret, etc.), the qualified applicant pool is minimal. The clearance process takes a very long time – up to two years. Given this, it is 100% necessary to find someone who already has a clearance. Companies rarely get the option to hire someone without the needed security clearance and wait years for the clearance process to complete.
When the position requires a certification – and they almost always do – the applicant pool is also limited. IT certifications like CISSP require five years of on the job experience and also a killer exam that less than 50% pass the first time. Other certifications are also very challenging and require months and months of dedicated study.
Given this, many of these jobs cannot and will not be filled. Recruiters are actively seeking out prospects on LinkedIn and trying to woo cybersecurity talent with big money job offers and other promises. Six-Figure Salaries are the norm.
Scarcity will continue
The outlook does not look good for employers trying to fill these jobs. On the flip side of the coin, cybersecurity professionals have a plethora of choices. Employers know that they have to keep their cyber people happy because these folks can walk out the door and have a job at another company the next day.
Donald Korinchak is a Cybersecurity Professional in the Washington DC area. Donald holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business. Donald is considered a thought leader in business, leadership, and cybersecurity issues.