To meet global demand, the number of employees specializing in cybersecurity will need to increase by 145%.
According to experts at the global cybersecurity company ESET, the cybersecurity industry offers many opportunities for job seekers in this field. Could this be the right career choice for you? ESET experts provide useful information to find out for yourself if your career in this field concerns you and what it can offer you.
The numbers speak for themselves
According to the study Cybersecurity Workforce Study 2019 conducted by the Security Certification Agency (ISC) ², the vacancies for cyber security professionals worldwide exceeded 4 million last year, having increased from 2,9 million in 2018 and 1,8 million in 2017. In the United States alone, the labor shortage in this area amounted to almost 500.000 positions. To meet global demand, the number of employees specializing in cybersecurity will need to increase by 145%.
It is worth noting that some continents perform better than others. According to a study conducted by the ISC last year, the largest labor force shortages were in the Asia-Pacific region (64%), followed by Latin America (15%), North America (14%) and Europe. (7%).
Among other notable findings, two in three organizations said they lacked a cybersecurity workforce, and survey participants cited this shortcoming as their main concern. Unsurprisingly, half of them admitted that the organization they work for was at "moderate or extremely high risk due to a lack of cyber security personnel".
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic and its acceleration digital transformation and the new reality of working from home have increased the need for cyber security personnel even more. The attacks continued to increase in number and severity, pressure on current cybersecurity workers has increased, as has increased and demand for security solutions and services. In this context, the labor deficit is not going to shrink. On the contrary, demand will continue to outstrip supply.
Is a cybersecurity degree (or certification) worth it?
A frequently asked question is whether you can work in cybersecurity without a degree in a similar or similar field. We looked at the issue last year, when several ESET security researchers shared their own experiences and opinions their.
According to the (ISC) ασφαλείας, security professionals usually have a bachelor's or master's degree and many of them have studied computer science or computer science.
On the other hand, a percentage of 12% was hired in the field of computer security "only" with a high school diploma. However, this is not surprising: while more and more academic institutions worldwide are offering computer security degree programs, there are still a large number of academic institutions that have not yet started such programs. As a result, many experts in the field are self-taught and / or prepared for their careers through non-academic courses and certifications.
Having cybersecurity certification is becoming more and more useful and security professionals have on average four such "distinctions" to prove their knowledge, skills and abilities. This is also the reason why they receive higher salaries (US $ 71.000 on average per year) than their non-certified colleagues (US $ 55.000). The gap is even bigger in the US and Asia-Pacific.
Hence another his research (ISC) ² among security professionals found that competitive wages was not the main factor which determined their choice for that particular career. Several other factors - especially working in an environment where "their opinions are taken seriously" and where they can "protect people and their data" - have proved even more important. In the new study, 84% of respondents believe they are at the point where they were expected to be in their careers. Given the high levels of job satisfaction, things seem to be going well enough for security professionals.
The value of programs bug bounties
The Bug bounty programs, from which ethical hackers receive financial rewards for reporting security vulnerabilities on organizations' computer systems, has become an important way to increase interest in security, especially among young people. According to the Hacker 2020 report of the bug bounty platform HackerOne, up to 850 "white hats" are added to the community of 600.000 people every day.
The door is wide open
In conclusion, there is probably one more point to consider. His research (ISC)2 found that only 42% of the participants answered that their first job after completing their training was in the field of security. In other words, this field is extremely open to people who want to redefine themselves as security professionals.