One of the lasting effects of the pandemic was the increase in demand for positions in the cybersecurity industry. This is a natural effect of more people using the technology to work remotely, as well as the security risks that come with it. But it is not the only factor.

Reasons for the Increase in Demand

As mentioned, the rise in people working remotely has increased the demand for cybersecurity, but there is also the fact that society relies more on cloud computing and big data than ever before, with this trend continuing to increase. That change has expanded the types of careers in the cybersecurity industry in addition to the overall demand for those careers.

Another factor is that baby boomers are retiring.

The Demand Has Been Increasing for Years

The pressing demand in the cybersecurity industry has not come without warning. Experts have noticed the trend since 2019. At that time, they predicted that 2021 would see 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings worldwide. According to the 2019 article, this prediction came from Cybersecurity Ventures in 2017. The same 2019 article outlined how the demand had been growing for years.

  • Demand in 2015

Even before that prediction, a 2015 Burning Glass Technologies report found that cybersecurity job postings were growing over three times as quickly as other IT careers. Compared to other jobs outside of IT, cybersecurity listings were increasing 12 times as fast.

To further show the demand for cybersecurity at the time, the same report found that cybersecurity jobs paid an average of 10% more than the other IT jobs.

  • Demand in 2018

Figures from CyberSeek showed that by the end of 2018, there were 26,000 job openings in the cybersecurity industry for analysts alone. At the time, those with minimal experience of just six months to a year would easily make $85,000. Those with at least five years of experience would make $150,000 or more.

  • Demand in 2019

By January 2019, CyberSeek reported that there were nearly 314,000 cybersecurity professional job listings. Given that the total number of cybersecurity industry jobs totaled 716,000 at the time, this was a significant amount.

Additionally, the same data showed that from 2015 to the beginning of 2019, unfilled cybersecurity jobs increased by over 50%.

  • Predictions for 2022

Based on the figures from 2019, the previous estimate of 3.5 unfilled positions by 2021 was updated to 1.8 million by 2022.

Roles With the Largest Demand

While all roles in the cybersecurity industry are in high demand, some face higher demand than others. Specifically, the shortages are greatest for highly skilled technical staff.

This trend dates back to 2010 when there were only around 1,000 security specialists capable of designing secure systems, writing safe computer codes, and creating the necessary cybersecurity tools. By comparison, the industry needed 10,000 to 30,000 people in the role.

This trend has continued, with CSIS reporting in 2016 that attack mitigation, secure software development, and intrusion detection were the hardest skills to find.

Then, in 2018, a survey in California found that one of the biggest challenges when hiring for cybersecurity roles was finding candidates with the appropriate technical skills.

What This Means for Candidates and Recruiters

This high demand is excellent news for candidates in the cybersecurity industry. It means that they are likely to find a role with a great salary, especially if they have advanced technical skills.

On the other side, it means that recruiters and companies must develop strategies for attracting top talent in cybersecurity, such as employee branding and generous compensation packages. Whichever side you are part of, make sure to be prepared for this trend.

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