As enterprise-wide technological transformation takes place across industries, the need to protect data breaches and make companies’ digital assets fully secure is becoming more crucial than ever.
Cyber security has become one of the most coveted tech positions today. The controversial GDPR regulations (General Data Protection Regulations) that the EU put into place in 2016 have further underlined the need for fortified cyber security in the context of individual and business privacy. Though is a massive widespread law like this the right way to go about it? That is another topic.
Cyber security job trends
The US cyber security job market growth is conservatively pegged at 37% per annum until 2022. Sixty percent of all tech certifications the world over are rooted in cyber security. Starter pay is at least $10,000 higher than the country’s median average, and the top line remuneration is breaching the $500,000 threshold.
Meanwhile, the demand-supply gap is widening. In 2018, about 500,000 vacancies remained unfilled in this domain in the US. This also increases the country’s vulnerability to cyber threats.
Need for niche segment jobs
Leading cyber security experts say that just as healthcare sector needs nurses, first responders, and higher-up professionals to create a sustainable system, so does the cyber security sector. There is a growing need for segmentation of job roles.
Just as EMTs alone would not make a good healthcare system; likewise, specialists-only outlook at cyber security is likely to cripple the system.
Some of the niche job segments such as cyber security engineers, architects, managers, and even consultants need to be addressed with the supply of the right talent. These are very lucrative job roles. Cyber security architects are paid an average salary of $133,000, with top line pay exceeding $200,000.
Need for gender equality and diversity
Experts say that cyber security was a male dominated domain for many years. The need of the hour is to quickly and efficiently fill the current vacancies with an aim to make the segment more inclusive, and bolster the cyber security workforce with more female workers and ethnic minorities.
Some analysts are of the view that the genesis of the problem lies in the education system. Students, especially young women and minorities should be given proper orientation about the gravity-defying growth prospects in cyber security.
On the other hand, academic curricula and certifications must be more hands-on in order to roll out industry-ready professionals. This will cool off the supply-side deficiency in the next five years or so, she said.
The analysts’ opinion also resonates in a report published by the US Department of Commerce and Homeland Security, which focused on federal cyber security. It notes that as the demand burgeons, employers were increasingly worried that education programs don’t focus on industry needs.
The report stresses the urgent need to fill cyber security vacancies, or else, the entire system will become lop-sided, thus endangering the already fragile security scenario.
This could make companies, individuals, financial markets, and federal agencies among others even more vulnerable to cyber crooks, scammers, deep fakers, and worse, terrorist elements. On the other hand, individual privacy could suffer even bigger setbacks.
The big picture
Amidst the current imbalanced cyber security manpower scenario, one thing is certain – jobs are here to stay in this domain. Cyber security will continue to remain a sunshine sector for decades to come. Certainly as long as America is forced to tell willing and skilled professionals they have to leave after obtaining their college degree via a flawed immigration system but this is also another topic.
This means more jobs for Americans but since America is not producing enough people in this domain the problem remains. Though this means higher salaries for those who do obtain the right skillset.