It’s an exciting and dynamic time in the cyber-security job market. Demand for security talent is outstripping demand at all levels from CISOs to first-level security support roles. This is a field offering salaries that are typically 9% higher than other tech roles, and more than that, it offers outstanding job security.
As long as there are bad actors out there who are looking to disrupt systems and steal information, there will be work for a large field of good guys determined to protect corporate and consumer data.
The Definition of a Growth Industry.
According to an article in Forbes, the security market, currently valued at around $75 Billion is expected to grow to $170 Billion by 2020. This translates to job growth a rate of 18%, (much faster than the average). When labor markets get this tight, employers of all types have to scramble, improvise and adapt. This means that companies, institutions, government agencies, vendors and service providers have to invest in recruiting and retaining skilled security professionals, as well as dedicate more resources to training both current employees, and new hires from related fields.
For candidates, this means more opportunity to work on technology and projects they have not previously been exposed to, increased security-focused responsibilities and larger budgets for vendor training, industry certifications and degree programs. It also means being afforded the time to attend these trainings.
This environment of scarcity of skilled talent and increased resources means that entry into a security-focused role from another adjacent technology domain is easier than ever. Current employees will “get their shot” at responsibilities or positions they may not be 100% ready for (that word “qualified” is loaded, isn’t it!?). And external candidates may also get hired despite having steeper learning curves in a particular industry or field.
The Burning Glass Report from 2015 identified that four years of experience is required for two-thirds of cybersecurity job postings. In their survey, 83% of survey respondents had four or more years of experience, as illustrated below in Figure 6.
“It is also interesting to note, however, that the majority (60%) of our respondents has 10 years or less of experience, an indication that new talent continues to be attracted to the field. Both government and private industries are contributing to building the future workforce with awareness campaigns on the careers available and skills needed, as well as scholarships and opportunities to test for aptitude.”
If you’re already in tech, but not at a company that’s willing to invest in your transition to security, begin working on certifications on your own. Then, when you’re ready to look for a new position, you’ll be all the more appealing to potential employers. But remember, the smart companies are the ones who are looking for candidates with adjacent qualifications, they know the market is too tight to go shopping for perfection.
If you think you’re ready to make the transition into cyber-security, contact our recruiters to discuss your potential move into this secure, exciting and well-paying field.