Cybersecurity Career Opportunities Continue to Outpace Supply

Demand for cybersecurity talent continues to outpace supply despite growth in available education and training programs, according to new data from CyberSeek, the most comprehensive source of information on the U.S. cybersecurity workforce.

There are only enough workers to fill 85% of the cybersecurity jobs throughout the economy. Consequently, an estimated 225,200 more cybersecurity workers are needed to close talent gaps. Across the U.S. more than 1.2 million people are employed in cybersecurity occupations, a workforce which has steadily increased over the past several years.

“As competition for talent grows across sectors and from other in-demand occupations, we must develop alternative pathways to careers in cybersecurity that develops diverse talent in communities across America to provide opportunities good-paying jobs,” said Rodney Petersen, director of NICE. “The regional alliances and multistakeholder partnerships known as RAMPS Communities, established through cooperative agreements from NIST, will strengthen coordination and collaboration to meet employer workforce needs and bolster local and regional economies.”

Petersen shared the latest CyberSeek data today at the 15th Annual NICE Conference and Expo in Dallas, which appropriately aligned with the conference theme to “Strengthen Ecosystems: Align Stakeholders to Bridge the Cybersecurity Workforce Gap.” Thought leaders from education, government, industry, and non-profits meet each year to explore ways of developing a skilled cybersecurity workforce ready to meet the challenges of the future.

Key findings from the CyberSeek data revealed the pullback in tech hiring present during much of 2023 impacted cybersecurity jobs. Employer job postings for all tech occupations declined by 37% in the 12 months from May 2023 to April 2024. Cyber job postings decreased 29%, signaling that cybersecurity is less affected by hiring slowdowns than the IT sector overall.

Employer job postings for cybersecurity positions totaled 469,930 from May 2023 through April 2024. Positions in the highest demand included network engineers, systems administrators, cybersecurity engineers, cybersecurity analysts, security engineers, systems engineers, information systems security officers, network administrators, information security analysts and software engineers.

“Although demand for cybersecurity jobs is beginning to normalize to pre-pandemic levels, the longstanding cyber talent gap persists,” said Will Markow, vice president of applied research at Lightcast. “At the same time, new threats and technologies are causing cybersecurity skill requirements to evolve at a breakneck pace, forcing employers, educators, and individuals to proactively anticipate and prepare for an ever-changing cyber landscape.”

“Building a robust cybersecurity presence often requires changes in talent acquisition strategies and tactics,” said Hannah Johnson, senior vice president, tech talent programs, CompTIA. “That can include upskilling less experienced cybersecurity professionals for more advanced roles, or hiring people who demonstrate subject matter expertise via professional certifications or other credentials.”

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