Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals at All-Time High

By School of Professional Advancement | Date Tuesday, Aug 21st, 2018


If you scroll through the latest news headlines, you’ll probably find a story about yet another company that is dealing with a major data breach. According to the nonprofit organization Statistica, more than 1,500 data breaches occurred in 2017, affecting a variety of businesses, the government, and the education, banking and healthcare industries.1 That’s almost 500 more cyberattacks than in 2016 and almost 800 more than in 2015.

Because data breaches increase each year, it’s no wonder the demand for cybersecurity professionals is at an all-time high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of cybersecurity jobs will increase 28 percent by 20261, creating tens of thousands of jobs for skilled analysts, managers and administrators.

Driving the Demand

If you’re looking for a job in cybersecurity, it shouldn’t be hard to find. There are more than one million cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., and 302,000 of them remain unfilled. Globally, that number is higher and is expected to significantly increase by 2021.2

While the demand for cybersecurity professionals is high, the supply is surprisingly low. In a recent study conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group and the Information Systems Security Association, researchers surveyed 343 organizations and discovered that 70 percent feel the shortage of cybersecurity skills has an impact on their organization. Below are some of the issues causing this impact, as noted in the study:

1) Organizations are understaffed.

Although more jobs are being created, there aren’t enough skilled, educated professionals who can fill them.

2) Employers are overworking their current staff.

Many employees juggle an ever-increasing workload and don’t have the time to keep up with the latest industry trends. This also means they are in danger of burning out faster than other employees.

3) Staff members lack advanced skills.

Because they’re overworked, many staffers don’t have time for professional development or continuing education.

The study found that 62 percent of organizations do not provide adequate training for their cybersecurity staff. However, almost all the respondents agreed that having relevant, up-to-date skills was a must for cybersecurity professionals.

The Necessary Skills

So what skills do you need to make it in the cybersecurity world? The following skills were identified in the study as the most lacking, and therefore the most coveted, by organizations:

  • Security analysis and investigations
  • Security for apps
  • Security for the cloud
  • Penetration testing

Risk and compliance administration, mobile computing security, network security and database security are also top skills that employers seek.

Cybersecurity Education

One of the best ways to strengthen your cybersecurity skills is through formal and advanced education, and many employers now require it. According to the BLS website, companies are increasingly looking for professionals who have an advanced degree, such as a cybersecurity master’s degree.

Credentials and certifications are also attractive to employers. Cyberseek, a tool that provides data on the field of cybersecurity, shows that prospects with the CompTIA Security+ and Certified Information Privacy Professional certifications are sought after. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional and the Certified Information Security Manager credentials also stand out on a resume. But if you expect to be the one who leads the team of certified and qualified employees, you need even more. An advanced degree and significant experience in the field are game-changers.

Because qualified professionals are rare, companies compete for employees. In the aforementioned survey, 49 percent of respondents said they are actively recruited for jobs every week. If you’re seeking advancement or a new career in this field, this is great news for you.

Through Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement, you can develop the cybersecurity skills that are highly prized by major companies across the U.S. We offer a Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management program that can be completed online, providing flexibility and ease of learning for working professionals. To learn more about earning a cybersecurity degree online, request more information through the contact form.

* https://www.statista.com/statistics/273572/number-of-data-breaches-in-the-united-states-by-business/

** https://bit.ly/2vV6VAp