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Over 301,000 Open Jobs in Cybersecurity

Open jobs in both the private and public sectors have increased to 301,873 over the 12-month period from April 2017 to March 2018, according to new data from CyberSeek, a free cybersecurity career and workforce resource.

According to CyberSeek, there were 109,000 openings for cybersecurity's largest role – information security analysts – but only 105,000 workers currently employed in those positions, reflecting an annual talent shortfall of 5,000 workers.

On 30 May, the Department of Commerce and Department of Homeland Security responded Executive Order 13800: Growing and Sustaining the Cybersecurity Workforce, with a report that called for improvements in the cybersecurity workforce. To that end, CompTIA and Burning Glass Technologies jointly developed CyberSeek, which is also supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), which is a part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The CyberSeek data found that "across all jobs, there were 6.5 employed workers per opening from April 2017 through March 2018. In cybersecurity, there are only 2.5 employed workers per opening." The largest job openings (194,224) are in the "operate and maintain" category, which includes roles related to the support, administration and maintenance of IT systems.

While employers struggle to find qualified candidates to fill a variety of cybersecurity-related jobs, open positions that require cloud security skills reportedly go unfilled for an average of 96 days, which is longer than positions for which any other IT skills are a prerequisite.

Part of the CyberSeek project includes a career pathway, which identifies 10 core cybersecurity roles – four of which advertise salaries over $100,000. In addition there are five "feeder" roles considered to be gateways into a cybersecurity career. Currently, the greatest demand within the core roles is for cybersecurity engineers.

“The cybersecurity talent shortage is widespread, impacting all 50 states,” said Matthew Sigelman, chief executive officer at Burning Glass Technologies, in a press release. “In every state, the employed cybersecurity workforce would have to grow by over 50 percent to align with the market average supply and demand ratio.”

In response to the new data, Tim Herbert, senior vice president for market intelligence, CompTIA, said, "There are a number of encouraging signs, such as a greater focus on the human element of cybersecurity. But even with this enhanced focus cybersecurity will likely to get worse before it gets better. That’s why it’s incumbent on us to close the gap between the supply and demand for trained and certified cybersecurity workers.”

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