by Meghan Fuentes
posted 7/27/2016

In the age of Netflix “binge watching”, consumers have had their fair share of exposure to trending mystery dramas such as Criminal Minds, Sherlock, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.  The modern, ideal night now consists of escaping reality through hours upon hours of watching said shows.  In consequence to this immersion, consumers begin to feel an unavoidable emptiness and wonder why their lives cannot be as exciting as their favorite detective’s.  Realistically, it is not practical for many people to quit their day jobs to “fight crime.” 

 

THE HEROES OF THE INTERNET

Fortunately, there is an exciting and attainable career path that enables people to vanquish “villains” from their work desks: cybersecurity.  People in the cybersecurity industry are faced with ever-changing cyberattacks that can compromise private company and client information.  The differentiating qualities of cyberattacks require cybersecurity workers to be quick-witted and creative; consequentially, cybersecurity workers rarely find themselves bored at work.  Moreover, these “heroes” of the internet are often gainfully employed.  According to CSO Online, lead security software engineers earn an average annual salary of $233,333. Not only are cybersecurity workers relatively well-off, but also, their jobs are reasonably secure. As stated in the 2015 Burning Glass Technologies Cybersecurity Jobs Report, the demand for cybersecurity related positions is triple that of the demand for general IT positions.

THE DEMAND

Ironically, despite the numerous perks associated with working in the cybersecurity industry, employers still have extreme difficulty in filling these positions. Although a portion of the increasing demand for cybersecurity workers can be attributed to advancements in technology, other factors, such as education and certifications, are also at fault.  For example, the previously mentioned 2015 Burning Glass Technologies Cybersecurity Jobs Report claims that 84% of cybersecurity postings specify at least a bachelor’s degree.  Moreover, 83% of said postings also require at least three years of relevant experience.  Unfortunately, as costs of pursuing a higher education increase at an unseemly rate, attaining a bachelor’s degree may be unrealistic for many people.  In addition, the report clarifies typical advanced cybersecurity certification requirements such as CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor), and/or CISM (Certified Information Security Manager).   For example, people may be dissuaded from attaining a CISSP.  According to the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, it has several time-consuming requirements: candidates must have a minimum of 5 years cumulative paid full-time work experience, study for and pass the CISSP exam with at least 700 points out of the potential 1000, complete the endorsement process, and re-certify every three years through the submittal of a minimum of 40 continuing professional education credits each year. 

 

FINDING THE SUPPLY

In order to fill cybersecurity positions with qualified candidates, employers should better market their open positions to a motivated audience.  Although important to include certifications in a job description, employers should put less focus on the certifications and more focus on the daily tasks.  For instance, an employer in search of security consultants should highlight the freedoms associated with tackling security problems.  Not only are security consultants able to research areas of interest to them, but also they learn about new security methods at an accelerating rate. Moreover, employers in the cybersecurity industry should reach out to high-school students and undeclared college students.  Students and young adults are often fearful of investing in a degree that will not help them in the long run; therefore, they often open to pursuing cybersecurity when made aware of the daily tasks, job security, and monetary benefits.  Although alternative marketing tactics will not eliminate the needed education and certifications, it will draw more attention to the industry. 

 

FOR MORE TIPS

... on how to attract more qualified candidates to your open cybersecurity roles, please contact us here at TTI.  We will be more than happy to help you.