The strong demand for cybersecurity workers is continuing even as big technology companies lay off thousands of employees. In its recent article, the leading US media CNBC indicates surprisingly high rates of the employment gap in the industry.

CNBC quotes a new research by the cybersecurity workforce analytics site CyberSeek, according to which there were 755,743 online job postings in cybersecurity as of December. The quoted research was created through a partnership of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, CompTIA, and labor market research firm Lightcast. That did represent a year-over-year decline in postings, from 769,736 in the 12-month period ending December 2021. But with a supply-demand ratio currently at 68 workers per 100 job openings, the nearly 530,000 additional cybersecurity workers needed in the U.S. went up year over year.

The researchers say the data reinforces a trend that has existed for years now and will persist: the shortage of cyber talent. If all those positions are filled, that’s a labor force positioned for huge growth. The total number of employed cybersecurity workers was estimated at 1.1 million, steady year over year.

Here are the top things to know about pursuing a career in cybersecurity.

 

How to ‘major’ in cybersecurity during college

When looking for a job, you’re guaranteed to be asked what major you studied in college. While cybersecurity is not a common major for colleges to offer, there are a large range of related majors that can make you a potential candidate for a job in this field. The most obvious comps are computer science, information technology, software development, and even business management.

“The more that you can find either courses or other educational opportunities while you’re in school, to learn both the fundamentals of IT and the fundamentals of cybersecurity, as well as some of the specific high-value, high-growth skills that employers are increasingly demanding, that’s going to best set you up for success when you enter the job market,” said Will Markow, vice president of applied research at Lightcast.

However, it’s not as much about a specific major studied as the skills which employers are attempting to identify.

The question that candidates need to be prepared to answer isn’t what they majored in, but, “What have you learned during your degree that prepares you for a career in cybersecurity?” Markow said.

 

Obtaining technical skills after college

Technical skills in information security theories, network administration, and IT is some of the primary knowledge that candidates need, while strong soft skills like communication and collaboration are additionally important. But whether you are a college student or a graduate already in the job market, there are plenty of other opportunities to gain the skills you need to enter this field, primarily through certifications.

Non-profit trade association CompTIA’s Security+ is the most in-demand entry-level credential for cybersecurity professionals, according to Markow. By receiving the Security+ certification, CompTIA states that professionals will acquire the skills to assess an environment’s security, monitor hybrid environments, respond to security events, and more. Other commonly requested certifications are EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker training and GIAC’s Security Essentials (GSEC) training.

“Cybersecurity is a heavily sophisticated field, and employers place a lot of weight on certain credentials,” Markow said.

 

If you are interested to learn more, you can read the whole article here.

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