It's a career that looks like it should have a solid future, but instead, IT security professionals see a mixed job outlook.
Skeptics point out that IT opportunities in general are being shipped overseas and an article by Sean Michael Kerner at Datamation confirms that security professionals also saw a struggling industry. In a survey by (ISC)2, Kerner wrote:
Approximately 5 percent of respondents to the (ISC)2 survey reported that they had been laid off in 2009. For those that lost jobs, trying to find new positions in IT security during 2009 was also a difficult proposition.
Just over 66 percent of respondents reported that the economic downturn resulted in fewer employee hires during 2009. More specifically, 41 percent said that there was a "significant" decrease in new hires while 25.3 percent said that new hiring "decreased somewhat."
However, there may be a light shining in the tunnel. Ann All pointed out that there are people hiring IT personnel, such as the Department of Defense. She wrote:
A Federal News Radio article cites statistics from the Partnership for Public Service, which estimates federal agencies will hire more than 11,500 employees in IT between 2010 and 2012. More than 16,400 federal technology workers will be eligible to retire by 2012. Joyce France, the DoD's director of Chief Information Officer Management Services, says about 33 percent of the 78,000 IT professionals in the military today will be eligible to retire within six years.
Add to that a report by Symantec that showed 75 percent of all enterprises were hit with cyber attacks in 2009, and it appears that job opportunities should be available for IT security pros. Even Kerner showed a little optimism:
The picture changes when looking at the outlook for 2010, with the majority of survey respondents (53.3 percent) noting that they were planning on hiring IT security professionals in 2010. That said the message is still somewhat mixed, however, as 47.5 percent reported that they expected no change in their information security budget for 2010.