Is There a Catch-22 in Cybersecurity Jobs?

Sue Marquette Poremba

For folks who are looking for a career in cybersecurity, this blog post by Jon Oltsik sounds promising.


Oltsik says, according to ESG Research, cybersecurity-related jobs should be plentiful in 2011, thanks to job growth.


He wrote:


  1. 58 percent of large mid-market (i.e., 500-1000 employees) and enterprise (i.e., 1000 employees or more) will increase spending on cyber security in 2011. This is up from 2010 (55 percent said they would increase cyber security spending) and 2009 (36 percent said they would increase cyber security spending).
  2. 27 percent of the organizations surveyed as part of ESG's 2011 IT Spending Intentions research indicated that "information security initiatives" are a top IT priority for the next 12-18 months.
  3. 35 percent of organizations plan on hiring IT security professionals in 2011.


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This is especially good news in a down economy, but Oltsik said there is a downside to this news:

Ironically (given the fact that unemployment still hovers around 10%), we will likely face a shortage of skilled cyber security professionals in 2011. This may already be happening. Leading cyber security institutions like Carnegie Mellon University, Purdue University, and Norwich University already report full placement for cyber security graduates and there is a plethora of unfilled federal cyber security jobs. Organizations located in small markets and rural areas also report difficulty in recruiting.

Now, I admit my opinion on this comes more from a personal observation stemming from job searches of college seniors in security majors and some interviews I've had with people who have recent cybersecurity degrees, but it seems like there are a lot of new graduates who are struggling to find jobs. The reason? They have the education but not the experience a lot of these jobs want. For example, I spoke with one woman who worked in IT for years, has a security clearance and received a graduate degree in cybersecurity last summer. She hasn't been able to find a job in her new field because she doesn't have the experience necessary.


From my observations, cybersecurity is a field that is still relatively new and very much evolving, but because of the urgency and the ever-evolving technology challenges, coupled with budget cuts that have slashed security budgets, it isn't a career that seems very open to entry-level positions. Perhaps the increasing need and the increasing recognition of how a well-staffed security department can benefit a company will change this.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Feb 23, 2011 3:26 PM Mahesh Mahesh  says:

Then when does the Entry-Level Candidates move? How will they cope up the market?

Aug 3, 2011 10:07 AM Asigurari Casco Asigurari Casco  says:

I think this kind of job has no risk. I cannot understand why you think this thing. The security of internet is very important.


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