Every once in a while, there is a career path available for qualified job seekers that is so red hot, so in-demand, that with the right resume and skill set applicants can darn near name their price and have a never-ending parade of potential employers drooling over them.
Right now that is the situation for cybersecurity professionals, who are being courted with more vigor than Tom Brady was as a free agent last year.
Cyberattacks are one of the biggest threats for the country and large corporations, and they know it. Friday was another sobering reminder, with Microsoft announcing that the same hackers who wreaked havoc in 2020 came back to hit 150 more government agencies and organizations around the globe.
That hack, along with the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack earlier in the month are eye-openers for companies who now know it’s time to make big investments in cybersecurity.
But according to a report on CNN Business, there’s a huge labor shortage in the cybersecurity agency, which means it’s all out war as some of the biggest corporations fight for top talent.
How bad is it? There’s been a void in talent for over a decade, but now the problem is magnified because of the daily threat companies face. In the U.S., there are roughly 879,000 cybersecurity pros currently working but a need for 359,000 more workers.
That is a huge talent gap, and it’s even bigger globally, as 3.12 cybersecurity jobs need to be filled right now.
The jobs that are open are wide-ranging, including entry level gigs for security analysts who monitor the network traffic of a computer system to hopefully weed out terrorists digging into a system, to top executive roles that report directly to a CEO or board of directors.
Now, here’s where things get dicey. Because of the great demand in the private sector, there’s concern that thousands of cybersecurity professionals currently working for the U.S. Government might leave to take higher paying jobs. That would put a huge strain on the country’s defense capabilities.
Mike Hamilton, the chief information security office at Critical Insight told CNN this.
“Think of the criticality of what your local government does: water purification, waste treatment, traffic management, communications for law enforcement, public safety, emergency management. But Amazon is out there waving around bags of cash to protect their retail operation.”
There’s a rush to train workers for this industry now, with a focus on preparing veterans leaving the military for some of the jobs that are open.
Most experts will agree that there is no quick fix solution to the problem.