Severe Workforce Shortage Driving Cybersecurity Salaries Sky High

It’s Cybersecurity Month, and we’ve got some stunning figures for you. They come from, an International Data Group (IDG) company that provides news, analysis and research on a broad range of security and risk management topics.

In a well-researched article published by this summer, the cybersecurity job market is described as being “on fire.” A drastic shortage of cybersecurity experts is resulting in some head-spinning cybersecurity salaries.


Chew on These Stats

Here are just some of the impressive numbers coming from the article:

  • The top-paying cybersecurity job is a security software engineer, earning an average annual salary of $233,333, which is even higher than that of a CSO, or chief security officer ($225,000). Next in line for mouth-watering salaries are global information security director ($200,000); CISO, or chief information security officer ($192,500); and director of security ($178,333) [data from the job board Dice].
  • There will be a need for 6 million cybersecurity workers globally by 2019, which will result in a shortage of 1.5 million [data from Symantec].
  • 34.5 percent of security managers in the United States and the Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region report problems implementing security projects due to lack of staff expertise [data from 451 Research].
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks information security analyst as eighth in its list of the 100 best jobs for 2015.
  • The demand for information security professionals is expected to grow by 53 percent through 2018 [Stanford University analysis of numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics].
  • As proof that security matters, a full 75 percent of CSOs and CISOs will report directly to the CEO (rather than the CIO) by 2018 [data from IDC].


Solutions to the Shortage

Read the complete article for even more mind-boggling evidence that cybersecurity is truly off the hook these days as a career path. The article goes on to discuss some options that companies are exploring to cope with the shortage of skilled workers in this field:

  • Cross-training IT workers and converting them to security specialists
  • Automated security solutions that can then free up skilled professionals to focus on more critical issues
  • Efforts in the United States to get more college and university students into cybersecurity education and master’s degree programs – as part of this, parents would do well to promote the idea of an IT security career with their kids

Given the motivation by employers to address the shortage by cross-training IT workers, formal security training could prove a sound strategy. Check out the Certifications page here on the Cisco Learning Network to see where there is a fit for you in terms of the security and cybersecurity training and certification that Cisco provides.

Are you seeing a pressing demand for skilled cybersecurity workers in your organization? What solutions is your organization currently taking to address it? Have you recently made the commitment to the security job path? Let us hear from you in the Comments section.



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gary48a.jpgGary Pfitzer is a content manager at Learning@Cisco, focused on bringing various aspects of today's IT journey to light through business papers, blogging, customer success stories, and other writing.