Cybersecurity to have 1.5 Million Employee Deficit by 2020 Even as Demand Grows

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A lot of people talk about the bad economy and the difficulty of finding work. As a result of the instability, many people seek pink slip loans as a short-term solution.

While layoffs and long spells of unemployment are nothing to be minimized, a lot of unemployment issues have less to do with perpetual bad economic weather and more to do with a constantly changing economy and our own inability to adapt.

This isn’t more apparent than with one of the biggest workforce paradoxes of our day and age: cybersecurity, a highly important industry in the information era, is projected to have a staggering worker shortage of 1.5 million within five years—even though the prospects for employment in protecting data have never been better.

Cybersecurity: The Hot Job of the Future, Today

As society, the economy, government, and nearly every facet of our life become increasingly dependent on the internet, it’s only natural for us want to make sure there are reliable walls of protection in place for our data.

When you make a transaction online, you do so with the understanding that your banking information is kept private. Google and Apple are creating self-driving cars and the military is building autonomous battle equipment—the last thing any sane person wants is these technologies falling prey to malicious hackers.

The need for cybersecurity can be seen in various real-world cases, from the China-based security breach of US government computers to the hacking of adultery website Ashley Madison, which resulted in the suicides of several publicly shamed individuals.

It’s no wonder then, that cybersecurity jobs are commanding top-dollar salaries. A security software engineer can make an average of $233,333 per year. In many cases, they’re making more than the Chief Security Officer they report to.

By 2020, it’s projected that the global need for cybersecurity professionals will rise to 6 million. However, the actual number of employees worldwide will fall short by about 1.5 million unless the current trend changes.

Already, companies are feeling the effects of this discrepancy. Security managers in North America are reporting inadequate staffing, which prevents the full implementation of planned security initiatives.

With so much demand, now is definitely a good time to take up work in cybersecurity. Companies are competing against each other to fill job openings by offering high salaries.

How to Bridge the Gap Between Supply and Demand

Finding enough cybersecurity specialists to meet current and future needs is a major imperative, not only for the benefit of the hiring companies, for for the well-being of all consumers.

It all starts with education. A number of colleges are offering cybersecurity degrees, and others would to well to follow suit.

However, education begins with awareness, and awareness should be promoted in high school, if not earlier. Many young people decide upon their majors before setting foot on a college campus. It’s important to reach out to students before high school graduation to create interest while they’re still considering career and college options.

Also, companies can offer training programs to professionals in IT who want to transfer into cybersecurity. This would help a lot of people who currently may be struggling to find a job.

These solutions require investment of time and money. But for the sake of meeting the 21st Century’s security needs, the return-on-investment is high.