Methods to discover a job within the one tech market that does not see layoffs

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Strong demand for cybersecurity guards continues, even as major tech companies lay off thousands of employees.

That’s not a huge surprise, as cybersecurity is seen as one of the more resilient areas for technology investment in a more cautious economic environment — though even it isn’t immune to the tech sector’s slowdown. But it’s an area for young professionals, students and workers seeking a career change to focus on as the tech workforce, from the largest companies to those backed by venture capital, is shrinking significantly for the first time in a decade startups.

In December, there were 755,743 cybersecurity jobs online, according to a new study by cybersecurity workforce analytics site CyberSeek, produced through a partnership of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, CompTIA, and employment research firm Lightcast. This represented a year-over-year decrease in deployments, from 769,736 in the 12 months ended December 2021. But with a supply-demand ratio currently at 68 workers per 100 open positions, the nearly 530,000 more cybersecurity workers needed in the US went , gone up year after year. The researchers say the data reinforces a trend that has been around for years and will continue: the shortage of cyber talent. When all of these positions are filled, that’s a workforce positioned for tremendous growth. The total number of cybersecurity workers employed was estimated at 1.1 million, consistent year over year.

Here are the top things you should know about a career in cybersecurity.

How to Major in Cybersecurity During College

When looking for a job, you will definitely be asked which course you studied. While cybersecurity is not a common college major, there is a wide range of related majors that can make you a potential candidate for a position in this field. The most obvious comps are computer science, information technology, software development, and even business management.

“All the more so you can find either courses or other educational opportunities during your school years to learn both the fundamentals of IT and cybersecurity fundamentals, as well as some of the specific high-value and high-growth skills that employers are increasingly demanding that will best set you up for success when entering the job market,” said Will Markow, vice president of applied research at Lightcast.

It’s not so much about a specific field of study, however, as it is about the skills that employers try to identify.

The question candidates need to be prepared to answer isn’t what they majored in, but rather, “What did you learn during your undergraduate degree that prepares you for a career in cybersecurity?” Markov said.

Acquisition of technical skills after school

Technical skills in information security theories, network administration and IT are among the key skills candidates need, while strong soft skills such as communication and collaboration are also important. But whether you’re a student or a graduate already in the job market, there are many other ways to gain the skills you need to get started in this field, primarily through certifications.

According to Markow, Security+ from the non-profit trade association CompTIA is the most sought-after entry qualification for cybersecurity professionals. By earning Security+ certification, CompTIA declares that professionals gain the skills to assess the security of an environment, monitor hybrid environments, respond to security events, and more. Other commonly requested certifications include EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker Training and GIAC’s Security Essentials (GSEC) Training.

“Cybersecurity is a highly developed field, and employers place a high value on certain credentials,” said Markov.

How to start looking for a job

Some of the most common entry-level positions are cybersecurity analyst, cybersecurity engineer specialist, and cybercrime analyst. These positions focus more on what is defined as reactive work, e.g. B. Learning about the types of threats organizations face and recognizing when threats need to be investigated and remediated.

As professionals advance in a cybersecurity career, the goal is to progressively take on more proactive work to help organizations develop secure digital infrastructures.

There are many opportunities for existing tech professionals to enter this space, with common launch pads, including other IT roles such as network administration, software development, systems engineering and even IT support; and by targeting the lower-level cyber positions.

“Because these roles often have lower barriers to entry than some of the more advanced positions in this field, and if you are able to pursue one of the certifications and earn one of these entry-level certifications from CompTIA or other vendors, then you will have the greatest opportunities to find an opportunity in one of those roles,” Markov said.

The approach of first entering through the broader IT job market can also work for career starters. “When you’re starting from scratch, it often makes sense to target a few of these positions that can serve as stepping stones to core cybersecurity roles,” Markov said.

Jobs often pay over $100,000

Cybersecurity jobs also pay well.

The average salary is between $100,000 and $120,000.

There will be differences in pay based on experience level as well as specific role.

“You probably won’t start at $110,000,” Markov said. “You can start anywhere in the $70,000 to $90,000 range depending on what part of the country you are in. But as you gain cybersecurity experience and progress in cybersecurity, the salaries just keep getting higher and more attractive.”

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