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IT Security Employment Rising Rapidly, Study Says

More than 51,000 security pros employed in Q4, up from 37.000 employed in Q1, study says

Unemployment might be a problem in other segments of the U.S. economy, but there isn’t any in the IT security space, according to data published Friday.

According to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on IT security professional employment conducted by Information Security Media Group, employment of security pros rose to more than 51,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from about 37,000 in the first quarter.

There was no joblessness in the IT security space in any of the four quarters of 2011, the study says.

“Information security professionals make up just over 1 percent of all IT professionals tracked by the BLS,” the study says. “In 2011, our analysis shows, the workforce of computer professionals reached 4,142,000, with 3,981,000 employed and 161,000 unemployed, resulting in an IT unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. By comparison, the unemployment rate for all occupations last year averaged 8.8 percent.

“Year-to-year employment comparisons cannot precisely be made, because BLS began using new occupation definitions in 2011. Until last year, the government did not have an information security analysts occupation category.

“Using previous years' occupation definitions, information technology employment in 2010 topped 3.9 million. Another 161,000 people who considered themselves IT professionals were unemployed. That meant the IT workforce in 2010 exceeded 4.12 million. IT unemployment in 2010 averaged 5.4 percent. Those figures suggest IT employment strengthened in the United States last year.”

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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