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Despite Slowing Economy, Demand for Cybersecurity Workers Remains Strong

New Cyberseek™ data shows US is short nearly 530,000 skilled cybersecurity staff.

BOSTON, Jan. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite recent high-profile tech industry layoffs, demand for cybersecurity professionals remains high, according to the latest data from CyberSeek™.

According to new data from the cybersecurity workforce analytics site developed in partnership by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education at NIST, CompTIA and Lightcast, the total number of employed cybersecurity workers held fairly steady in 2022 at around 1.1 million, while the number of online job postings edged down to 755,743 from 769,736 in the 12-month period ending in December 2022.

"Despite concerns about a slowing economy, demand for cybersecurity workers remains historically high. Companies know cybercrime won't pause for a market downturn, so employers can't afford to pause their cybersecurity hiring," said Lightcast Vice President of Applied Research-Talent Will Markow.

According to Lightcast data, each of the first nine months of 2022 set records for the highest monthly cybersecurity demand since 2012 but cooled in November and December.

A key indicator is the ratio of currently employed cybersecurity workers to new openings, which gives an indication of how big the worker shortfall is. The supply-demand ratio is currently 68 workers per 100 job openings, edging up from the previous period's ratio of 65 workers per 100 openings. Based on these numbers, we need nearly 530,000 more cybersecurity workers in the US in order to close current supply gaps.

Between 2021 and 2022, public sector cybersecurity demand grew 25 percent to 45,708 postings, while private sector demand grew at a rate of 21 percent to 710,035 job listings. Lightcast data shows an even larger disparity between growth rates when comparing the growth since 2019. In the past three years, private sector cybersecurity demand has grown 36 percent, while public sector demand grew 58 percent.

The Washington DC metro area alone accounted for 19 percent (8,686) of all public sector domestic cybersecurity demand in 2022. It's expected that the DC metro area will need 52,634 new cybersecurity workers to close current supply gaps.

"A useful feature of CyberSeek is the differentiation between public sector data for federal and state governments and private sector data that is further segmented by sectors of the economy," said Rodney Petersen, Director of the National Initiative of Cybersecurity Education (NICE). "The methodology for identifying job openings and the employed cybersecurity workforce in the public sector utilizes the NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity and is consistent with the requirements of the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act of 2015 that directs federal agencies to identify positions that require the performance of information technology, cybersecurity, or cyber-related functions."

"Each new disclosure of a data breach amplifies the critical need for more cybersecurity professionals," said Nancy Hammervik, Chief Solutions Officer at CompTIA. "The variety and volume of cybersecurity career opportunities available across the country are illustrated clearly and comprehensively on CyberSeek. Whether you are an experienced cyber pro interested in new challenges, or someone intent on starting a career in cybersecurity, CyberSeek provides detailed information about career pathways, salaries, credentials, and skill sets associated with specific job roles."

Details on the new CyberSeek data were presented and discussed this week at the NIST webinar "Providing Timely and Clear Data to Support Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Needs."