The lack of certified cybersecurity professionals is felt throughout the world, and the industry would need to more than double the number of staff to meet the market’s needs, according to a study by (ISC)². As it stands, the supply of qualified labor only meets around 40% of demand.
The sector currently employees 2.8 million qualified professionals but needs to boost that number by 145% by adding at least 4.07 million more, the 2019 Cybersecurity Workforce Study indicates.
65% of organizations report shortages in qualified cybersecurity staff, and the shortage is a primary concern for 36% of respondents to the survey. A lack of resources to effectively perform their job was cause for concern for 27% of cybersecurity specialists.
“We’ve been evolving our research approach for 15 years to get to this point today, where we can confidently estimate the current workforce and better understand what it will take as an industry to add enough professionals to protect our critical assets,” said Wesley Simpson, chief operating officer at (ISC)².
The study says a key factor in the shortage is that certifications for people working in this field go way beyond what other certifications require. And these certifications must come on top of a current understanding of all components of IT.
The good news is that only 42% of respondents began their careers in this field. The other 58% started in different industries and moved towards cybersecurity, which indicates a reasonable turnover rate. On the other hand, the current pace of hardware, software, and IoT development suggests the need for professionals is only going to increase.
Other key findings from the survey include:
· 30% of survey respondents are women; 23% of whom have security-specific job titles
· 37% are below the age of 35, and 5% are categorized as Generation Z, under 25 years old
· 59% of cybersecurity professionals are currently pursuing a new security certification or plan to do so within the next year
· 12% of respondents only have a high school diploma, and only 10% are on the other side of the spectrum, holding a doctorate
· 65% of current cybersecurity professionals intend to work in this field for the rest of their careers
The 2019 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study was conducted on 3,237 individuals responsible for security/cybersecurity at work throughout North America, Europe, Latin America (LATAM), and Asia-Pacific (APAC).