Security Jobs ‘Heat Map’ in Development

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 @ 04:10 PM gHale

When it comes to cyber security, it is all about finding jobs.

As a part of the Department of Commerce’s “Skills for Business” initiative, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is funding the development of a visualization tool that will show the demand for and availability of critical cyber security jobs across the country.

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The project, funded through NIST’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), will provide data to help employers, job seekers, policy makers, training providers, and guidance counselors in order to meet today’s increasing demand for cyber security workers.

In partnership with job market analytics and research firm Burning Glass Technologies, CompTIA, a non-profit trade association for IT professionals and organizations, received a three-year grant to conduct extensive research and create a “heat map” that visualizes the need for, and supply of, cyber security workers across the country.

Heat maps are a popular data visualization tool that, in this case, will use varying shades of color to show relative differences in the geographic concentration of supply and demand. CompTIA has been awarded $249,000 in first-year funding.

“Through its ‘Skills for Business initiative,’ the Department of Commerce has made job-driven training a priority for the very first time,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews. “This investment will help align the demand and supply for more than 230,000 cyber security job openings across the country. Efforts like these are part of our strategy to meet the demands of our businesses and prepare our workers for 21st century jobs.”

“This unique tool will allow users on both sides of the employment equation to assess supply and demand in cyber security on a city-by-city or state-by-state basis,” said NICE Director Rodney Petersen. “The information will help students and job-seekers understand the diverse career pathways available to them and can influence education and training providers to align their curriculum and programs to address emerging workforce needs.”

In an industry survey, CompTIA found 74 percent of businesses rate cyber security as a greater concern today than it was two years ago. That concern is evident in the 91 percent growth of postings for cyber security jobs from 2010-2014, measured by analytics firm Burning Glass.

Once developed, the map will be updated every 90 days to show job postings grouped into categories mapped to the NICE National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, using job titles, skills, educational degrees, certifications, experience and other credentials advertised by employers. The NICE Jobs Heat Map will also provide information on the supply of workers with relevant degrees or certifications.

The first edition of the jobs heat map should release in late 2016.