Cybersecurity jobs are there for the taking, but the people to fill them are still not there. That has been the cry across all industries over the past few years.

To that end, a new study is showing demand for cybersecurity talent continues to outpace supply despite growth in available education and training programs.

There are only enough workers to fill 85 percent of the cybersecurity jobs throughout the economy, according to a report from cybersecurity career site, CyberSeek. Consequently, there needs to be an estimated 225,200 more cybersecurity workers to close talent gaps.

Across the U.S. over 1.2 million people work in cybersecurity occupations, a workforce which has steadily increased over the past several years.

“As competition for talent grows across sectors and from other in-demand occupations, we must develop alternative pathways to careers in cybersecurity that develops diverse talent in communities across America to provide opportunities good-paying jobs,” said Rodney Petersen, director of NICE. “The regional alliances and multi-stakeholder partnerships known as RAMPS Communities, established through cooperative agreements from NIST, will strengthen coordination and collaboration to meet employer workforce needs and bolster local and regional economies.”

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Key findings from the CyberSeek data revealed the pullback in tech hiring present during much of 2023 impacted cybersecurity jobs. Furthermore, employer job postings for all tech occupations declined by 37 percent in the 12 months from May 2023 to April 2024. Cyber job postings decreased 29 percent, signaling cybersecurity is less affected by hiring slowdowns than the IT sector overall.

Additionally, employer job postings for cybersecurity positions totaled 469,930 from May 2023 through April 2024. Positions in the highest demand included network engineers, systems administrators, cybersecurity engineers, cybersecurity analysts, security engineers, systems engineers, information systems security officers, network administrators, information security analysts and software engineers.

“Although demand for cybersecurity jobs is beginning to normalize to pre-pandemic levels, the longstanding cyber talent gap persists,” said Will Markow, vice president of applied research at Lightcast. “At the same time, new threats and technologies are causing cybersecurity skill requirements to evolve at a breakneck pace, forcing employers, educators, and individuals to proactively anticipate and prepare for an ever-changing cyber landscape.”

“Building a robust cybersecurity presence often requires changes in talent acquisition strategies and tactics,” said Hannah Johnson, senior vice president, tech talent programs, CompTIA. “That can include upskilling less experienced cybersecurity professionals for more advanced roles, or hiring people who demonstrate subject matter expertise via professional certifications or other credentials.”

In addition to the latest workforce data, CyberSeek has incorporated NICE Framework Components Version 1.0.0, which includes new and updated cybersecurity work roles, competency areas and task, knowledge, and skill statements.

CyberSeek provides detailed, actionable data about the cybersecurity job market. It is a joint initiative of NICE, a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology focused on advancing cybersecurity education and workforce development; Lightcast, a leading authority on global job skills, workforce talent and labor market dynamics; and CompTIA, an information technology (IT) certification and training body.

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