Prabhakar a
by on December 19, 2019
In 2019, businesses invested even more in technology, new privacy regulations were passed, and cyber threats became more sophisticated. To meet the growing demands of today’s businesses, (ISC)2 estimates that the U.S. cybersecurity workforce would need to increase by 62%. With cybersecurity jobs in such high demand and skilled professionals in low supply, many companies have whittled their cyber talent wishlist down to a few key positions. Which positions will top the list in 2020? Based on data from the project backed by NICE, we have a pretty good idea. The top five positions, described below, can help students understand the opportunities that are available to them, experienced professionals find opportunities for career transitions (like IT to cyber), and cybersecurity and business leaders understand the hiring landscape as they build their cyber workforce development programs. We’ve mapped these high-level job categories to specific job roles within the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, for those interested in detailed readouts of the KSAs (knowledge, skills, abilities) required of each position. Let’s take a closer look at the top five cybersecurity jobs, ending with the most in-demand position. All salary information is from and/or the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is likely to vary drastically by region and level of experience. Cybersecurity Manager / Administrator While still securing a spot in the top five, the Cybersecurity Manager/Administrator dropped two places from last year’s list of most in-demand positions. Cybersecurity Managers/Administrators are typically responsible for implementing and overseeing the cybersecurity program for a given system or network, and many organizations require multiple Security Managers to run specific portions of their enterprise security program. Cybersecurity Managers/Administrators are often required to monitor their focus area, maintain the related tools, monitor compliance with related policies, audit their program, and build cybersecurity awareness. Many organizations further break down the cybersecurity manager role into two categories: program security managers, which are typically focused on programmatic risk management and mitigation (think vendor risk management, etc.), and technical security managers, which oversee specific systems and the teams that manage them (think firewalls, pen testing, encryption, etc.). As the title would suggest, the Cybersecurity Manager/Administrator role requires significant work experience and technical expertise, and many employers look for professionals with degrees in cybersecurity or a related field. With enterprise cybersecurity investments on the rise across the board, including the rapid growth of enterprise SOCs, organizations will continue to seek out cybersecurity managers to serve as the backbone of their ever-expanding security programs. Cybersecurity Consultant Holding the same spot for the second year in a row is the Cybersecurity Consultant. The Cybersecurity Consultant plays the role of both an attacker and a defender to exploit vulnerabilities and detect weaknesses in an organization’s computer network, systems, and applications. Typically, this position is not employed by in-house security teams; a Cybersecurity Consultant is usually either a self-employed contractor or works for an external or third-party security consulting firm (like Focal Point). Consultant roles vary by opportunity, so a Cybersecurity Consultant can range from an entry-level to a more intermediate-level cybersecurity position, with most employers looking to see a degree in the field, technical skills, certifications, and potentially work experience conducting similar tasks. Since cyber threats are constantly changing, it is not surprising that this position has maintained such a high demand. As the demand for cybersecurity workers has boomed and companies struggle to fill security roles, they increasingly rely on cybersecurity consulting firms to handle their largest, most complex projects. As a result, the need for Cybersecurity Consultants is on the rise among professional services firms.
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