This tech field just hit an astonishing 0% unemployment rate
High-profile leaks have turned cybersecurity experts into must-hire candidates—and job seekers have the numbers on their side.
Cybersecurity is awesome.
You probably already knew that: Headline-making data leaks have turned professionals in the field into hot commodities, capable of commanding sky-high paychecks and prominent mentions during the recent presidential debates (“the cyber,” anyone?). But did you know that it’s so totally, incredibly, utterly awesome that unemployment in the field has dropped to a stunning 0%?
That’s right: Zero. Percent.
At the same time, there are approximately 1 million open cybersecurity jobs this year, according to industry research source Cybersecurity Ventures, which reported the unemployment data. That may not be great news for employers, who need to hustle to bridge the immense talent gap. But it’s pretty darn good news for job seekers.
“Anyone with cybersecurity experience can find immediate employment,” Cybersecurity Ventures CEO Steve Morgan said in a statement. “There may be a small percentage of the cyber workforce who are in between jobs, some who have resigned to pursue new opportunities, and others who are unrealistic about which positions they qualify for (and the compensation commensurate with their experience)—but there’s a job available for everyone with cybersecurity experience.”
That’s sort of crazy, even in the high-demand tech job market. And the need for cybersecurity professionals is only growing—job openings are projected to hit 1.5 million by 2019 (and thousands are available on Monster right now).
Chalk it up to the data leaks that seem to make headlines on a weekly basis, like last summer’s attack on the Democratic National Committee or the more recent one on Yahoo. Similar stories have made the public sector a particular area of hiring focus; the Department of Homeland Security received clearance to hire 1,000 new cybersecurity experts earlier this year.
The banking industry has seen a similar hiring push as companies take steps to protect their business, with some even hosting coding events in an effort to embrace a more “hacker-friendly” image.
“You really have to get in front of the people doing security,” Jeff Combs, founder of information security recruiter J. Combs Search Advisors, told American Banker. That’s pushed Citibank to sponsor cybersecurity camps for female middle and high school students and Capitol One to partner with tech nonprofit Girls Who Code—fostering (and potentially enlarging) the cybersecurity talent pool of the future.
“While a zero percent unemployment rate sounds optimal, it creates a lot of challenges for organizations including retention issues, salary inflation, and sub-par candidates getting jobs they are not qualified for,” cybersecurity recruiter Veronica Mollica told Cybersecurity Ventures. “Companies are going to have to invest heavily in training young cybersecurity professionals who have a combination of technical, business, and soft skills as the talent gap widens.”