If you’re anything like me, you’re a little tired of hearing about Covid. You’re tired of hearing about the “shortages” that seem to follow along with the timeline of Covid. I’ve heard them all; coin shortage, toilet paper shortage, sanitizer shortage, foam padding shortage, mask shortage, name something and assume there’s a shortage. Now, in the last several months, there’s been a new one called the “labor shortage.” That is something that has been debated in the aviation community for some time now. Without going into too much detail, the basic gist is that the high cost of training plus the low entry-level pay minus the mandatory lower retirement age has caused quite a problem in that community. However, when you look past some of those variables because you have the passion for flying and patience for the process, it can become a worthwhile career choice. While cybersecurity has always struggled to fill talent gaps, we have seen it follow a similar path toward increased labor and professional shortages.
These cybersecurity shortages don’t exactly follow aviation’s in the sense that the pilot shortage has been mostly self-induced. In fact, cybersecurity’s shortage is quite the opposite. Over the last year, cyberattacks on hospitals, schools, governments, tech companies, pipelines, etc. have been making headlines. These attacks are becoming much more sophisticated than the old trick of the “click here to claim your free gift card” pop-up window. This shortage is strictly becoming a problem due to the increasing technological advancement of cyberattacks as well as the ever-increasing quantity of attacks.
According to a survey of data collected from LinkedIn and CyberSeek.org, for almost every two cybersecurity jobs in the United States today, a third job is sitting empty because of a shortage of skilled people. Currently, there are 464,200 open jobs in the United States that require cybersecurity skills. They account for 6% of all open jobs in the country. When calculated that math comes out to more than one out of every twenty open jobs in America today is a job that requires cybersecurity skills. And every projection shows that the number of these jobs will grow even more in the years ahead.
One other notable difference between the aviation pilot shortage and the cybersecurity professional shortage is the training requirements. While most high-paying pilot jobs require a four-year college degree on top of 1500 flight hours at a minimum, both of which add up to an unimaginable price of entry, many of these open cybersecurity jobs don't require a four-year college degree. You can qualify by earning an industry-recognized certificate or by getting a certificate or associate degree from a community college. There are 1,044 community colleges located in every state and territory, and every setting. As one community college leader said recently, "there are three things that you can find everywhere in the United States, a bakery, a bank, and a community college.”
Finally, down to what most people want to know about; money. These are good jobs! They pay an average of $105,800 per year, and with community colleges averaging annual tuition and fees of only $3,770, the math becomes very simple.
Obviously, career decisions require heavy research and thoughts, don’t simply take my word for it. Ask around, make connections in the industry, read articles, blogs, try and light the fire and find that passion for cybersecurity. Maybe you or someone you know already has all the qualifications to be a cyber professional? Check out our careers page. Maybe you can help fill one of the 464,200 open jobs either now or in your bright-looking future.