By Tim Johnson
McClatchy Washington Bureau
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) If you are mulling over career options, you may want to give cybersecurity a look. With some lead software security engineers making $230,000 a year, it can be a lucrative career. In addition, the demand for well-qualified cybersecurity talent is growing exponentially.
Want a career with zero chances of going jobless?
Try the booming field of cybersecurity. Companies can’t hire fast enough. In the United States, companies report 209,000 cybersecurity jobs that are in need of filling.
It’ll only get worse. By 2019, according to the Cybersecurity Jobs Report, the workforce shortfall may reach 1.5 million. Globally, the shortage could hit 6 million, it added.
“The internet is growing faster than the growth of people to protect it,” said Michael Kaiser, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Alliance.
It is a problem with the full attention of the White House, which in July called for “immediate and broad-sweeping actions to address the growing workforce shortage and establish a pipeline of well-qualified cybersecurity talent.”
A dramatic rise in cybercrime has put government in competition with private companies for hiring cybersecurity experts.
Private companies recoil at the possibility of hackers stealing their proprietary information, holding their data for ransom or plundering their servers of the personal information of clients.
The shortage in job candidates is not an easy or quick problem to address, experts said.
“It takes a long time to develop the instincts to be an effective cybersecurity engineer. You can’t just come out of college and know what to do,” said David Foote, a tech industry researcher and co-founder of Foote Partners of Vero Beach, Fla.
“The threat landscape changes all the time, and that’s hard to train for,” Kaiser added.
Foote said both government and private industry faced shortages: “In the short term, it’s not looking good. There are so many employers who are way behind in staffing.”