The cybersecurity industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing, yet underserved job markets. With median annual salaries of over $90,000, you would guess the workforce would be oversaturated with qualified individuals. But the opposite is true. In 2016, over 1 million cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. were left unfilled. Currently, there are 10,000 open cybersecurity jobs open in Colorado alone. Cybersecurity companies and talent agencies alike are looking for ways to fill these positions as quickly as the industry is currently growing.
Cybersecurity salaries average 50% higher than other private sector industries. However, not enough high school and college students pursue the field, leaving a shortage of talent for cybersecurity companies. Firms are now trying to recruit talented individuals in other fields to utilize their skill set in the cybersecurity realm. Job positions range from engineering and computer science, to anthropology and sociology. Those with expertise in social sciences can help cybersecurity firms better understand cyber criminal “culture”, motives, and behavior.
An information security analyst typically has a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science and engineering. However, entry-level analysts do not always need this form of education, as more companies offer entry-level training to fill the employment gap of qualified applicants. Online certificates are a good starting point to enter the field of cybersecurity; however, a Bachelor’s degree will more than likely offer a higher salary and benefits.
Colorado is one of the nation’s top states for cybersecurity jobs. There are six military bases that require high-profile security and clearance for their contractors. There are hundreds of cybersecurity jobs for government contractors in Colorado, and the Office of Information Security (OIS) in Denver.
Colorado Springs recently invested $8 million into cybersecurity workforce development, by renovating the National Cybersecurity Center (former TRW Inc). Colorado Springs is in the top 5 cities for cybersecurity jobs, and this center offers training and job placement options for those looking to enter the cybersecurity industry. The Center opened in November of 2016, but plans to be fully operational in July 2017. Aside from training and job placement, they will conduct research and offer cybersecurity services to private and public sector organizations in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas.
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