Cybersecurity job market to suffer severe workforce shortage

The shortage of experienced cybersecurity talent may explain why a cybersecurity software engineer earns more than a CSO.

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An analysis of the cybersecurity job market looking back at 2014, the first half of 2015, and projecting out to 2019, reveals some interesting figures. For instance, the top paying cybersecurity job is a security software engineer with an average annual salary of $233,333, according to a recent report from the job board Dice. That tops the salary for a CSO which is $225,000.

But the big story in the cybersecurity labor market is a severe workforce shortage.

“The demand for the (cybersecurity) workforce is expected to rise to 6 million (globally) by 2019, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million,” stated Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec, the world’s largest security software vendor. Not long before Brown's statement, the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report warned that the worldwide shortage of information security professionals is at 1 million openings, even as cyberattacks and data breaches increase each year.

[ ALSO ON CSO: Shortage of security pros worsens ]

The shortage of experienced cybersecurity talent may explain why a cybersecurity software engineer earns more than a CSO.

According to a 451 Research recent study, based on responses from more than 1,000 IT professionals, primarily in North America and EMEA, security managers reported significant obstacles in implementing desired security projects due to lack of staff expertise (34.5%) and inadequate staffing (26.4%). Given this challenge, only 24% of enterprises have 24×7 monitoring in place using internal resources.

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