The overall US job market is tight, but the cybersecurity job market is tighter. Over the past year, postings for cybersecurity jobs have grown over twice as much as the rest of the labor market.
According to new data from CyberSeek™—a joint initiative between the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), CompTIA, and Lightcast—US employers deployed 714,548 job postings for cybersecurity job roles and skills during the 12-month period running through April 2022. Cybersecurity job demand increased 43% over the period, compared to 18% growth in demand across all occupations. And the past year has seen one of the most feverish job markets in recent history.
Almost 40% of the new postings were listed during the first four months of 2022, indicating that demand is accelerating in the wake of world events (particularly the Russian invasion of Ukraine).
Earlier this year, Lightcast reported that February had set the all-time record for cybersecurity job demand. Since then, March and April both exceeded that previous record. The first four months of 2022 have combined for the highest number of cybersecurity jobs in any four-month stretch since Lightcast began collecting data about the field.
“Lightcast has been tracking cybersecurity jobs since 2012, and demand in the first four months of 2022 has outpaced anything we’ve ever seen,” said Will Markow, Lightcast Vice President of Applied Research. “Employers are desperate to find enough skilled workers to counter constantly growing digital threats.”
Past research has shown that many tech-related roles, including those in cybersecurity, can be filled by those with a few select qualifications and skills, rather than a full four-year degree. In an environment where talent is hard to find, employers may find a competitive advantage by expanding their potential talent pools.
Higher demand has created higher pressure on those looking to hire for cybersecurity roles. Nationwide, only 66 qualified workers are available for every 100 cybersecurity jobs. That pressure is even higher in certain metro areas: Washington, DC, has only 59 workers per 100 jobs. In Dallas, there are only 53.
The need for cybersecurity talent has also expanded into other industries, according to CyberSeek. In the past, cybersecurity jobs were often concentrated in the tech world, but the urgent need has led to growth in new areas. The largest number of such postings in April 2022 was in the Finance and Insurance industry, the first time on record that another sector had posted for more cybersecurity talent than Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. Cybersecurity jobs in the Manufacturing industries also saw a 172% increase between April 2021 and April 2022, and demand in Real Estate grew by 237%.
Other IT jobs are also seeing an increase in demand for cybersecurity skills as more organizations recognize their importance in all kinds of tech-adjacent roles.
As Markow said while discussing the talent shortage in March, “In a cybersecurity war, everyone with a computer is on the front lines.”
The accelerating demand for cybersecurity skills and jobs indicate that this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, especially because the latest statistics show that the overall number of job openings are hovering near record highs above 11 million.
Visit CyberSeek for more on the latest data on the cybersecurity job market, including an interactive map showing demand and the Career Pathways tool. CyberSeek is a joint initiative between the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US Department of Commerce; CompTIA, a nonprofit association for the global technology industry and workforce, and Lightcast.