Will There Be A Shortage of Cyber Security Professionals in 2011?

Security spending will increase but there may not be enough bodies to throw at the cyber security problem

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Happy New Year everyone! In my last blog of 2010, I wrote about the multitude of opportunities for skilled security professionals. According to ESG Research, cyber security jobs should continue to grow at a healthy pace in 2011. For example: 1. 58% of large mid-market (i.e. 500-1000 employees) and enterprise (i.e. 1000 employees or more) will increase spending on cyber security in 2011. This is up from 2010 (55% said they would increase cyber security spending) and 2009 (36% said they would increase cyber security spending). 2. 27% of the organizations surveyed as part of ESG's 2011 IT Spending Intentions research indicated that "information security initiatives" are a top IT priority for the next 12-18 months. 3. 35% of organizations plan on hiring IT security professionals in 2011. Certainly good news for cyber security professionals seeking jobs but this could also be bad news for the overall state of cyber security. Why? Ironically (given the fact that unemployment still hovers around 10%), we will likely face a shortage of skilled cyber security professionals in 2011. This may already be happening. Leading cyber security institutions like Carnegie Mellon University, Purdue University, and Norwich University already report full placement for cyber security graduates and there is a plethora of unfilled federal cyber security jobs. Organizations located in small markets and rural areas also report difficulty in recruiting. We will need a focus on training, federal funding, and security services in 2011 or face a growing cyber security skills deficit. If this happens, everyone will suffer.

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