Job openings in cybersecurity expected to skyrocket in 2017

Job openings in cybersecurity expected to skyrocket in 2017

If you are thinking about switching career paths in 2017, then you might want to have a look at the burgeoning cybersecurity market, where demand for skilled professionals far exceeds supply.

As with ‘Big Data’ and the data science boom, strong growth in cybersecurity-related job opportunities in nearly every area of the economy is leading to a shortage of skilled security professionals.

The increasing digitisation of many industries (e.g. retail, healthcare and financial services), coupled with some high profile attacks over the past 18 months (e.g. Sony, Yahoo, Panama Papers, etc.) is driving cybersecurity right to the top of the agenda for many firms.

According to the latest figures, corporations and governments will spend roughly US$100 billion on cybersecurity over the next four to five years.

Cyber pros are now three times more in demand than your typical tech worker as the number of organisations taking big steps to protect themselves against and prevent cybercrime grows. As a result, companies and government organisations are aggressively trying to fill their openings and are competing for skilled professionals.

So if you’re already employed in the tech sector, transitioning over to security is not only an attractive career move, it may also lead to a bump in pay (almost 10% more than other tech workers), job security and increased potential for upward mobility.

Preparing for this change will require a mixture of technical and soft skills depending on the role that you are targeting.

Here are three cybersecurity roles that we expect to be in high demand in 2017:

  •          Network Security Engineer (NSE)

With the collapse of on-premise systems administration following the rapid adoption of cloud, many internal and external Network and Systems Engineers are transitioning from general IT to security.

The Network Security Engineer is the first line of defence against unauthorised access and potential security threats. They work to mitigate threats and implement strategies against future threats. They will regularly implement/test their strategies across the infrastructure landscape and report findings back to the Security Operations Centre.

Typically, organisations are willing to take the punt on professionals who have come through the ranks of networking, who are proficient in break-fix, on-site support and are well-versed in administrating and configuring systems, networks and coding.

If you are currently a Systems or Network Engineer and moving to security sounds attractive, the best practice is to speak to your manager or team leader about on-the-job training and development opportunities. In addition to upskilling and retraining in the area of security tools and policies, to help you to decide if a career in security is for you, talk to people who are currently employed in that space, either within your current company or at other organisations. Network with people in the security space - from junior to senior employees - to really understand how it all works and let them know you are enthusiastic about the possibility of working in cybersecurity.


  •          Security Analyst

One of the fastest-growing areas of the cyber job market is security analysis. Instead of waiting for a data breach or security incident, organisations are taking a more proactive approach in the fight against cyber crime. Vulnerability management, log review, incident response and security awareness training are key responsibilities of the role of a Security Analyst.

As a result, technical skills are often a requirement for jobs in this field. Experience with a variety of information security tools and analysis and problem solving skills typically top the list.   

However, due to the constant evolution in the information security space, it can be hard for organisations to find people with all the key skills and experience. As a result, attitude and capability can play an important role in convincing hiring managers that you are right person for the job. You can stand out from the crowd and gain a leading edge by demonstrating your ability and interest in learning new techniques, tools and methodologies specifically related to information security.

Over the course of 2017, we expect to see people with operational and strategic backgrounds, such as analysts, engineers and managers transitioning into Senior Security Analyst and Security Analyst jobs.


  •          Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

As the security infrastructure environment matures in New Zealand, demand for Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) will rise.

A small handful of Auckland-based businesses have, with our help to find the right person, hired a CISO over the kast 12 months. But we expect this trend to increase as more and more businesses look to leverage their own commercial and consumer data, and, as a consequence, have more sensitive data assets to protect.

Tasked with overseeing all of an organisation’s information security, a CISO is responsible for anticipating new threats and actively working to prevent them from occurring. This includes designing and developing programs and polices to protect enterprise systems, communications and assets from both internal and external threats.

So if you’re an IT pro and consider yourself to be a strategist, strong influencer and experienced risk manager, now is a great time to consider a new career in cybersecurity.


Growing number of cybersecurity job opportunities

Job creation in the cybersecurity space is set to skyrocket.  Every organisation will need a specialised and skilled information security team to safeguard a business's commercial environment.

In New Zealand we need greater, company-wide education and culture shifting.  Security is there to better enable business, not as some might suggest, to slow things down and put fear in our hearts.

Looking further ahead, the Internet of Things (IoT) could also expose great risk to consider for security professionals as this industry and its ‘Moore's Law’-type growth continues.