The cybersecurity job market is facing unprecedented demand. Employers are scrambling to fill roles essential for defending against cyber threats.

The study “Recruiting Watchers for the Virtual Walls: The State of Cybersecurity Hiring” by Burning Glass Technologies provides an in-depth analysis of this trend.

This report outlines the challenges and dynamics of cybersecurity hiring, offering insights into the skills and qualifications needed in this fast-evolving field.

Study Overview and Methodology

Burning Glass Technologies tracked the cybersecurity job market from 2013 to 2019. They analyzed nearly one billion job postings to define the cybersecurity landscape, focusing on job titles, skills, and certifications.

The comprehensive approach allows for a detailed view of the cybersecurity jobs market, highlighting trends and skill demands across industries.

How to Cite the Study

When referencing the findings, use this format: Burning Glass Technologies. (2019). Recruiting Watchers for the Virtual Walls: The State of Cybersecurity Hiring. Retrieved from

Key Observations and Findings

Cybersecurity hiring theme

Rapid Growth in Cybersecurity Job Postings (Page 9)

Cybersecurity job postings have grown 94% since 2013, compared to only 30% for IT positions overall. This is more than three times faster than the overall IT market.

The cybersecurity field is expanding rapidly. As cyber threats increase, so does the need for skilled professionals. This growth rate highlights the escalating demand for cybersecurity expertise in the job market.

High Demand for Cybersecurity Skills (Page 9)

Cybersecurity jobs account for 13% of all information technology jobs. On average, these roles take 20% longer to fill than other IT jobs, indicating their complexity and the scarcity of qualified candidates.

The prolonged hiring time for cybersecurity roles underscores the talent shortage. Employers are finding it challenging to fill these positions, reflecting the critical need for specialized skills in cybersecurity.

Salary Premium for Cybersecurity Roles (Page 9)

Cybersecurity jobs pay, on average, 16% more than other IT roles, with a salary premium of $12,700 per year. This higher compensation reflects the value and demand for cybersecurity expertise.

Higher salaries in cybersecurity highlight the importance of these roles. The financial incentives are a testament to the crucial function these professionals serve in protecting digital assets.

Cybersecurity as a Broad Responsibility (Page 10)

More than half of jobs demanding cybersecurity skills are other IT roles where security is only one part of a broader job description. Core cybersecurity roles command higher salaries due to their specialized nature.

Cybersecurity responsibilities are often integrated into broader IT roles. However, dedicated cybersecurity positions offer higher pay, emphasizing the specialized skills required for these focused roles.

Education and Certification Requirements (Page 11)

Approximately 88% of cybersecurity postings specify a bachelor’s degree or higher. Furthermore, 59% of all cybersecurity positions require at least one certification, compared to 20% for overall IT jobs.

The high educational and certification requirements for cybersecurity roles reflect the advanced skills needed. Certifications like CISSP and Security+ are crucial for career advancement in this field.

Emerging Skill Demands: Automation and Risk Management (Page 13)

Demand for automation skills in cybersecurity roles has risen 255% since 2013, and demand for risk management skills has increased 133%. These areas are becoming essential as organizations seek more efficient ways to manage cyber threats.

The rising demand for automation and risk management skills indicates a strategic shift. Employers are prioritizing these skills to enhance cybersecurity measures and mitigate risks more effectively.

Industry-Specific Demands (Page 15)

Professional Services, Finance, and Manufacturing are the leading sectors for cybersecurity professionals. Finance and Public Administration sectors show the fastest increases in demand, facing sophisticated and persistent threats.

Different industries have varied cybersecurity needs. Finance and Public Administration sectors, in particular, require robust cybersecurity measures due to the high stakes involved in protecting sensitive information.

Challenges for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (Page 16)

Large firms can offer higher salaries, making it harder for small and medium-sized businesses to compete for top cybersecurity talent. This salary gap poses significant challenges for smaller firms in protecting their digital assets.

Smaller businesses face a tough battle in hiring cybersecurity professionals. They often cannot match the salaries offered by larger companies, exacerbating their vulnerability to cyber threats.

Future Skill Projections (Page 17)

Skills in public cloud security and Internet of Things (IoT) security are projected to see the fastest growth over the next five years. These areas represent the evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats and defenses.

The future of cybersecurity will heavily involve cloud and IoT security. Professionals with these skills will be in high demand as these technologies continue to integrate into everyday operations.

Implications and Recommendations (Page 18)

The cybersecurity talent pipeline has not kept up with demand. Firms, training providers, and workforce development officials must develop strategies to manage the talent shortage. Building internal talent, focusing on high-demand certifications, and promoting the return on investment for advanced training are key strategies.

To address the cybersecurity skills gap, stakeholders must collaborate. Developing talent pipelines, emphasizing essential certifications, and providing incentives for advanced training are crucial steps in meeting the growing demand.

Details of Data, Statistics, and Findings

Cyber security online study

For more detailed insights and data, access the full PDF document.

These findings highlight the urgent need for skilled cybersecurity professionals. They emphasize the importance of strategic hiring and training practices to protect against the growing threat of cyberattacks.

Other Titles by Burning Glass

Moving the Goalposts by Burning Glass Technologies. This report examines the increasing demand for bachelor’s degrees in the job market, focusing on the trend of upcredentialing. It highlights the impact on various job sectors, hiring difficulties, and the broader implications for the workforce. Download the PDF for detailed insights.

The Permanent Detour: Underemployment’s Long-Term Effects on the Careers of College Grads by Burning Glass Technologies and the Strada Institute for the Future of Work. This report examines the lasting impact of underemployment on college graduates, highlighting how initial job placements can influence long-term career success. It provides data-driven insights and recommendations for educational institutions, employers, and policymakers to address underemployment. Download the PDF for detailed findings and actionable steps.