Main image of article Market for Cybersecurity Specialists Remains Strong

Fears of an oncoming recession haven’t impacted the hunger for cybersecurity specialists.

According to CyberSeek, a cybersecurity analytics site developed by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education at NIST, CompTIA and Lightcast, the U.S. needs 530,000 more cybersecurity specialists to close existing supply gaps.

“Despite concerns about a slowing economy, demand for cybersecurity workers remains historically high. Companies know cybercrime won't pause for a market downturn, so employers can't afford to pause their cybersecurity hiring," Will Markow, Lightcast Vice President of Applied Research-Talent, wrote in a statement accompanying the new data.

Demand for cybersecurity professionals hit record levels for the first nine months of 2022, only to cool in November and December. Throughout the year, the total number of employed cybersecurity workers hit 1.1 million. Public- and private-sector need for cybersecurity specialists expanded at comparable rates between 2021 and 2022; during that period, public-sector demand grew 25 percent, outpacing the private sector at 21 percent.

On the public-sector front, the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill will increase cybersecurity spending throughout the federal government, potentially opening up new opportunities to cybersecurity specialists. “This year we will continue to see the workforce gap increase both within the industry and the government,” Jim Hoppe, senior vice president for the Americas at security firm Delinea, recently told Dice. “The additional funds will lend tremendous support, but the government must do a better job at getting more new talent and diversity to join the cybersecurity workforce.”

Whether you’re interested in public- or private-sector work, cybersecurity specialists everywhere need to remain aware of the cybercrime trends to watch in 2023. For example, ransomware gangs are rapidly adapting to new circumstances, and are even exploring the use of tools like ChatGPT to target and attack systems. With growing cloud usage by companies of all sizes, the need to secure cloud infrastructure and services is also more critical than ever. Organizations everywhere need to secure critical cybersecurity talent as fast as possible—or risk losing everything.